For those looking to achieve a whiter, brighter smile, a cosmetic dentist can help people meet their goals with satisfying and long-lasting results. A professional tooth whitening is a relatively simple and straightforward procedure. However, it is important that patients understand the process and necessary follow-up care to enjoy a more favorable outcome.When a dental…
General vs. Cosmetic Dentist: Which Is the Better Option
If you need a specific dental procedure done or are looking for a new provider to take care of your smile, it is important to understand whether a general dentist or cosmetic dentist is the right professional for the needed services. While both types of dentists are required to have achieved a doctor of dental surgery or a doctor of medicine in dentistry degree, each focuses on unique aspects of dental work. If not sure which provider to go to, patients should make the following considerations.
What is the goal of treatment?
Patients should consider the goal of any dental work when choosing the type of dental provider to address the situation.
Prevent or treat dental health issues
For patients who need treatment to address a dental health issue, visiting a general dentist is a good choice. People often feel more comfortable having procedures done by someone they already have an established relationship with. Additionally, this provider is a better fit if an individual does not need a specific procedure done and is only trying to find a provider who can perform routine cleanings and examinations.
Achieve a more attractive smile
While cosmetic dentists started in general dentistry and have adequate experience and knowledge about dental health, these dental professionals specialize in procedures concerned with the aesthetics of the mouth. If a patient’s primary goal is to achieve brighter, straighter teeth and an overall more beautiful smile, a cosmetic dentist can help.
What services are needed?
There is often some overlap in the procedures that can be performed by a general dentist and those that can be provided by a cosmetic dentist. Some patients may first ask the provider they regularly see about a certain service only to learn it is not offered by the general dentist.
General dentists are primarily concerned with preventative care and oral health treatments, which often include treating cavities, performing root canals, addressing chipped teeth, whitening teeth, and installing crowns.
Cosmetic dentists offer a larger selection of aesthetic-focused services that can be used to completely transform an individual’s smile:
- Crowns: Caps, often made from porcelain, that cover a tooth or an implant to restore function and make it more attractive
- Veneers: Porcelain or composite resin shells placed on the outside of a tooth to cover up blemishes and improve shape and shade
- Bonding: A procedure involving the placement of tooth-colored resin to address chips, reshape the tooth, or close gaps between the teeth
- Inlays and onlays: Restorative treatments used instead of fillings to cover cavities and preserve tooth structure
- Teeth whitening: Custom at-home trays or in-house bleaching for whitening the teeth and removing stains
- Teeth shaping: The process of removing parts of a tooth’s enamel to make its shape more desirable
- Gum contouring: A procedure used to shorten and contour the gum, often used for people with a “gummy smile”
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Cosmetic Dentist in Long Beach, CA
Anyone who needs dental work performed should understand the different types of dental providers available before deciding who will do the procedure. While general dentists offer a broad range of services and are highly skilled at addressing oral health concerns, a cosmetic dentist is the ideal provider for improving the overall appearance of the mouth.
A cosmetic dentist can recommend various treatments to improve the appearance of teeth. Most cosmetic treatments are elective and not intended to restore function; however, they help patients attain a beautiful and confident smile. The goal of cosmetic dentistry is to enhance a patient's smile by improving the teeth's appearance regarding:ColorShapeAlignmentSizeSpacingEvery mouth has different proportions…
One of the most popular procedures performed by a cosmetic dentist is teeth whitening. Because in-office treatments deliver immediate results, many people choose to invest in this option to enhance their smile.Although this procedure is performed frequently, many patients are unaware there are steps to take before the appointment that can help ensure the results…