There is a general confusion amongst people about whether the dentists and orthodontists are the same thing. Many people are under the impression that they refer to the same kind of practitioners. This article is meant to resolve this confusion, to the best of its abilities. Of the several that can be taken into consideration in order to point out the differences between an orthodontist and a dentist, this article discusses the legal and technical aspects.
It can be broadly said that while all orthodontists are dentists, all dentists are not orthodontists. Also orthodontists have certain areas of specialization, whereas a dentist would treat the basic dental issues. Moreover, the regulation of dentistry is quite different from the regulation of orthodontics. Let us see what we actually refer to when we use the term ‘orthodontists’.
As in every nation there is an authority body which oversees the dentistry laws, in Australia as well. This body regulates the dentist Sydney. Primarily, this is the same body that will be in charge of regulating the orthodontics Sydney. Legally this body would be considered to be a “competent body” and in a broader perspective their responsibility is to protect the best interests of the public rather than the dentists. Their task is to ensure that the dentists have the minimum knowledge, skill and expertise to treat patients and make the investigations regarding the claims that the dentistry is not being done properly. Even when their general behavior is unacceptable to the patients, this body looks into these matters.
As orthodontics is a part of dentistry, like any other field of the subject, one can only perform orthodontics if they have the registrations to do that and their name appears on the “Dental Register”. The dentists which are considered to be specialists in certain fields of dentistry are named in the “special registers” maintained by these authorities. While choosing an orthodontist for yourself, you would need to ensure that the orthodontist you select has his name registered in the books.
Special registers are quite hard to make to, and if a dentist’s name is there in such a register, he must have satisfied the dental council about his competency and expertise in a certain field, which entitles them to carry the designation of being an orthodontist or specialist in orthodontics. However they will still be entitled to refer to themselves as dental surgeons or dentists.
When a dentist’s name doesn’t appear on the specialty list of the dental council of that country, it is clear that they haven’t been able to impress the council, regarding any extra amount of skill in their area of orthodontics. This wouldn’t mean that they aren’t very good orthodontists. However there will not be any standardized register or some other way to make this distinction. There are some dentists who wouldn’t do anything other than orthodontics and hence might often refer to themselves as “limited to orthodontics”. It might also be so that they have the required degrees and qualifications from their universities. Yet they wouldn’t be able to call themselves orthodontists or specialists, just because they haven’t been able to make to the list.
The dental well being of human beings play a major role in their overall healthcare. Thus someone with misaligned or discolored teeth would need to get in touch with a specialist orthodontist as soon as possible. Choosing the wrong orthodontist shall lead to disastrous results, which is not at all acceptable since it is a matter of your teeth. Orthodontists might charge more than normal dentists, but when you see the results, you will realize that every penny you spend is worth.
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