Dentists have different areas of specialty and it is important to identify the correct area of practice for dental needs. The decision often comes down to cosmetic dentistry vs. general dentistry. Some dentists specialize in one of these areas while others are experienced in both. By understanding the differences between these two types of dentistry, finding the correct dentist becomes a faster and simpler process. Getting the appropriate treatment in a timely manner minimizes both discomfort and expenses.
General dentistry is classified as preventative treatment. The American Dental Association recommends a general dental examination at least once every six months. Tooth cleaning, X-rays, filings, tooth removal, and root canals are common general dentistry services. Maintenance treatments designed to prevent serious dental issues are the focuses. To put it simply, general dentistry is designed to maintain oral health and address dental problems that could lead to severe oral health issues.
Cosmetic dentistry addresses dental issues that require correction. The problem may be of an aesthetic nature or might be causing discomfort. Tooth whitening, veneers, and detail implants are several cosmetic dental treatments. This type of dentistry usually corrects issues that cannot be addressed by general dentistry treatments.
A cosmetic treatment may address some of the same issues treated by general dentistry while improving or maintaining the natural appeal of the smile. Traditional techniques used in general dentistry include metal crowns and fillings, fixed bridges, and removable dentures. Cosmetic alternatives include porcelain crowns and fillings and implants for bridges, crowns, or fixed dentures. Cosmetic dentists focus on protecting the aesthetics and integrity of the smile as well as oral health.
Whether looking for a general or cosmetic dentist, get referrals and conduct thorough research. A good general dentist provides the preventative care necessary to make cosmetic treatments last for many years. General dentists should have a comprehensive education and engage in ongoing training. This knowledge should be supplemented by experience in preventative dentistry and any areas of specialty. A professional demeanor and excellent communication skills contribute to the quality of the professional relationship.
Dentists who specialize in cosmetic treatments should be skilled in creating tooth-colored fillings, whitening teeth, and creating porcelain veneers that change the shape, size, and color of teeth. They should known how to fit dental crowns over natural teeth and use bridges to fill in spaces resulting from missing teeth. Good cosmetic dentists also know how to perform dental bonding, which requires applying a tooth-colored resin to teeth to fill in spaces, chips, and cavities.
A variety of cosmetic dental procedures are available and new discoveries expand the options. As these services become more common, their cost decreases. For example, it is now possible to purchase a dentist-recommended teeth whitening kit to maintain the positive appearance created by professional teeth whitening treatments. This kit provides noticeable results within as little as one week and is affordable to many people.
For more information about cosmetic dentistry vs. general dentistry, feel free to ask us at any time. If we can’t give you an answer right away, we’ll find the best answer as soon as possible. Getting the best preventative or cosmetic treatment now will result in a healthy, beautiful smile tomorrow.