A dentist receives a “doctor of dental surgery (DDS)”undergraduate degree after successfully completing a 4 year university program. He/She receives training to be able to clinically and radiographically evaluate the overall health of your teeth, gingiva, jaw bones and the soft tissues of the oral cavity. A dentist also is trained to carry out treatment to deal with various ailments that a patient may present within these structures. He/She receives general training in the various disciplines of dentistry: endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, orthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, paedodontics, and radiology. In practice, most dentists daily perform these various procedures for their patients.
An orthodontist is a dentist who pursues further graduate studies after having completed a degree in dentistry for an additional 3 years in University. He/She limits his/her practice to the treatment of dental and skeletal malocclusions and is the recognized specialist for corrections of tooth alignment, bites and skeletal jaw relationships due to the advanced training and the fact that 100% of his/her time is dedicated to this specialty.