General vs Cosmetic Dentist: What’s The Difference?

Many think of all dentists as being the same. But, there are different types of dentists, including a general and cosmetic dentist.

By understanding the difference between a general and cosmetic dentist, you can better determine which one you should visit for your oral care needs.

General vs Cosmetic Dentist

Although they both deal with periodontal and teeth concerns, there is a difference between a general and cosmetic dentist that should be understood before deciding which dentist and form of treatment is right for you.

The following is everything you need to know about the differences between a general and cosmetic dentist. This includes how to choose between the two.

What is a general dentist?

A general dentist - which many refer to as their primary care dentist - is known for treating a wide range of oral care issues, including the following:

  • Preventive services
  • Restorative care
  • Oral health concerns

Essentially, anything pertaining to the overall health of the mouth is treated by a general dentist. A general dentist can diagnose current and potential oral health concerns. These concerns include tooth infections, impacted wisdom teeth and enamel erosion that can lead to cavities.

A general dentist can also provide restorative care and tooth replacement to those who suffer from missing or severely damaged teeth. The most common methods of restorative care include dental veneers, implants, bridges and dentures.

The main way a general dentist is different than a cosmetic dentist is that a general dentist is less concerned with appearance. Instead, they are more concerned with the overall oral health of the patient.

What is a cosmetic dentist?

A cosmetic dentist is a dentist that is more concerned with the appearance of one’s smile, rather than solely to treat the oral health of the patient.

The main treatment procedures provided by a cosmetic dentist include:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Bonding and veneers
  • Crowns and implants
  • Inlays and onlays

While a cosmetic dentist often helps patients improve their oral health, that is not their main motivation. Instead, they are there to help individuals with an otherwise healthy mouth improve the appearance of their smile.

In many cases, a cosmetic dentist can provide general dentistry procedures. And at the same time helping patients achieve a better smile.

Should I visit a general or cosmetic dentist?

Whether you visit a general or cosmetic dentist depends largely on your exact needs and overall oral health.

If you are for the most part happy with the appearance of your smile, but you suffer from toothaches, eroded enamel or any other oral health concern, a general dentist may be best.

However, anyone who is in overall good health with little to no oral health concerns and wants to improve their smile may benefit more from a cosmetic dentist than a general dentist. A cosmetic dentist can perform various procedures to provide patients with whiter teeth and more. They can even treat smile without any gaps or oddly shaped teeth.

Cosmetic dentists are often the best option for individuals with missing teeth as well. A cosmetic dentist can help patients with missing teeth gain beautiful, artificial teeth replacements, such as dental implants and dentures.

Are you considering a cosmetic dentist in the Coral Gables area? Get more cosmetic dentist information at

Recent Posts

Coral Gables Dentistry — Sedation Dentistry Options To Improve Your Dental Visit Experience

If dental anxiety prevents you from going to the dentist, it is time to consider sedation dentistry. Dentists have various options they can use to help patients relax during procedures. The option selected depends on your level of dental anxiety. Learn about your options and talk to a dentist to find out which level of…

Preventive Dental Services From A General Dentist

A general dentist offers many services. From filling cavities to teaching kids how to brush teeth, your general dentist is there for you. Care that involves stopping a problem before it happens is called preventative care. General dentists happen to specialize in educating patients on this type of care. The education and practice of maintaining…

General Dentistry Visits Are Helpful For Your Oral Health: Learn Why

Visits to our general dentistry office are the one that we often describe as routine visits. Typically these are scheduled six months apart so that we can keep a careful watch on your oral health and ensure that you do not have any unforeseen problems with your mouth. Luckily there is a growing segment of…

5 Questions To Ask Any Dental Office When You First Call

With increasing competition in every field, we have unlimited choices in everything and the same is true for dental hygiene. We have a lot of options when it comes to choosing dental clinics and the right dentist. Choosing a dental clinic can be very tricky at times, as we have very limited knowledge about these…

Recent Posts

Invisalign Clear Aligners For Straightening Teeth

Invisalign Clear Aligners For Straightening Teeth

Instead of braces, Invisalign clear aligners give people more options for straightening teeth. For some individuals, it took years to achieve their goal when wearing traditional braces. Over time, dental laboratories began making braces that fit more comfortably. While that was good news, even better news came in the form of clear aligners. For these,…

Smile Makeover Options For Tooth Gaps

Smile Makeover Options For Tooth Gaps

While a lot of people wear tooth gaps with pride, including celebrities like Madonna, Eddie Murphy and Lauren Hutton, for others this is not what they want and they are looking for smile makeover options. In fact, some people have such a wide gap between their two front teeth that they feel extremely self-conscious when…