Cosmetic vs. General Dentistry: What’s the Difference?

Did you know that 78 percent of all kids in the United States of America will have at least one cavity by the time they reach age 17? While people say that they’re going to the dentist, it is easy to forget that there are multiple types of dentists. Two of the most common types of dentists are the general dentist and the cosmetic dentist.

While both of these dentists help you with the overall wellbeing of your mouth, there is a big difference between general dentistry and that of a cosmetic dentist. Knowing the differences between these two when it comes to dental care will go a long way towards making sure that you visit the right dentist near me for your dental issues.

The good news is that you’re in the right place to learn about the differences between cosmetic dentistry and general dentistry. Continue reading to learn more.

What Is General Dentistry?

When it comes to the field of dentistry, general dentists are the ones that focus on the health aspects of dental care. They provide dental care to patients of all ages and take preventative measures that keep your teeth and your gums healthy. General dentists provide a variety of different services but all of them are built around the goal of keeping your oral health in a good place.

Some common things that a general dentist handles are filling cavities, handling root canals, and extracting teeth. These things help to keep your mouth clean and healthy while providing you with comfort.

One thing that general dentists offer is preventative care. This involves the patient coming to the dentist’s office to get regular checkups and tooth cleanings. They’ll also help to instruct you on how to brush your teeth and floss in the right way to prevent cavities and other things like gingivitis. 

General dentists also provide services like restorative services. This is all about helping to give your teeth the support they need to allow you to live a happy and healthy life. Everything with general dentistry is designed around helping you have a clean and healthy mouth but it isn’t geared towards helping to improve the attractiveness of your smile.

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

A cosmetic dentist is all about helping you to have the most attractive and beautiful smile possible. There are a number of different ways that a cosmetic dentist goes about this process. Some things that a cosmetic dentist handles are whitening your teeth and handling inlays.

They’ll also help you with getting braces or retainers that will help your teeth get straightened for a better and more beautiful smile. Here is a closer look at what you should expect a good cosmetic dentist like those at Smile Solutions to help you with.

Inlays and Onlays

Sometimes teeth decay from cavities to a point that a regular filling isn’t going to cut it. When this happens, a cosmetic dentist will help by giving your teeth inlays. The fillings that a cosmetic dentist chooses to use for inlays and onlays for your teeth come straight from a lab where they’re made.

This task falls to cosmetic dentists because they need to build up the decayed tooth to look healthy and beautiful. From there, they’ll attach the inlays and onlays to the decaying tooth to get it back to looking and feeling healthy and strong. This procedure is great for cosmetic reasons but it also helps with preserving your oral health.

Cosmetic Bonding

Another common procedure that cosmetic dentists handle when it comes to your oral appearance and oral health is cosmetic bonding. This process involves the cosmetic dentist using a material that looks similar to that of your natural teeth in order to repair teeth that have become discolored or damaged over the years.

The color of the cosmetic bonding is meant to match the enamel of your teeth so that no one will notice that the cosmetic work is even there. The process entails the dentist drilling out any decay in your tooth and then reshaping it before giving it a nice polish.

This procedure is great because it is pretty inexpensive and it provides a boost to your oral health as well as to the appearance of your teeth. There is also dental bonding, which is another option that cosmetic dentists have at their disposal. This involves a similar process to composite bonding but the dentist uses a resin instead. This resin matches the color of your teeth and keeps them strong.

Dental Implants

As you get older, it is possible that you’ll lose teeth. This is where the perks of having a cosmetic dentist near you come in. A cosmetic dentist is an expert when it comes to installing dental implants to replace the teeth that you’ve lost over the years.

These teeth look just like your natural teeth so you’ll have a perfect smile and no one will know the difference.


Veneers are another great tool that cosmetic dentists have to work with when it comes to helping the appearance of your teeth. These veneers are often made of porcelain or ceramic and they’re designed to look like your natural teeth. This helps to fix crooked teeth and cover up damage to your tooth’s enamel.

If you have teeth that are discolored or oddly shaped then veneers are a great option for that. Most veneers are custom-made to fit whatever issue you’re facing and to match the color of your natural teeth. The cosmetic dentist will attach these veneers to your teeth using an adhesive. This is most common for the elderly to get this type of dental treatment.

Schedule an Appointment With a Dentist Near Me Today

General dentistry is a great way to keep your teeth healthy and your smile looking great for years to come. It is important that you know the difference between general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry so that you’ll know who to go to for your dental problems. A general dentist will help you take measures for a healthy mouth while a cosmetic dentist will make your smile look beautiful.

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