Orthodontists – What do they do, how are they different from dentists and how promising is it as a career option?

How Early Should You Really Take Your Child to Their First Dental Visit? Orthodontists - What do they do, how are they different from dentists and how promising is it as a career option?

Spread a smile, and spread happiness is a loved mantra to many, as the world has always been in need of smiles and love and happiness. The lovelier your smile is, the more cheer it will create. A good set of teeth will allow you smile confidently, and the special people who will ensure good teeth are dentists and orthodontists.

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics, also known as Orthodontia, is a specialty field of dentistry. An orthodontist is a specialist who has done special training in a dental school or college or any other Institute after they have done graduation in dentistry.

How is it different from dentistry?

The specialty deals firstly with the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of the jaws and malpositioned teeth. Orthodontics focuses on the straightness of teeth correcting bites and occlusion while dentistry is a broad medical specialty that deals with the nerves, jaw, teeth, and gum.


Both dentists and orthodontists do a 4 or 5-year doctoral program, and after graduation, the former can start a career as a dentist while the latter will enroll in a 2 or 3-year master’s course before becoming a certified orthodontist.

Services provided

Typically, when a patient has a dental problem, the same will be referred to a dentist after a preliminary check-up by his/her GP. The dentist will then refer the patient to an orthodontist if the condition demands specialized care.

The basic dental care services that are provided by dentists are gum care, root canal, crowns, veneers, tooth fillings, bridges, and cosmetic teeth whitening. Orthodontists provide more specific treatments that involve aligning your teeth and jaw using non-surgical procedures. They treat conditions like crowded teeth, misaligned teeth, overbite, and underbite with their services that include wires, Invisalign, braces, retainers, and other corrective appliances.

Orthodontists help patients with crooked teeth, but they also assist them with other issues too. These include overbites and underbites, crossbites, spaces between teeth, overcrowding of teeth. They also do the treatment of temporomandibular disorders (TMD).


There are plenty of opportunities for full-time and part-time work for orthodontics and career breaks are also possible. The Orthodontists can serve dental departments of government occupied or private hospitals. These specialized doctors can also set up independent practices or share a clinic with other dentists after assisting a senior orthodontist for some years.

How much can an orthodontist earn?

Orthodontists salary depends on the skills, working experience, degree, employment type and your geographical area. The earnings of an orthodontist also depend on his additional educational qualifications and the universities he/she had graduated from. While the starting salary in the UK is around £30,000, it can reach £150,000 to the highest.  On an average, the annual salary of an orthodontist is £70,000.

To conclude, an orthodontist is a high-paying profession that needs a minimum 7-years of education in a university, and which has a prevalent demand all over the UK.