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What Is the Difference Between a General and Cosmetic Dentist?

Quite a variety of dental fields exist today, and two of the most popular professionals in this industry are general and cosmetic dentists. In most instances, patients needing dental work or wanting to see if they have cavities will visit a general dentist who is skilled in providing basic and preventive procedures first. Patients concerned about how their teeth look are more inclined to make an appointment with a cosmetic dentist who is skilled in providing treatments that make the teeth look whiter, brighter, and more natural in appearance. Both general and cosmetic dentists have the skills needed to complete an array of commonly performed dental procedures that are simple or complex in nature.

Can Both General and Cosmetic Dentists Perform Teeth Cleanings and Exams?

A cosmetic dentist has the same basic training that a general dentist receives, but with some additional education having occurred as well. If you visit a cosmetic dentist for teeth whitening, your teeth must first be cleaned in order for the procedure to work well. If you have a severely decayed tooth that needs repair and you go to a cosmetic dentist to obtain an aesthetically appealing solution, the dentist will take x-rays prior to the chosen procedure.


Do General and Cosmetic Dentists Charge Different Prices for the Same Procedure?

It is possible that you will notice pricing variations from one dental provider to another, even among general and cosmetic dentists who can, and often do, perform some of the same procedures. For example, both general and cosmetic dentist have the skills needed to fill a cavity. Cosmetic dentists, who are concerned about the appearance of a patient’s smile will most likely rely on composite fillings, which are designed to match the patient’s existing tooth colour. Since composite fillings are more expensive than amalgam fillings, the price to receive one is going to be higher.


Can General and Cosmetic Dentists Replace a Missing Tooth?

Most general dentists will refer patients who choose to get a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. However, some general dentists and most cosmetic dentists can replace missing teeth with dental bridges.