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

Most dental practitioners offer both general and cosmetic dental services. However, what is the real difference between these two departments? Here is a closer look at both of them to help you understand which service you need.

What is General Dentistry?

General dentistry involves the most basic purpose of dental care: to promote sound and sustainable oral health. Most patients come into dental clinics to receive general dental care. The majority of dental problems are also treated through these services.

General Dental Treatments

Here are the services provided under general dentistry:

  1. Check up and clean. The most common purpose of visiting a dentist is to get your mouth checked, and your teeth cleaned. Dentists recommend getting a professional cleaning every six months to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.
  2. Family dentistry. Whether an infant got his first tooth, a child lost a baby tooth, an adult has an impacted wisdom tooth, or an elderly patient is experiencing gum problems, general dentistry has the solution to all of them. General dental services are available for patients of all ages.
  3. Root canal treatment. When tooth decay has reached deep into the tooth pulp, the only solution is to perform a root canal treatment. In this procedure, the tooth pulp is removed and replaced with an artificial filling.
  4. Tooth extraction. For teeth that can no longer be saved with restorations and treatments, extraction is the only option left. Severely decayed teeth and impacted wisdom teeth are the most common ones to be extracted.
  5. Dental emergency. When a patient experiences extreme tooth pain, or in cases where a patient’s tooth gets accidentally broken or knocked out, it’s essential to get immediate dental care.

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

In the simplest sense, cosmetic dentistry deals more with appearances, although having good-looking teeth also indicates having good dental health. In many cases, cosmetic dentistry overlaps with general dentistry because dentists use cosmetic solutions to fix some dental issues.

For example, after a root canal treatment, dentists use a crown to cover the hole created during the procedure. The crown doesn’t just serve an aesthetic purpose of restoring the tooth’s shape but also restores the tooth’s functionality for better chewing and protects it from further damage.

However, some procedures are also purely cosmetic and only to improve the patient’s appearance, such as a smile makeover.

Cosmetic Dental Treatments

Cosmetic dentistry often uses the following solutions:

  1. Crowns and bridges. These prosthetics aim to restore the appearance of broken, chipped, worn out, and damaged teeth.
  2. Dental implants. These are essentially titanium screws bolted into the gums to act as artificial tooth roots. A crown is usually placed on top of the implant.
  3. Veneers. These are made of thin porcelain materials and are adhered to the surface of the teeth. Veneers are typically applied to the front teeth because of their aesthetic advantage.
  4. Invisalign. For patients who are not interested in traditional braces, Invisalign is the perfect substitute. The dental trays are practically invisible and can be comfortably worn and removed by the patients to their liking.
  5. Teeth Whitening. Patients who have discoloured teeth due to smoking and drinking coffee will benefit the most from this professional treatment.
  6. Smile Makeover. For patients unsatisfied with the appearance of their smile, getting a smile makeover can be the most significant positive change in their lives. A makeover usually involves several cosmetic procedures to enhance the appearance of the teeth and gums.

Which One Do You Need?

For most patients, a complete dental treatment plan involves a number of both general and cosmetic dental services. To find out exactly what you need, we recommend coming in for a comprehensive consultation. We will be happy to perform all the diagnostic tests required to determine what treatments you need for optimal oral health.

Visit Our Dental Clinic Today

Are you wondering what kind of dental treatment you need, or if you even need dental treatment at all? Everyone needs dental care! Visit Coorparoo Dentists today and take charge of your oral health. You may call us at (07) 3608 1061 or send us a message online for more information.