What is the Difference Between a General Dentist and a Cosmetic Dentist?

There aren’t too many people out there who enjoy a trip to the dentist, but it’s nice to know that there are dental professionals who are willing to assist you regardless of your wants or needs.

As a patient, it’s important to understand the difference between a general dentist and a cosmetic dentist. While they’re both trained to provide dental services, what they offer differs greatly. 

What is a General Dentist?

A general dentist acts as your primary care dental provider. This is the person you see for regular check-ups or basic concerns, such as tooth sensitivity. They can diagnose, treat, and manage a variety of dental care concerns such as:

  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Gum care
  • Root canals
  • Bridges veneers

If you require specialty care, your general dentist can refer you to a specialist in your local area. For example, your dentist may not be comfortable pulling teeth or performing advanced cosmetic procedures.

What is a Cosmetic Dentist?

With a focus on cosmetic dentistry, these healthcare professionals provide services designed to improve the appearance of your teeth and smile. Think about it this way: a general dentist will help keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy, while a cosmetic dentist is more concerned with your appearance. 

Some of the many services provided by a cosmetic dentist include:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Ceramic restorations
  • Tooth-colored fillings 
  • Teeth straightening 

How to Find the Right Dentist

It doesn’t matter if you’re searching for a general dentist or cosmetic dentist, you must make an informed and confident decision. Here are three basic steps you can take to find the right dentist:

  • Read online reviews
  • Ask your friends and family for a referral
  • Call the office and ask questions

Furthermore, if you require the services of a cosmetic dentist, ask your general dentist if they have any recommendations. There’s a very good chance they can point you in the right direction.

Now that you know the difference between a general dentist and a cosmetic dentist, you can decide which type to visit based on your requirements.