Cosmetic or General Dentistry?

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Deciding whether to go to a cosmetic dentist or to a general dentist can be tricky. Depending on the treatment you happen to need, it’s important to find the best dentist for your specific situation. While there usually is some cross-over between the two areas, a general dentist is primarily concerned with the health of your teeth, while a cosmetic dentist is concerned with the look of your teeth.

All cosmetic dentists have general dentistry knowledge. Likewise, all general dentists offer some form of cosmetic enhancement, either as a separate treatment or as part of the regular routine of health (daily brushing, for example, will keep your teeth healthy and white). Unless you know for sure that your desired procedure is purely cosmetic, your first stop should be your general dentist.

For example, if you think you have some decay, a good dentist can examine you, x-ray your mouth, and let you know the extent of the damage. You may only need a filling or two, which can usually be handled by the same dentist who did the examination. If the decay is severe enough, you may need a tooth extraction, in which case a replacement tooth (or teeth) must be created and installed. Not all general dentists perform that kind of extensive reconstruction, so at this point you may be referred to a good dentist in the cosmetic and restorative field.

However, if you desire a purely cosmetic procedure for otherwise healthy teeth, you may be better served scheduling an appointment directly with a cosmetic dentist. Be advised, though, that cosmetic procedures (such as veneers or laser teeth whitening) are not covered under most dental plans. Unless you are undergoing surgery to correct a congenital abnormality or repair trauma-induced damage, expect to pay for your procedure out-of-pocket.

During your next deep teeth cleaning, ask your local dentist if he or she thinks you might benefit from any cosmetic procedures. If the procedure is not one they themselves perform, ask if there are any good dentists in the cosmetic field they might be able to recommend. Because a healthy smile is more than a sign of good dental health – it’s also important for our peace of mind. Ger more information on this topic here.

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