Both medical professions can offer substantial salaries, however, an orthodontist can earn much more than a dentist. While patients only need the services of orthodontists when they have problems, general dentists help resolve problems and oversee preventive and routine care. However, in general, aspiring dentists should first obtain their doctorate in dental surgery or their doctorate in dental medicine. Unlike dental hygienists, dentists use surgical instruments for a range of procedures, including the extraction of teeth and the placement of dental appliances.
However, he adds that jealousy towards these wealthy doctors is foolish, since today's dentists can still earn a very comfortable income and, at the same time, access real wealth through a code of personal and professional conduct and ethical relationships, which ultimately lead to personal satisfaction. Davis, DDS, tells Dentistry Today that these success stories rarely earn their fortune from dentistry alone. General dentists must be trained with a variety of tools, including small pieces of machinery and computer technology, and they often work with staff that includes dental assistants and dental hygienists, who help with tasks such as cleanings. Dentists work on a wide variety of oral health problems, while orthodontists are specialists who focus on the alignment of the teeth and jaws, using non-surgical solutions to correct the wrong position.
Hours vary, as some dentists work during regular business hours and others spend weekends or evenings meeting the most urgent needs of their patients. Using cutting-edge technologies and expert pain management skills, they are the specialists to whom general dentists refer patients for root canals. Dentistry will grow faster than average, and demand will grow as the population ages and as research continues to link general health with oral health. While most dentists work in specialized dental clinics, jobs are also available in other settings.
Both dentists and orthodontists first earn a bachelor's degree from a four-year university and then apply to dental school, taking the Dental Admission Exam (DAT) as part of the application process in most programs. Once enrolled, aspiring dentists can expect to stay in DDS programs for three to four years. He explains that almost no dentist who gets really rich does so while dedicating himself to dentistry as his main source of income. It's common for people to use “dentist” and “orthodontist” interchangeably, but they're very different specialties.