There is a lot of confusion when it comes to general and cosmetic dentistry. Are these doctors interchangeable? The answer is no. General dentistry is focused on the overall health of your teeth and gums. Cosmetic dentistry is focused on the appearance of your teeth.
As of 2021, there are 201,927 professionally active dentists in the U.S. With so many available, it can be difficult to determine which general or cosmetic dentist you should visit. We’ve decided to bring you a brief guide that will help you answer this important question.
Read on to learn more about general and cosmetic dentistry and determine which one to visit.
The Difference Between General and Cosmetic Dentistry
The Difference Between General and Cosmetic Dentistry is that General Dentistry is the branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of conditions and diseases of the mouth, teeth, and gums.
Cosmetic Dentistry, on the other hand, is the branch of dentistry that deals with the enhancement of the appearance of the teeth, mouth, and smile. You may view this cosmetic dentist website for more details about what they can do.
Even so, there can be cosmetic procedures that have dental health benefits, and at the same time, there can also be general dentists that perform a range of cosmetic procedures. Did this confuse you? Keep on reading.
Areas Where General and Cosmetic Dentistry Overlap
While General Dentistry and Cosmetic Dentistry are two distinct fields of study, they may overlap in some areas. Certain areas where they do overlap include:
1. Dental Implants
Dental implants are a great way to improve the appearance of your teeth and at the same time, they provide support for your teeth. This means that they can help to prevent further tooth loss.
2. Dental Veneers
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are bonded to the front of teeth to improve their appearance. While veneers are typically considered to be a cosmetic procedure, they can also be used to fix a variety of dental concerns, such as gaps, chips, and stains.
3. Dental Bridges
Cosmetically, dental bridges are used to fill in gaps left by missing teeth. Functionally, they can help with chewing and speaking.
4. Tooth Bonding
Tooth bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure in which tooth-colored composite resin is applied to the surface of a tooth to improve its appearance. Although bonding is usually considered a cosmetic procedure, it can also be used for functional purposes, such as to fill a cavity.
If someone has lost all of their teeth, they will need dentures for functional purposes. On the other hand, someone who has only lost a few teeth may get dentures for cosmetic reasons.
While extractions are typically thought of as a last resort when it comes to dealing with damaged or decayed teeth, there are also many times when extractions are performed for purely cosmetic reasons. For instance, if a person has severely overcrowded teeth, their dentist may recommend having one or more teeth extracted to create more space.
Choosing Between General and Cosmetic Dentists
Though both general and cosmetic dentists are qualified to perform a majority of the same dental procedures, there are a few key differences that patients should be aware of. With that being said, patients should choose the type of dentist that best suits their needs. Ultimately, the goal of both general and cosmetic dentistry is to help people achieve and maintain healthy, beautiful teeth.
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