Are Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics the Same? A Ft Collins orthodontist gives her answer.

Are Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics the Same?

If you’re looking to improve the appearance of your smile, who you seek out for this will depend on what you wish to improve. In today’s world, we’re fortunate to have access to a wide variety of unique professionals who can transform our appearance into what we desire.

If you’re looking to improve your smile, you’ll first need to understand the various types of issues that can be corrected and who can correct them. If you have been looking into cosmetic dentistry or orthodontics, you may be wondering if they are one in the same. Today we’re providing the answer.

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is aimed at enhancing smiles through a variety of ways. Procedures that help to correct color irregularities, malformed teeth, or missing teeth are often included under the cosmetic dentistry umbrella. A cosmetic dentist will generally offer the following types of treatments on their menu of services:

  • Veneers
  • Teeth whitening
  • Dental implants
  • Crowns

As you can see, cosmetic dentistry focuses on the “cosmetic” side of the spectrum, limiting treatment to mostly superficial areas of the teeth. Orthodontics, however, takes a different approach.

What Is Orthodontics?

An orthodontist also helps to improve smiles, but in a different way, focusing more on the structural aspect of the teeth and jaws, as opposed to surface issues. Orthodontists correct issues with the mouth, which include:

  • Bite problems (overbites, underbites, crossbites)
  • Crowding and spacing issues
  • Jaw abnormalities
  • Crooked teeth

Orthodontics seeks to tackle the issues below the surface, helping to guide teeth to better positions in the mouth. Typical orthodontic treatment options include braces , Invisalign, expanders and retainers.

Cosmetic Dentistry vs. Orthodontics

Cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics are totally different aspects of dental care, which are generally performed by two totally different professionals. Cosmetic dentists are trained in the latest ground-breaking procedures and techniques to help improve the look of your smile, focusing on surface issues and not tackling structural changes of the mouth. Orthodontists are also dentists, but have gone on to receive additional training to help them address problems with the structure of the mouth to help alleviate discomfort, problems with biting and chewing, appearance and more.

The Right Choice for Your Smile

If you’re looking to whiten your smile or transform a malformed tooth, seek the guidance of a cosmetic dentist who can tailor a plan to help you take back your smile. However, if you’re looking to straighten your smile or if you’re suffering from issues with your bite or jaw discomfort, an orthodontist will be the one to speak with about these issues.

Although both work with teeth, cosmetic dentists and orthodontists aren’t one in the same, they each have specific skill sets to help patients get the smile they deserve and address the issues that have been plaguing them. Turn to the right expert and trust in their knowledge and expertise in their respective fields.

At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 230-3187 or visit to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.