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What is the Difference Between an Orthodontist and a Dentist?

Dentist? Orthodontist? Aren't they both identical? There's a fair amount of confusion over the distinction between the terms dentist and orthodontist, which is why I've created a series of articles that will help clarify things. The article discusses some of the legal and technical aspects of who calls themselves an orthodontist specifically with reference.

In the field of orthodontics, just like the majority of other areas of dentistry, anyone can practice it if they are registered dentists and their name is in the "Dental Register". The dental councils also run several "special registers" that contain dentists' names that are considered to be experts in particular areas of dentistry. You can learn more about the orthodontist from the link –

If the name of a dentist is on the register of specialists, then they have proven to their dental council with proof that they are competent and have experience in orthodontics which allows them to refer to themselves as "orthodontist" or "specialist for orthodontics". They are still able to call themselves "dentists" as well as "dental surgical specialists".

When a name of a dental professional doesn't appear on a list of specialists that means the dental council of their practice doesn't verify that they possess any greater expertise in orthodontics than another field of dentistry. They might still be adept at orthodontics, however, there's no standardized register or another method to distinguish them. 

Dental councils are generally concerned to ensure that their patients are taken for well, not misinformed or misled.