Orthodontists and General Dental Practitioners are both important to help patients improve their oral health, though in different ways.

Dentistry in broad terms deals with the teeth, gum, nerves, and jaw, while Orthodontics is a specialty that focuses on the growth of the dental and facial structures, correcting bites, occlusion, and the straightening of teeth. A dentist is similar to your family doctor – great for check-ups and restoring cavities with a view to make it free from dental diseases such as dental caries and gum disease. An orthodontist is a specialist who has at least three years of additional formal, structured, clinical orthodontic education, and is an expert in straightening your teeth and choosing the treatment option that’s best for you. An orthodontist evaluates your occlusion (bite) to determine the best solution for your needs, such as braces. It is routine for dentists to refer patients to their preferred orthodontist if it has been determined that further oral care is needed beyond the scope of general dentistry.

Common orthodontic problems such as crooked or misaligned teeth are usually not just an aesthetic and superficial concern. They may be a sign of a more serious underlying problem, which may be associated speech problems and periodontal (gum) destruction, just to name a couple. To know if orthodontics is recommended for you, do visit your General Dentist or Orthodontist.

What do Orthodontists do compared to Dentists

In simple terms, the table below describes the essential difference between an orthodontist and a dentist in terms of their routine job scopes. All forms of dental treatment should ideally be carried out in a clinic environment, which complies with the regulations of the Malaysian Dental Council. In Malaysia, it is considered illegal for any unqualified laypersons to provide any form of dental treatment to the public including orthodontics.


  • Specialised in diagnosing and treating teeth and jaw alignment issues
  • Specialised in managing orthodontic and orthopaedic treatment of facial growth
  • Expert in both child and adult orthodontic treatment options
  • Expert knowledge and competence in latest evidence based treatment and technologies
  • The best person to choose the correct treatment for you and equip you with the best smile.


  • Dental Check-up
  • Scaling & Polishing
  • Dental “fillings” of cavities
  • Extractions of teeth
  • Restores teeth
  • Dentures
  • Simple root canal treatment
  • Tooth whitening
  • Veneers, Crowns & Bridges
Dentist with further training may be able to:

  • Do simple tooth implants
  • Do simple minor oral surgery
  • Do simple correction of tooth “bite problems”

Malaysian Association of Orthodontists

Secretariat Address:

Malaysian Association of Orthodontists,
21-3A, Tingkat 2, Blok L, Jalan PJU 1/3C,
SunwayMas Commercial Centre,
47301, Petaling Jaya,
Selangor DE

Email: general@mao.org.my

Copyright © 2016 Malaysian Association Orthodontists

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