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

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