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Orthodontist vs Oral Surgeon: What Are the Differences?

Orthodontist vs Oral Surgeon: What Are the Differences?

Do you always clean under your braces, or do you feel like your teeth still aren’t straight? Have you considered seeing an orthodontist or an oral surgeon?

Braces, fillings, and root canals are all things that general dentists specialize in. If you want to go straight, you either need to see an orthodontist or an oral surgeon.

Not sure which to choose? Want to know the differences between an orthodontist vs oral surgeon? Here’s what you should know.

Keep reading!

Notable Similarities

While there are often questions about their differences, there are many notable similarities between orthodontists and oral surgeons.

They specialize in the mouth and teeth, and both use similar tools and techniques to improve the appearance and function of the mouth. Both orthodontists and oral surgeons attended dental school and completed an additional residency in their specialty. They take continuing education courses to stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in their field.

Both see patients of all ages, though orthodontists may see more children and adolescents, while oral surgeons may see more adults.

What an Orthodontist Can Do For You

An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Here’s an orthodontist guide on the following problems they can correct:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Overcrowded teeth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Gap teeth

They can also treat conditions such as:

  • Underbites
  • Overbites
  • Crossbites

Click here for more info on how a good orthodontist can help you.

What an Oral Surgeon Can Do For You

While oral surgeons can provide you with a number of different services, they can also perform a wide variety of surgeries. Here’s an oral surgeon guide on what they can do for you:

  • Prophylaxis
  • Impacted wisdom teeth
  • Tooth loss
  • TMJ disorder
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Fractured jawbone
  • Broken facial bones
  • Cleft lip
  • Sleep apnea
  • Root Canal

Key Differences of Orthodontist vs Oral Surgeon

There are key differences between orthodontists and oral surgeons in terms of their treatment.

Educational Background

An orthodontist usually completes four years of dental school and two to three years of additional training in orthodontics. An oral surgeon, on the other hand, completes four years of dental school and four years of additional training in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Correction Techniques

The two specialties require different training and skills. An orthodontist focuses on correcting teeth and jaw alignment, while an oral surgeon performs surgeries on the mouth, teeth, and jaws.

While an orthodontist primarily uses braces to straighten teeth, an oral surgeon can use a variety of surgical techniques to correct dental and jaw problems. Oral surgeons can also remove teeth, which is something that orthodontists cannot do.

Duration of Treatment

The main difference between orthodontists and oral surgeons is the duration of their respective treatments. Orthodontic treatment can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, while oral surgery is usually a one-time procedure.

Cost of Services

There is no denying that both orthodontists and oral surgeons are vital members of the dental health care team. But, there are significant differences in the cost of services between these two professionals.

Oral surgeons typically charge more for their services than orthodontists because they require additional education and training allowing them to provide more comprehensive care. Orthodontists typically have lower overhead costs, which means that they can offer more affordable services.

In general, the cost of their services can vary depending on the type of treatment that is needed. When choosing between an orthodontist and an oral surgeon, be sure to compare the cost of services before making a decision.

Cost of Treatment

There is a significant cost difference between orthodontists and oral surgeons. Orthodontists typically charge $2000 to $5000 for treatment, while oral surgeons can range from $4000 to $8000. The cost of treatment also varies depending on the severity of the problem. Orthodontists usually accept insurance, but oral surgeons may not.

What to Expect From an Appointment

When you visit an orthodontist, they will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth and bite. They will also take X-rays and photos of your teeth and mouth. Based on this information, they will create a treatment plan to correct your dental issues and treatment typically involves wearing braces or other dental appliances.

An appointment with an oral surgeon is usually for a specific procedure, such as wisdom tooth removal. The oral surgeon will examine your mouth and teeth and take X-rays to determine if you need surgery. Surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia.

Other Types of Dentists

Dentistry is a branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the oral cavity, the maxillofacial region, and the adjacent tissues. There are different types of dentists aside from orthodontists and oral surgeons, each with a different focus.

General Dentists

They are the most common type of dentist. They are trained to provide routine dental care and treatment, and they can also identify and treat common oral health problems.


They are dentists who specialize in the prevention and treatment of gum disease. They can also place dental implants.


Known to specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of problems with the teeth and jaws, and they make and place artificial teeth.

Book An Appointment Today

While there are many questions between an orthodontist vs oral surgeon, both work together to ensure that your smile is healthy and looks its best. Both work closely with patients to ensure their comfort and safety during procedures.

If you are considering seeing a dental specialist, be sure to ask your dentist today which one is right for your specific needs.

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