General dentistry and aesthetic dentistry are two distinct branches of dentistry that focus on different aspects of oral health. Knowing the difference between the two can help you determine which type of dentist is right for you. A cosmetic dentist specializes in improving the appearance of your teeth and gums. As described by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), cosmetic dentists offer a wide range of aesthetic procedures, such as teeth whitening, dental implants, dental bonding, and veneers.
A cosmetic dentist has the same basic training as a general dentist, but has also received additional education. If you visit a cosmetic dentist to whiten your teeth, they will first clean your teeth for the procedure to be effective. If you have a heavily decayed tooth that needs repair and you go to an aesthetic dentist for an aesthetically attractive solution, they will take x-rays before the chosen procedure. A cosmetic dentist receives extensive training in many different procedures.
General dentists practice many of the same services as cosmetic dentists, such as fillings, root canals, and gingivitis treatment. However, aesthetic dentists learn to solve dental problems while taking into account the aesthetics of the smile. While they will continue to consider the health of their teeth and gums, their goals are slightly different from those of a general dentist. Their training includes how to perform even general procedures and make them look good.
For example, an aesthetic dentist may fill a patient's cavity with the same technique as a general dentist, but will be in charge of choosing a filling that closely matches existing teeth. Even with posterior crowns that no one will see, an aesthetic dentist will take the time to make sure that it blends perfectly with the other teeth. It is important to understand the roles of cosmetic and general dentists so that you can make the right choice for your dental needs. When it comes to creating a beautiful smile, there is no doubt that an aesthetic dentist is the best solution.
Although it is not a recognized specialty, there are ways in which someone who wants to become a cosmetic dentist can differentiate themselves and complete specialized training beyond dental school. By attending professional courses or programs, an aesthetic dentist acquires specific training in the field of aesthetics and develops certain skills that will help improve the appearance of your teeth. Cosmetic dentists try to provide you with good oral care while giving you a white, fresh and natural smile. You may notice price variations from one dental provider to another, even among general and aesthetic dentists who can, and often do, perform some of the same procedures.