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What Is The Difference Between A Dentist And A Cosmetic Dentist?

Oftentimes, people visit the dental office without an idea who they will be meeting for their dental care and treatment needs. Similar to a lawyer, dentists have different areas of specialization. These specialization areas are what stand one dentist apart from another. Depending on their area of specialization, a dentist may or may not be able to address the dental problem that you have presented. The inability of a dentist Campbelltown to handle your dental problem based on their area of expertise is what leads to referrals.

The dental field has grown over the years, with many areas of specialization, you may find that your dentist may be unable to handle certain needs of yours and may have to refer you to another specialist based on their field of practice. An orthodontist is trained in the areas of straightening the teeth while addressing common problems like malocclusion, underbites, overbites, crowded teeth, and others.

A cosmetic dentist is focused on improving the appearance and appeal of your smile and may be able to get this done through procedures like teeth whitening, dental bonding, tooth filling, dental implants, and others. A general dentist is focused on your oral health and wellness.

Identifying the differences between a dentist and a cosmetic dentist requires you to pay attention to certain factors including;


A cosmetic dentist is trained extensively to perform a wide range of procedures that improves the appearance and appeal of the teeth and smile. While a general dentist may offer certain services like dental fillings, root canal treatment, and treatment of gingivitis, all of which overlap into the cosmetic dentistry field, they are unable to perform specific procedures as a cosmetic dentist would.

A cosmetic dentist, during their years of training, would have learned to address common dental problems that affect the aesthetics of the teeth and smile. The cosmetic dentist’s goal is also slightly different from the general dentist’s. The general dentist is focused on maintaining oral health and wellness while the cosmetic dentist is focused on improving the aesthetics of the patient’s smile.

With regards to training, a general dentist may have passed through the minimum requirement to become a dentist while a cosmetic dentist will be required to do more in terms of training after the completion of dental school. Added to this, most cosmetic dentists attend several cosmetic seminars and training that are designed to keep them abreast of the latest improvements in their field. For example, cosmetic dentists who offer Invisalign aligners to patients have to undergo special training to be able to offer this service.


Both a general and cosmetic dentist are expected to have the knowledge required to practice. However, the experience gathered will depend on their exposure to patients as well as the range of conditions that have been presented to them by patients. A general dentist may have more years of experience providing dental cleaning, oral examination, and oral cancer screening, as well as other general and preventive dentistry procedures but may be lacking in specific areas like teeth whitening, Invisalign aligners, braces, dental implants, dental veneers, dental crowns, dental fillings, and more which are particular to the cosmetic dentist.

Services Rendered

A general dentist offers services that are generally tailored towards protecting the natural teeth while also enhancing the oral health of the patient. Some of the common services offered by general dentists include dental cleaning, x-rays, dental examinations, tooth extractions, gum disease treatments, root canal treatments, dental fillings, and more.

On the other hand, a cosmetic dentist focuses on improving the appearance and aesthetics of the teeth by masking common blemishes and stains, repairing broken, cracked, or chipped teeth, and addressing missing tooth problems. Some of the common services offered by a cosmetic dentist include teeth whitening, teeth bonding, dental veneers, porcelain crowns, and total smile makeovers.

Are There Differences in the Price of Services?

A cosmetic dentist would have invested more in him/herself by attending seminars and training that allow them to stay on top of the latest practices and procedures in the cosmetic dental field. With this, they are able to command more in terms of the price of the services rendered. In addition to this, the price of the services rendered will also depend on the technology that is being used which means a cosmetic dentist gets to charge more.

How to Decide Who to Visit

This is quite simple. If you are faced with common dental problems that cause you pain and discomfort or you wish to stay updated with your oral health practices, a general dentist is the one to visit. The general dentist will conduct a comprehensive examination to uncover any problem with your oral health. On the other hand, if you are looking to improve the appearance of your teeth as well as the quality of your smile, visiting a cosmetic dentist is the right thing to do.