general dentistry

General Dentistry Vs Cosmetic Dentistry: What is the Difference?

In the past, dental technology was so limited that there weren’t nearly as many dental treatments as there are today. But with the advancement of dental technology, we have seen a breadth of innovative general dentistry and cosmetic dental treatments to transform the look and feel of our pearly whites. We now see an influx of people seeking the expertise of cosmetic dentists to achieve that perfect smile.

Before technology advanced dentistry, not everyone knew what cosmetic dental treatments are and how they are revolutionising the way our teeth look.

In this post, we will break down the main differences between general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry to help people understand the right treatment for their dental needs.

General Dentistry

The field of dentistry that addresses dental problems associated with general oral health, dental pain and discomfort, and oral hygiene is referred to as general dentistry. It typically includes procedures like tooth extraction, oral prophylaxis, gingivitis treatment, cavity filling, and root canal treatment.

General dentists are not focused on any particular aspect of dental practices, but instead provide a wide range of services. They are the primary dental healthcare providers for people of all ages.

General dental treatments are vital for continued oral health as well as physical health. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common forms of general dentistry treatment:

Root Canal

If a patient’s teeth are decayed severely, the good news is that there are bits of the teeth that are healthy enough to be saved. This treatment aims to protect that remaining bit of healthy teeth.

Dental Implants

Many adults experience tooth loss due to various reasons. For some, tooth loss occurs following tooth decay. Others lose teeth as a result of gum disease or injury. General dentistry can help stimulate the bone and apply a natural-looking implant for the teeth to stay strong.

Fillings and Dentures

Similar to dental implants, fillings and dentures aim to transform a patient’s smile. When patient’s get a functional or permanent temporary filling, they can restore their appearance and smile with confidence.

Cosmetic Dentistry

This field of dentistry goes beyond the usual dental health problems. It focuses more on addressing dental aesthetics and giving patients a smile makeover. Cosmetic dentistry typically involves the repair of dental gaps and discoloured, stained, broken, chipped, worn, and misshapen teeth.

Cosmetic dentists handle different procedures like teeth whitening, dental veneers, dental crowns, dental bonding, and dental bridges. They also handle dental implants as well as inlays and onlays. Let’s look at some of these procedures below.

Teeth Whitening

As its name would suggest, teeth whitening treatment lightens the colour of the teeth. This procedure is done to remove stubborn stains usually caused by regularly drinking coffee, tea, or cola drinks or by smoking cigarettes.

Dental Crowns

This procedure helps protect damaged tooth with a cap. The cap is placed over the damaged tooth to hide any discoloration.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are becoming increasingly popular these days as most people wish to get that Hollywood-ready smile. Veneers are thin coverings either made of composite or porcelain materials. They are placed over the front part of the tooth to correct a wide range of dental issues such as chipped, worn, or stained teeth. While they do not provide a permanent fix to dental issues, they can give a patient a new smile for anywhere between seven and fifteen years.

How Much a Dental Treatment Would Cost You?

You may have to pay a bit more for cosmetic dental treatments. For instance, a cosmetic dentist will use composite fillings over the amalgam ones as they match a patient’s tooth colour better. Composite materials are generally more expensive, which is why cosmetic dentists charge more than general dentists.

Porcelain veneers in the UK can cost somewhere between £650-£950. Full set veneers range from £3,600-£25,000. The cost often goes higher in cities than in rural areas.

When to See a General Dentist and Cosmetic Dentist

Both general and cosmetic dentists earned either a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. They have the skills to perform a variety of both simple and complex dental procedures.

Patients suspecting dental health problems (gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, etc.) usually visit a general dentist first. They are more likely to seek the services of a cosmetic dentist to improve their appearance.

Most people will choose to use both general and cosmetic dentistry throughout their lifetime. That said, whether you should see a general or cosmetic dentist depends on your particular needs.

To decide which techniques are best for your oral hygiene and the overall look and health of your teeth, it is best to consult with a well-qualified dentist who understands the benefits of both general and cosmetic dental treatments. Your dentist will assess your oral health and discuss your dental needs to determine which treatment is best for you. So, if you are having dental problems and want to improve your teeth, seek the expertise of your dentist.

Schedule an Appointment with a Skilled Dentist Today

Whether you are experiencing a dental emergency or looking to improve your smile with bright, pearly whites, Byways Dental Practice has the right treatment plan for you. From children’s dentistry to cosmetic and emergency dentistry, we provide a wide range of dental services. Call us on 01491 680 412 to schedule an appointment.