If you need a specific dental procedure done or are looking for a new provider to take care of your smile, it is important to understand whether a general dentist or cosmetic dentist is the right professional for the needed services. While both types of dentists are required to have achieved a doctor of dental surgery or a doctor of medicine in dentistry degree, each focuses on unique aspects of dental work. If not sure which provider to go to, patients should make the following considerations.
Patients should consider the goal of any dental work when choosing the type of dental provider to address the situation.
For patients who need treatment to address a dental health issue, visiting a general dentist is a good choice. People often feel more comfortable having procedures done by someone they already have an established relationship with. Additionally, this provider is a better fit if an individual does not need a specific procedure done and is only trying to find a provider who can perform routine cleanings and examinations.
While cosmetic dentists started in general dentistry and have adequate experience and knowledge about dental health, these dental professionals specialize in procedures concerned with the aesthetics of the mouth. If a patient’s primary goal is to achieve brighter, straighter teeth and an overall more beautiful smile, a cosmetic dentist can help.
There is often some overlap in the procedures that can be performed by a general dentist and those that can be provided by a cosmetic dentist. Some patients may first ask the provider they regularly see about a certain service only to learn it is not offered by the general dentist.
General dentists are primarily concerned with preventative care and oral health treatments, which often include treating cavities, performing root canals, addressing chipped teeth, whitening teeth, and installing crowns.
Cosmetic dentists offer a larger selection of aesthetic-focused services that can be used to completely transform an individual’s smile:
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Anyone who needs dental work performed should understand the different types of dental providers available before deciding who will do the procedure. While general dentists offer a broad range of services and are highly skilled at addressing oral health concerns, a cosmetic dentist is the ideal provider for improving the overall appearance of the mouth.