Dentist or orthodontist for treatment?


Should I see a dentist or an orthodontist for treatment? We are often asked what the difference is between an orthodontist and a dentist who offers treatment to align teeth. The term ‘orthodentist‘ is beginning to appear, in blog posts and on websites. Our patients have asked us if that term is the same as orthodontist. It is definitely not!

We have gathered some information here that may help answer these questions for you. If you require any further information, or have unanswered questions, please contact us. Our team is highly qualified to provide answers to your questions and we are happy to schedule a free examination and consultation with Dr. Shojaei, a specialist in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.

Orthodontists first obtain a doctor of dental surgery (D.D.S.) degree or a doctor of dental medicine (D.M.D.) degree. Either degree means they are a qualified dentist and have had some exposure to the various areas of specialization, including periodontics (structures surrounding and supporting the teeth), endodontics (treatment of the dental pulp), oral and maxillofacial surgery (diseases, injuries and defects in the hard and soft tissues of the mouth, jaws and face), prosthodontics (design, manufacture, and fitting of artificial replacements for teeth and other parts of the mouth) and orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics (diagnosis, prevention and correction of malocclusions [incorrectly positioned teeth and jaws]).

After having completed their dental degree, a dentist can apply to enter a specialty program. Acceptance is limited and only a small number of candidates will be granted entry.

A post-graduate training program in orthodontics typically takes three years (full-time) to complete and includes classroom instruction and clinical and research experience.

Upon completion of the Masters of Science (Orthodontics) degree, an orthodontist is the most qualified to provide an esthetic and functional orthodontic result. They are equipped to manage more complicated cases and to ensure a stable and esthetic result based on the changes that occur in the face, jaws and muscles over time. Orthodontists are the best trained in dental and facial growth and generally limit their practice solely to their specialty.

Just as you would seek out a cardiologist if you or your child had heart concerns, an ophthalmologist for eye issues and a neurologist for treatment of nervous system disorders, an orthodontist offers the opportunity to have the most qualified practitioners evaluate and treat issues involving the diagnosis, prevention and correction of malocclusions.

When considering the selection of a practitioner for orthodontic treatment, keep the following questions in mind:

-Are they a specialist?

-Do they offer a full range of treatment methods and can they tell you which is best (for your or your child’s situation) and why?

-Will your treatment be performed and monitored by the doctor?

-How many similar cases have they treated?

-What will happen following completion of the treatment to ensure the longevity of the results?


Please visit the following sites for more information.




We invite you to contact us to set up a free examination and consultation at either of our locations. We offer appointments at the end of the day and on Saturdays to fit into your schedule as well as interest-free payment plans if treatment is recommended and you choose to proceed. We can be reached by telephone at 905-597-6453 (Richmond Hill location), 905-727-8783 (Aurora office), by email at or at

We look forward to meeting you and providing you with answers to all of your questions!


aurora LOGO

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *