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The Ministry of Health remains impartial about general dentists who practice orthodontic treatment. However, Dental Protection (which is similar to an insurance company for dentists) have recently increased protection premiums for dentists without specialist qualification but wishes to practice orthodontic treatment.
Here are a few differences between General Dentists and Orthodontists:
- General dentists have completed a basic dental degree (4years); Orthodontists have completed a basic dental degree (4years) AND a specialist degree (3 years).
- General dentists are not registered on the Specialist Board; Orthodontists have to complete stringent guidelines to be able to be admitted onto the Specialist Board.
- General dentists are proficient in general dental work including scaling, fillings, extractions etc; Orthodontists limit themselves to working with braces alone in order to completely specialize in this field.
- General dentists are great at diagnosing dental problems such as decay, gum diseases; Orthodontists are great at diagnosing facial growth and dental development such as poorly aligned jaws, bad bites and crooked teeth.
Hope this helps. Good luck!
Yes general dentists are allowed to do braces and there is no restriction by MOH against that.
I would say that most general dentists that I know of attend orthodontic courses before doing braces, and some have multiple years of experience with successful results.
Of course, whether it is better handled by a GP or an orthodontist differs on a case by case basis, and I personally would refer the complex ones to an orthodontist.