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What’s in a name? Differences between a general and a cosmetic dentist
Today, two of the most popular professionals in the dental industry are general and cosmetic dentists. Patients who wish to have their teeth professionally cleaned or need preventative and maintenance dental work will visit a general dentist, whereas patients concerned with the appearance of their teeth are more likely to make an appointment with a cosmetic dentist. Both professionals have the skills needed to treat a variety of dental procedures that are simple or complex in nature.
Typically, a general dentist performs dental check-ups, tooth cleaning, and root canal treatments among others. In some cases, a general dentist can also offer cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening, dental bonding with composite materials and porcelain veneers. Nonetheless, the main goal of a general dentist is not to achieve an aesthetically pleasing result. They are focused on fixing common dental problems and alleviating pain.
A cosmetic dentist, on the other hand, deals with the aesthetic issues related to common tooth problems. Some of these problems include discoloured, cracked, chipped or missing teeth. While both general and cosmetic dentists can repair chipped or cracked teeth, a cosmetic dentist will emphasise how your teeth look as the end result of the treatment.
Moreover, due to the complexity of the dental procedures involved in cosmetic dentistry, a cosmetic dentist often uses the latest technology that is not employed in basic dental procedures. Finally, although a cosmetic dentist has the same basic education as a general dentist, they have also received additional training by attending special courses and seminars dedicated to this area of expertise. Ask your cosmetic dentist for verification of this training.
Educating yourself when choosing a dentist is really important. Whether you decide to see a general dentist or a cosmetic dentist for your dental problems, you should do some research in advance because you deserve the best care available. If your general dentist is not qualified for a specific treatment, it is likely that they will refer you to a cosmetic dentist.