Cosmetic Dentistry vs. General Dentistry: How to Tell Which One You Need

Cosmetic Dentistry vs. General Dentistry: How to Tell Which One You Need

Advancement in dental technology have made it easier than ever to get the perfect smile. But with so many different types of dentistry available, it can be challenging to know which one is right for you. Cosmetic and general dentistry are two of the most popular options, but how do you know which one you need?

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of your teeth and smile. It is often used to correct issues such as stained teeth, gaps between teeth, and broken teeth. General dentistry focuses on the overall health of your teeth and gums. It includes preventive care such as cleanings, exams, dental X-rays, and treatments for cavities and gum disease. What you need will depend on your individual goals for your dental health.

What Does a Cosmetic Dentist Do?

A cosmetic dentist specializes in improving the appearance of your teeth and smile. They have completed additional training beyond dental school to specialize in aesthetic treatments. They can perform various smile makeover procedures such as whitening, veneers, bonding, and reshaping. These treatments are designed to correct discoloration, chips, gaps, and misalignment.

Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Services

Cosmetic dentistry offers a wide range of aesthetic procedures to improve the appearance of your teeth and smile. These include whitening, veneers, bonding, reshaping, and more.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic procedure that can help to brighten and whiten your teeth. It is a safe and effective way to remove stains and discoloration caused by aging, smoking, or certain foods and drinks. The process involves applying a special bleaching gel to the teeth which are then activated with a light or laser. The results are immediate and can last for up to two years.

Dental Veneers

If you have chips, cracks, or gaps in your teeth, dental veneers can help to improve their appearance. Veneers are thin porcelain shells bonded to the front of your teeth. They can be used to correct a variety of issues, such as discolored teeth, chips, gaps, and misaligned teeth.

Dental veneers can either be made from porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain veneers are custom-made to match the color of your natural teeth and can be done in two visits. Composite resin veneers can be done in one office visit and are applied directly to the tooth.

Composite Bonding

Dental bonding is another treatment option to repair chips, cracks, and gaps in teeth. This cosmetic dentistry procedure involves applying a tooth-colored composite resin material to the affected area and then sculpting it into the desired shape. The resin is then hardened with a special light or laser. This is an excellent option for those who want to improve the appearance of their teeth without having to undergo more invasive treatments.

Gum Reshaping

Gum reshaping involves removing excess gum tissue around the teeth to create a more even and symmetrical look. This can help to reduce the appearance of “gummy” smiles, where too much gum tissue covers the teeth. Gum reshaping is a relatively simple procedure that can be done in one visit and requires no downtime.

What Does a General Dentist Do?

A general dentist specializes in diagnosing, treating, and preventing oral health issues. They provide preventive care such as cleanings, exams, X-rays, and treatments for cavities and gum disease. They can also diagnose and treat more complex dental problems and perform services such as root canals, crowns, and bridges.

Treatments Associated with General Dentistry

Teeth Cleanings

Routine cleaning involves removing plaque and tartar from the teeth to prevent cavities and gum disease. This is done using special tools such as an ultrasonic scaler or hand scaler.

Oral Exam

Your dentist will check for any signs of tooth decay, infection, or other issues during a dental exam. They may also take X-rays to get a better look at what’s going on inside your mouth. Your dentist will also examine your gums and jaw joint to ensure everything is functioning properly.

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride treatment helps to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. It involves applying a fluoride gel or foam to the teeth, which is then absorbed into the enamel. This dental treatment helps to remineralize the tooth and make it more resistant to decay. Fluoride treatments can be done in the dentist’s office or at home with special trays and gels.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant forms a protective barrier over the enamel, which prevents bacteria and food particles from getting stuck in the grooves and causing cavities.

Root Canal Therapy

Root canal therapy is a dental procedure used to treat an infected or damaged tooth. This helps to prevent further infection and preserve the remaining healthy tooth structure.

Cavity Fillings

Dental fillings are a common treatment for cavities. During this procedure, the dentist removes the decayed portion of the tooth and then fills it with a material such as an amalgam, composite resin, or porcelain. Tooth fillings help restore the tooth’s strength and function and prevent further decay. They also help to improve the appearance of teeth by filling in any gaps or cracks.

Dental Crowns and Bridges

Crowns and bridges are two common restorative treatments used to restore damaged or missing teeth. A crown is a cap placed over an entire tooth to protect it from further damage and restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance. Bridges are false teeth held in place by crowns on either side of the gap left by a missing tooth.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a permanent solution for replacing missing teeth. They are titanium posts surgically implanted into the jawbone to act as artificial tooth roots. The implant is then topped with a crown, bridge, or denture to replace the missing tooth. Dental implants provide a secure and natural-looking replacement for missing teeth and can last a lifetime with proper dental care and maintenance.

How to Determine Which Type of Dentistry You Need?

When determining which type of treatment you need, you must consider your individual needs and goals. If you are looking for a treatment to improve the look of your smile, such as whitening or veneers, you will likely need to visit a cosmetic dentist. However, a general dentist may be the best option for you if you are looking for more general treatments such as dental cleanings, fillings, or root canals. At North Atlanta Family Dentistry we offer both general and cosmetic services so you can conveniently get everything you need all at one place.

Contact Our Dental Office Today!

If you’re unsure which type of dental service is right for you, contact our office today to schedule a consultation. Our experienced team of dentists can help you determine which type of treatment is best for your individual needs and goals. We look forward to helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile!