General Dentists vs. Cosmetic Dentists: What’s the Difference?

General Dentists vs. Cosmetic dentists

Figuring out which type of dentist to see can be confusing. Do you need a general dentist or a cosmetic dentist? What’s the difference? In this blog post, we will discuss the similarities and differences between general dentists and cosmetic dentists. We will also provide examples of when it may be better to see one type of dentist over the other.

Both general dentists and cosmetic dentists are highly educated professionals. They both complete four years of dental school and receive a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. In addition, both types of dentists must be licensed in the state in which they practice.

So, what’s the difference between a general dentist and a cosmetic dentist? A general dentist is a dental professional who provides preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services for patients of all ages. General dentists typically focus on providing routine dental care, such as teeth cleanings and fillings. There are various reasons to see a general dentist such as:

giant tooth with grad cap and diploma
  • Toothaches
  • Teeth Cleanings
  • Routine Dental Exams & X-rays
  • Impacted Wisdom Teeth
  • Cavities
  • Gum Disease
  • Damaged Teeth
  • Bruxism
  • Questions about oral health

A cosmetic dentist, on the other hand, is a dental professional who focuses on improving the appearance of a patient’s smile. Cosmetic dentists often provide services focused on aesthetics such as teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and dental implants.

While both types of dentists are highly educated and licensed professionals, it is important to note that most cosmetic dentists have undergone additional training to specialize in cosmetic dentistry. Although cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized dental specialty, there are professional organizations that offer specialized training to general dentists wishing to refine their skills. This means that while all cosmetic dentists can be general dentists, all general dentists cannot be cosmetic dentists.

Some reasons you may want to see a cosmetic dentist include:

  • Discolored Teeth
  • Crooked Teeth
  • Gaps in Teeth
  • Missing Teeth
  • Worn Down Teeth
  • Unevenly sized teeth
  • Unevenly shaped teeth
  • Teeth that are too big or too small

Now that you know the difference between a general dentist and a cosmetic dentist, you may be wondering when to see one over the other. The answer depends on your specific needs and goals. If you are looking for routine dental care, such as a teeth cleaning or filling, then a general dentist is likely the best choice. If you are looking to improve the appearance of your teeth and smile, then a cosmetic dentist may be a better option.

In Conclusion

In this blog post, we discussed the similarities and differences between general dentists and cosmetic dentists. We also provided examples of when it may be better to see one type of dentist over the other. If you are still unsure which type of dentist to see, we recommend talking to your regular dentist about your specific needs and goals. They will be able to provide you with the best recommendation for your situation. Thanks for reading!

photo of dr. admar

Dr. Admar holds dual certificates — a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) in 2010 from India and a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 2014 from Canada. He is now a full time practicing dentist in Kamloops where he provides a variety of services, including emergency dentistry. Dr. Admar spends hundreds of hours in continued dental education to stay up to date in cosmetic and implant dentistry and he has achieved several advanced qualifications.

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