Most people think that when you need to get something done with your teeth, you just go to the dentist. However, dentistry is a field with diverse specializations and subfields. Cosmetic dentistry is a specialized field of dentistry that caters to purely cosmetic dentistry procedures. This is one of the many differences between general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. Read on to learn more.
Both cosmetic and general dentistry address dental issues like:
–general oral health
However, while both general and cosmetic dentistry can address these problems, they often differ on how these treatments are delivered, the experience and credentials of the person performing the procedure, and overall costs.
Your general dentist is your primary dental health provider. He or she diagnoses and treats common dental problems and meets your oral health care needs by performing regular dental examinations, teeth cleanings, extractions, straightening and alignment, among other procedures.
General dentistry is seen as the more affordable option between the two. This is because in general dentistry, dental problems mentioned above are fixed using using metal fillings, metal crowns, metal braces and removable dentures. Metal fillings, crowns and braces are less expensive but they tend to be uncomfortable, contract and expand according to changes in temperature, may damage the base of the tooth and are easily visible. Removable dentures, when not measured properly, may be ill-fitting and appear fake.
A general dentist is typically focused on fixing dental problems and relieving any pain stemming from any dental problem. However, general dentistry is also preventative in nature. This means that most general dentists ensure that you get routine examinations and that your teeth is cleaned regularly to prevent cavities and tooth decay that may require more expensive restorative procedures later on.
This is the reason why some dental patients resort to cosmetic dentistry. A cosmetic dentist is trained to fix common dental problems such as the ones mentioned above using new techniques and materials to produce results that improve the function and the look of
Cosmetic dentistry involves the use of porcelain fillings, crowns and veneers, and dental implants which are more realistic, lasts longer and fit comfortably in the mouth. Cosmetic dentistry also utilizes new technology such as Invisalign which allows teeth straightening using invisible braces. Conventional metal braces are clunky, oppressive and conspicuous. They can also be very painful especially after the braces are adjusted. Invisalign braces do not cause any discomfort when worn, and they virtually invisible, so you can keep your natural smile even while wearing braces. They are removable and do not cause any difficulty when the wearer is eating.
A cosmetic dentist also performs tooth whitening using the latest technology designed to reduce enamel damage. This procedure takes half the time as conventional teeth whitening techniques.
Cosmetic dentistry procedures often cost more than general dentistry procedures because they use the most advanced technology available. Cosmetic dentistry clinics also employ specialists in cosmetic dentistry and this adds to the cost. Dental materials, the extent of the treatment and aftercare all contribute to the overall cost of any cosmetic dental procedure. And unlike general dental procedures, most insurance policies will only pay out for a cosmetic procedure if and when the patient can show a demonstrable need for the procedure.
General and cosmetic dentistry are both concerned with maintaining your oral health and fixing tooth problems. General dentistry is often more affordable, but cosmetic dentistry incorporates an aesthetic component to ensure that teeth are not only healthy but they look good as well. Consider the differences mentioned above to make an informed decision about what kind of service you need the next time you visit your dentist.