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

2 May 2018 by  admin in General Dentistry Resources

Dentist examining a patient teethJust like medical doctors can specialize in different fields, so too can dentists. The specialty of the dentist you go to matters more than you might think. A dentist’s areas of specialization speak to his or her training and credentials, as well as the availability of dental services in the office.

So take the time to do your research before you choose a dentist, and keep reading to learn about the differences between general dentists and cosmetic dentists.

What do general dentists do?

A general dentistry practitioner is the dental equivalent of a primary care doctor. Just as you would visit your primary care doctor for annual wellness exams, health screenings, and general symptoms, you would also visit a general dentist for check-ups and routine dental care. (You’d also visit a general dentist for professional teeth cleanings twice per year, but dental hygienists usually perform this service.) Some general dentists provide emergency services for problems like toothaches and avulsed teeth. Dentists examine x-rays, do oral cancer screenings, fill cavities, and treat gum disease. They also provide patient education services, such as by helping parents learn how to brush a toddler’s teeth or by assisting senior citizens in overcoming manual dexterity problems in order to maintain good oral hygiene.

What do cosmetic dentists do?

Cosmetic dentistry is a specialty field that focuses on the appearance of the teeth and gums, while also preserving good function and health. The closest equivalent to cosmetic dentistry in the field of medicine is plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons primarily focus on supporting the self-esteem and self-confidence of their patients by making aesthetic adjustments. However, plastic surgeons also focus on overall health and physical restoration, such as by performing breast reconstructions for breast cancer survivors.

Similarly, cosmetic dentists can restore a patient’s incomplete smile. When teeth have been lost due to gum disease, smoking, or physical trauma, a cosmetic dentist can expertly fit dentures or perform dental implant surgeries. CEREC crowns are another example of cosmetically pleasing restorations. Cosmetic dentists can also provide aesthetic improvements with dental bonding, porcelain veneers, gum grafts and reconstructions, and teeth whitening.

One of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments is Invisalign. It isn’t necessary to go to an orthodontist—who specializes in braces—in order to straighten your smile. A cosmetic dentist can provide convenient, comfortable, and discreet Invisalign treatment.

General and cosmetic dentistry: Together under one roof

Here at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we know your time is valuable. There’s no need to visit multiple dental offices—you can receive the high-quality care you deserve under one roof when you choose our modern office on Long Island. Choose a general dentist in Suffolk County NY who can provide preventive and interventional oral healthcare using the latest technology and advances in dental medicine. As cosmetic dentists, we look forward to helping new and current patients achieve gorgeous smiles they can be proud of. Call us today at 631-319-7891 to schedule a consult, and browse the rest of our website to check out our available general and cosmetic dentistry services.

Additional resources for dentistry patients

  1. American Dental Association, Dental Specialties,
  2. American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?
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