The Differences Between Cosmetic and General Dentistry

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While the general dentist performs regular teeth cleanings and root canals, fills cavities, and pulls and repairs teeth, the cosmetic dentist focuses on making the patient’s appearance and smile more aesthetically pleasing. Here are some of the main differences between general and cosmetic dentistry.

Difference in Training

Woman sitting in dentist chair in San Ramon, CA

The general dentist diagnoses and coordinates all the treatments required for the patient’s overall oral health. He or she focuses on the teeth’s function, occasionally using more invasive procedures to solve dental problems involving pain, discomfort, and oral hygiene. Although they may also deal with straightening and whitening teeth, general dentists are not necessarily devoted to achieving an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

On the other hand, cosmetic dentists go through the same education as a general dentist, but they also have some additional specialization and schooling. Cosmetic dentists choose specific training that focuses on less invasive restorative procedures like the reshaping, realigning, and coloring of teeth to improve the appearance, smile, and overall confidence of the patient.

Specific Procedures and Care

Typically, the general dentist fixes dental problems and painful issues through preventative measures, orthodontics, endodontics, periodontology, and prosthodontics, among others. Additional treatments include regular cleanings, full and partial dentures, gum disease, mouth guards, restorative care, and tobacco cessation.

Such procedures as porcelain veneers and crowns are just a few procedures that only a cosmetic dentist may perform. Additional cosmetic dentistry treatments include bleaching, repair of chips and rough spots, reshaping, and closing gaps between the teeth. Cosmetic dentists most likely use composite fillings and color matching techniques designed to satisfy the patient’s desires. Where a general dentist might prescribe metal braces, for example, the cosmetician may use non-metal straightening products like Invisalign.

Dr. Guri S. Dhaliwal DMD and his experienced staff at our San Ramon offices provide comprehensive general dental care and cosmetic dentistry for patients in Blackhawk, Pleasanton, Dublin, Alamo, Walnut Creek, and Livermore, CA. Please call us anytime at 925-244-9770 for an appointment or fill out our contact form.

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