What Is The Difference Between General And Cosmetic Dentistry?

What Is The Difference Between General And Cosmetic Dentistry?

June 1, 2023

Dentistry is a field of healthcare that focuses on diagnosing, treating, and preventing oral diseases and conditions. General dentistry involves the routine care of teeth and gums to ensure their overall health and wellness. It includes procedures such as cleanings, fillings, extractions, root canals, and gum disease treatment.

On the other hand, cosmetic dentistry focuses on enhancing teeth’ appearance and improving their aesthetics. It includes teeth whitening, veneers, bonding, and dental implants. While general dentistry may be covered by insurance, cosmetic dentistry typically requires out-of-pocket expenses.

Both types of dentistry are important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Regular visits to a dentist in Pittston can help prevent more serious issues from developing and catch any problems early on. Good dentists will work with their patients to create a comprehensive plan for oral health that addresses both general and cosmetic concerns.

What are the Procedures offered by General Dentists?

One of the most common procedures general dentists offers is routine checkups and cleanings. During these appointments, the dentist will examine your teeth and gums. They will also clean your teeth to remove plaque buildup that can lead to cavities or other issues.

General dentists also offer restorative treatments such as fillings, crowns, and bridges. Fillings can repair teeth damaged by decay, while crowns are placed over existing teeth to protect them from further damage. Bridges are used to replace missing teeth and can improve both the appearance and function of your smile.

What are the Procedures offered by Cosmetic Dentists?

One of the most popular procedures offered by cosmetic dental clinics is teeth whitening. This procedure can remove stains and discoloration from the surface of the teeth, resulting in a brighter and whiter smile. Another common procedure is dental veneers, which involve bonding thin layers of porcelain or composite material to the front surfaces of the teeth to correct minor imperfections like chips, gaps, and discoloration.

Dental veneers are also a popular cosmetic dental procedure that involves placing thin shells over the front surfaces of teeth to improve their shape, size, and color. Veneers can be made from porcelain or composite materials and are long-lasting and easy to maintain.

When Should You Choose A General Dentist Or A Cosmetic Dentist?

A general dentist will be a good choice if you are looking for teeth cleaning or checkups.
However, if you are interested in improving the appearance of your smile, then consider seeing a cosmetic dentist. Cosmetic dentists can provide teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and dental implants.

These procedures can help to improve the overall look of your smile. General dentists can also provide some cosmetic dental services but may not be as experienced or skilled in these procedures.

When Should General & Cosmetic Dentistry Overlap?

There are some instances where general and cosmetic dentistry will intersect. For example, if a cavity in one of your front teeth needs to be filled, your dentist may suggest using tooth-colored filling material rather than metal amalgam. This can improve your smile’s appearance while addressing your oral health needs. Similarly, if you need a crown to repair a damaged tooth, your dentist may recommend a porcelain crown that matches the color of your existing teeth for a more natural look.

Another instance where general and cosmetic dentistry might overlap is during orthodontic treatment. Braces or aligners are typically used to straighten crooked teeth, but this can also improve the overall aesthetics of your smile. Invisalign clear aligners, for example, not only straighten teeth but do so without using visible brackets and wires, making them a popular choice among adults who want to improve their smile without traditional metal braces.


It’s important to understand the difference between general and cosmetic dentistry. While both focus on oral health, general dentistry is more concerned with preventing and treating dental issues such as cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. On the other hand, cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving teeth’ appearance through teeth whitening, veneers, and braces. Discussing your options with a qualified dentist and considering the potential costs before making any decisions is important. Visit Polit & Costello Dentistry for more information.