Many different types of dental services are available to improve the health and appearance of your teeth, with cosmetic and general dentistry being two of the most common. The differences between these two fields are significant, so it is essential to understand which one is right for you. In this article, we will discuss the difference between cosmetic dentistry and general dentistry to help you determine which one is best suited for your needs.
Cosmetic Dentistry vs. General Dentistry
The most significant difference between cosmetic and general dentistry is the type of treatment each provides. While general dentists focus on preventive care, diagnostics, and treatments for existing oral health concerns, cosmetic dentists specialize in improving the appearance of teeth through various aesthetic procedures. These procedures can range from straightening crooked teeth to whitening discolored smiles. Some other services commonly offered by cosmetic dentists include veneers, dental implants, and teeth reshaping.
When to Consult a Cosmetic Dentist
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your teeth and want to improve their look, you can consult a cosmetic dentist. These professionals specialize in procedures such as teeth whitening, veneers, dental implants, and reshaping, all of which can help enhance the aesthetics of your smile.
Cosmetic dentists complete additional training in cosmetic dentistry beyond their regular dental school education. They can advise you on the best options for your unique situation and customize a dental treatment plan tailored to your needs.
Aesthetic Procedures Performed by Cosmetic Dentists
Some common cosmetic treatments include teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, dental implants, and reshaping.
#1. Tooth Whitening
Teeth whitening is a common dental procedure offered by cosmetic dentists. It involves bleaching the teeth to remove discoloration, resulting in a brighter, whiter smile. The process can be done in-office or at home with take-home kits. In-office whitening is typically more effective and may require multiple visits depending on the patient’s desired level of whiteness. Teeth whitening is ideal for those with minor discoloration or staining on their teeth.
#2. Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are thin shells made of porcelain or composite material that is placed over the surface of the teeth to change their appearance. They can be used to correct chipped, broken, discolored, and misaligned teeth and reshape them. The process involves taking impressions of your teeth and sending them to a lab for the veneers to be custom-made. The dentist then bonds the veneers to the teeth using a special adhesive.
#3. Tooth Bonding
Teeth bonding is a cosmetic procedure that involves using a tooth-colored material, such as composite resin, to fill in chips or cracks and even out the shape of teeth. This procedure can also conceal discoloration that cannot be corrected with whitening treatments. The material is applied to the tooth surface, hardened with a special light, and then shaped and polished to match the rest of your teeth.
#4. Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are tooth restoration devices that cover the entire tooth and provide extra strength and protection. They are made of porcelain or ceramic and can be used to fix broken, cracked, or severely worn teeth. Crowns can also be used to repair decayed teeth and support a damaged tooth root. The dentist will take impressions of your teeth and create a crown to match the shape and color of your natural teeth.
#5. Dental Implants
Tooth implants are an effective, long-term solution for those who have lost teeth or have suffered from severe dental damage. They are artificial tooth roots made of titanium surgically placed into the jawbone to provide a secure foundation for replacement teeth. The implant is then topped with a custom-made prosthetic tooth that closely resembles the patient’s natural teeth in both color and shape. Dental implants are a great way to restore the aesthetics of your smile as well as improve its functionality.
When to Consult a General Dentist
If you are experiencing dental health issues, such as cavities, gum disease, or tooth decay, it is recommended that you consult a general dentist. These professionals specialize in preventive services, diagnostics, and treating existing dental issues. They can advise on improving your oral hygiene habits and help diagnose any underlying conditions that may be impacting your oral health.
Common Procedures for General Dentistry
Common procedures for general dentistry include routine cleanings and exams, cavity fillings, root canals, and tooth extraction. Routine cleanings and exams help to prevent cavities from forming by removing plaque and tartar buildup, which can lead to decay. Tooth fillings are used to restore a tooth affected by decay or damage.
#1. Routine Cleanings and Dental Exams
Routine cleanings and dental exams are essential parts of maintaining oral health. During a regular cleaning, the hygienist will remove plaque, tartar, and other debris that has built up on the teeth. This prevents cavities from forming and helps to keep your gums healthy. A dental exam is also performed during this visit, allowing the dentist to check for signs of oral health problems and any possible damage to the teeth.
#2. Tooth Fillings
Tooth fillings are used to repair minor cavities and damage to the teeth. This involves cleaning out the decay from the affected area, followed by the placement of filling material, such as gold, silver, composite resin, or porcelain. Once in place, the filling material helps restore strength and integrity to the tooth and prevents further decay.
#3. Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is a dental procedure used to repair and save a tooth that has been severely damaged or infected due to decay. The process involves removing the diseased pulp, including all nerve tissue, from within the tooth’s root canal. A sealing material is then placed in the empty space to protect it from reinfection and further damage.
#4. Tooth Extraction
This dental procedure is used to remove a tooth that has been severely damaged or decayed beyond repair. This can also be done if the tooth is causing overcrowding in the mouth and needs to be removed to make room for other teeth. During the procedure, the dentist will administer local anesthesia and then use special tools to carefully loosen and remove the tooth. After extraction, the dentist may recommend a replacement option, such as an implant or bridge, to restore functionality and aesthetics to the mouth.
Visit Us For a Complete Smile Makeover!
Our dental practice offers various cosmetic dentistry treatments to help you achieve the beautiful and confident smile you’ve always wanted. Our skilled team of qualified dentists will work with you to develop a plan tailored to your specific needs. This can include cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening, veneers, gum contouring, and more. We also provide complete mouth reconstruction services to help restore and replace missing or severely damaged teeth. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can help you get the beautiful smile you deserve!