What Is The Difference Between An Orthodontist And A Dentist? By Wilson Orthodontics Near Chapel Hill, NC

Dentists and orthodontists in Chapel Hill, NC have their similarities and differences. The main difference is orthodontists are more specialized. However, both dentists and orthodontists focus on oral care for children and adults alike, although some may make the distinction that they specialize in pediatric dentistry or orthodontics.

Dentists and orthodontists both work to help you improve your oral care and correct certain issues with your teeth. One of the most important differences, though, is that all Chapel Hill orthodontists, like Dr. Wilson, are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed to practice orthodontia. Orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry, while dentistry is a broad medical specialty focusing on your teeth, gums, and nerves.


A dentist does more generalized work on teeth than an orthodontist. Typically, your dentist can help you with things like tooth decay, fillings, root canals, whitening, gum disease, and veneers. If you have bite, alignment, or jaw issues, your dentist will typically refer you to Dr. Wilson, Chapel Hill, NC’s favorite orthodontist for a smile analysis.

Educational Background: A dentist must typically complete eight years of higher education before he or she can practice dentistry.


Orthodontists are different from dentists for several reasons. First, your orthodontist in Chapel Hill, NC undergoes additional schooling for his or her specialty. This is comparable to a doctor who goes through additional schooling to become a surgeon or other specialist. Your orthodontist can help you with issues involving overcrowding, overbites, underbites, misaligned teeth, crossbites, and other issues involving your teeth that need to be corrected with orthodontics.

Essentially, orthodontists are dentists who specialize in correcting specific issues in the mouth. Your orthodontist in Chapel Hill, NC can help you with a number of things and has the required additional training to do so.

Educational Background: An orthodontist must complete 10 to 11 years of higher education to specialize in orthodontic care.

Which One Do You Need?

If you’re uncertain about whether you or your child needs to see a dentist or an orthodontist in the Chapel Hill area, the typical place to begin would be to ask your dentist. If you suspect that you or your child may need orthodontic treatment, don’t hesitate to bring it up at your next dental visit. Your dentist can inform you whether braces or another type of orthodontic treatment might be necessary and refer you to an orthodontist in Chapel Hill, NC or another town closest to you.

If you’re searching for your own orthodontist in NC and don’t necessarily want to go by a referral, you may choose to research orthodontic offices in the Chapel Hill area.

No matter your situation, Dr. Wilson and his orthodontics team near Chapel Hill are here to help! Whether you’re actively seeking orthodontic treatment for yourself or your child or are simply exploring your options, we strive to provide the very best in orthodontic treatment. When you are ready to learn about the treatment options that are best for you, click here to schedule your Wilson Smile Analysis!

This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our orthodontics office would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.

Wilson Orthodontics

Chapel Hill, NC’s Favorite Top Rated Orthodontist For Braces & Orthodontics

Dr. Wilson, a 5-star rated orthodontist near Chapel Hill, NC offers the most advanced braces for children and adults, including Invisalign, SureSmile, clear braces and orthodontic treatment.

Contact us today for a complimentary braces consultation at our Oxford, NC orthodontics office or our Durham, NC orthodontics office.


Wilson Orthodontics Of Durham
2900 Croasdaile Dr. Suite 3
Durham, NC 27705

Wilson Orthodontics Of Oxford
912 College Street
Oxford, NC 27565

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