General vs. Cosmetic Dentistry: What’s the Difference?

Are you confused on the difference between general and cosmetic dentistry? Here's everything you need to know about the two types of dentistry.

Are you interested in getting dental work done?

You are most likely familiar with the term ‘dentist’ and its role in maintaining your teeth for a lifetime. However, over the years, there has been a shift from general to cosmetic dentistry.

But how do you know which type of dentist is right for you?

By understanding what each specialty offers, you can decide which one is right for your needs. Read on to discover more about the differences between general and cosmetic dentistry.

Qualifications for Each field

In terms of qualifications, general dentists must obtain a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. They have to pass a national board exam.

On the other hand, cosmetic dentists require additional skills such as artistic design and understanding color, texture, and shape. They must work with the intricate details of teeth and facial features. Cosmetic dentists must undergo a rigorous period of additional schooling or undergo training and certification. 

Both types of dentists should maintain the certification and licensure required by the state where they practice. These specialists should also take regular continuing education courses to remain competitive in their field. They must also adhere to the American Dental Association’s Code of Ethics.

Diagnostics and Treatment

General dentistry and cosmetic dentistry diagnose and treat problems related to oral health. But the scope of their practice is different.

General dentistry focuses on preventive care, such as regular cleaning. It also diagnoses and treats dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, and other infections.

Cosmetic dentistry focuses more on improving the appearance of the teeth. This is done through restorative and aesthetic treatments. They focus on procedures such as veneers, implants, crowns, and whitening. It also includes reshaping, re-contouring, and realigning teeth and filling in gaps or chips.

When Do Cosmetics and General Dentistry Overlap

When it comes to general and cosmetic dentistry, there are times when they overlap. In some cases, these treatments may be combined to achieve an aesthetic and restorative solution.

For example, a patient may require a veneer for a tooth. However, the veneer would need to be fitted after the patient has received a filling for any cavities or internal damage to the tooth. 

Cost and Insurance Considerations

In terms of cost and insurance considerations, general dentistry tends to be covered more by insurance. Cosmetic dentistry is usually considered to be a separate expense.

Patients must consider the full cost of the procedure when planning their care. Treatments like bi-annual cleaning, dental fillings, and dental implants will be fully or partially covered. Meanwhile, treatments such as teeth whitening and dental veneers will likely not be covered.

You can also check out facilities like this dental clinic for more info on the costs of their services. Getting a proper consultation can help you determine the costs of the services you need.

Exploring the Difference Between General vs. Cosmetic Dentistry

General dentistry and cosmetic dentistry are two distinct disciplines within the same field. When choosing a type of dental care, knowing the difference is essential.

It is vital to incorporate both General and Cosmetic Dentistry. For optimal oral health, schedule an appointment with your local dentist today.

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