A Few of the Key Differences Between General Dentistry and Cosmetic Dentistry

general dentistryApproximately 32% of adults say that they’re concerned by the appearance of their teeth. For some, the issue is discoloration, but for others, it may be a poor bite or misaligned teeth. No matter the problem, most people go see a dentist to fix it.

But what type of dentistry is best for which issue? General dentistry and cosmetic dentistry handle different aspects of oral health. Here are a few key differences that you should be aware of before visiting one type of dentist or the other.

Hygiene
The focus of a general family dentist is on oral hygiene. General dental visits are scheduled twice annually to ensure good health and oral hygiene habits. In addition, general dentists correct issues that are causing pain, discomfort, or oral disease. Routine functions include things like filling cavities, pulling teeth, and performing routine examinations. The only cosmetic procedures a general dentistry practice usually performs are teeth whitening and bonding.

Appearance
Cosmetic dentistry, as the name implies, focuses more on the cosmetic appearance of teeth. For example, if you’re concerned about crooked teeth or an over/under bite, then a cosmetic dentist is where you would normally go. In addition, cosmetic dentists handle dental implants and bridges at their practices. Dental veneers are a common practice for cosmetic dentists.

Basic Education
While it’s important for every dental professional to receive the same level of basic dentistry education, there are certain requirements that cosmetic dentists must meet that general dentists do not. Most general dentists, after discussing what a patient needs, will refer them to a cosmetic dentist if the situation calls for it.

Price
While price should never be your first thought at a necessary dental procedure, it’s important to know that cosmetic dentists may charge differently than general dentists. In addition, cosmetic procedures may not always be covered by medical or dental insurance. It’s important to pay attention to such details.

Next time you’re at the dentist and have a concern about the appearance of your teeth, you’ll have a little bit more knowledge about how general and cosmetic dentistry differ, and which may be better suited to your issue.