Cosmetic Dentistry vs. General Dentistry

Posted on July 4th, 2022

When it comes to dental care, there are two main types of dentistry: cosmetic and general. Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of your teeth. General dentistry is more concerned with overall oral health. So, which one is right for you?

The answer depends on your needs and goals. General dentistry is the answer if you need regular check-ups and teeth cleaning. However, cosmetic dentistry is what you need if you want a smile makeover or to fix teeth problems like a chipped tooth. Fortunately Dr. Ramon Bana, DDS provides patients with both Cosmetic and General dentistry under one roof.

Let’s look at the similarities and differences between both fields of dentistry.

What is General Dentistry?

General dentists are the primary providers of dental healthcare for everyone in the family. They are the experts in oral health, more concerned with addressing dental problems and restoring teeth to their natural appearance and function.

You go to a general dentist when you have dental problems associated with pain, discomfort, and oral hygiene. They can help you maintain healthy teeth and gums and treat dental problems like tooth decay, missing teeth, and gum disease.

General dentists provide a wide range of restorative procedures, including filling cavities, root canal work, and tooth extractions. Preventive care includes routine dental examinations, professional teeth cleaning, and oral cancer screening.

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is more focused on the overall appearance of your teeth. A cosmetic dentist focuses more on giving you a total smile makeover by repairing your teeth. They fix chipped, discolored, uneven gaps or broken teeth.

Cosmetic dentistry procedures include the following:

  • Composite bonding
  • Dental bridges
  • Dental Crowns
  • Dental implants
  • Dentures
  • Inlays and onlays
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Teeth whitening
  • Tooth-colored fillings

To sum it up, general dentistry focuses on medical concerns regarding your dental health. Cosmetic dentistry focuses on the aesthetic approach to providing treatment for your teeth and gums.

Differences between general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry

Both general and cosmetic dentists can perform restorative and preventive procedures. They can provide x-rays, offer Invisalign, clean and whiten teeth, fill cavities, and add bridges, veneers, and crowns.

The main difference between the two is a general dentist cares more for the basic dental needs of the whole family. A cosmetic dentist focuses more on how your teeth look after a procedure and on improving your smile. Cosmetic dentists have general dentistry training but may have additional degrees and licenses that general dentists do not need.

For example, you need a filling. The general dentist may just put metal filling to cover the sensitive inside of your tooth to restore its strength. On the other hand, a cosmetic dentist will use a resin filling that matches the color and shape of your natural tooth.

There are procedures in which only one specific dentist is the expert. If you need a root canal procedure, you should visit a general dentist. A cosmetic dentist focuses on the surface and looks of the tooth and may not have the experience needed for a more intensive root canal procedure. Meanwhile, if you get a chipped front tooth, a cosmetic dentist is the expert in restoring your natural smile.

Overlapping procedures between general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry

Although general and cosmetic dentistry have unique specializations, they are interconnected and share some standard functions. There are situations when procedures overlap.

Some procedures include both functionality and aesthetics. If your teeth are stained or cracked, the dental veneer used to mask them falls under the cosmetic aspect, but it’s also considered a restorative treatment because it protects your teeth from more damage.

In the case of dentures, they improve your appearance by filling the gaps left by missing teeth in your mouth (cosmetic dentistry). At the same time, they solve problems to free you from biting difficulties and slurred speech (general dentistry).

Bottom Line

General and cosmetic dentistry work together to give people beautiful smiles inside out. Whether you are in pain from a gum infection or want to maintain your dental health, your dentist can help. If you want whiter teeth and a dazzling smile, see your cosmetic dentist.

Regularly seeing a dentist is one of the best ways to protect oral health. When you have a brilliant smile, you will naturally have more confidence. It’s important to know what type of treatment you need to go to the right dentist to help you. 

If you need both general and cosmetic dentistry services, visit a dental practice with experienced professionals. Schedule an appointment with us to learn more about our different general and cosmetic dentistry services.

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About Ramon Bana, DDS

Dr. Bana’s patients describe him as down-to-earth, professional and full of heart. He is talented and strives to make each patient leave the office feeling better than when they arrived. Patient comfort is his top priority, and patients say they feel like extended family. He is dedicated to his practice, patients and team – and it shows. Dr. Bana loves coming to work because his work changes people for the better. Patients leave his care healthier, happier and with brighter smiles.