What is the Difference Between a General Dentist and a Cosmetic Dentist?

Cosmetic dentistry is one of the biggest trends in modern dentistry; as it becomes more accessible, more people are taking steps to pursue the smile of their dreams. But what exactly is the difference between a regular dentist and a cosmetic dentist? We’ll break it down for you today.


What is a Cosmetic Dentist?

A cosmetic dentist is a dental professional that specializes in the improvement and customization of the look of the teeth and gums.

Cosmetic dentists have all of the same training and education as general dentists; they can perform the same procedures and tasks that regular dentists do. Both cosmetic and general dentists have the ability to take x-rays and complete procedures such as fillings, crown and bridge preparations, general examinations, and more.

The main difference between a cosmetic dentist and a general dentist is that cosmetic dentists specialize in aesthetic and cosmetic dental treatment; they undergo additional training and schooling to ensure that they are well-equipped to help their patients achieve the smile of their dreams. 

Surprisingly enough, cosmetic dentistry is not considered to be an official dental specialty. Though it is not one of the ten recognized dental specialties, there are accredited programs that dental professionals can undergo to prove that they have pursued the necessary training and education needed to provide patients with comprehensive cosmetic dental treatment.

While your general dentist may be the perfect fit for your restorative and preventative dental treatment, it is always best to entrust your cosmetic dental treatment to a cosmetic dental professional.


What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is the term used for the dental treatments used to make cosmetic and aesthetic changes to the smile. Rather than focusing on preserving or restoring the health and structure of the teeth, cosmetic dentistry focuses on altering the appearance of the teeth to improve the look of the smile and achieve the patient’s ‘dream smile’. 

For patients who are looking to change or customize the look of their smile, cosmetic dentists offer a wide range of specialized services. 

 Examples of cosmetic dentistry include:

  • Dental veneers: Thin layers of composite or porcelain that are placed directly over the surface of the teeth. Veneers allow for quick and complete customization of the look of the teeth.
  • Dental implants: Titanium devices that are placed inside of the jawbone to replace the roots of a missing natural tooth and act as an anchor for a dental crown. Dental implants are considered to be the closest imitation to the natural tooth structure.
  • Dental crowns/bridges: Caps that are placed directly over the natural tooth to provide a protective cap. The shade, size, and shape of the crown or bridge are fully customized to match the natural teeth.
  • Dental bondings: Small amounts of dental bonding material are used to correct chips and cracks.
  • Invisalign: Invisalign makes use of a set of discreet clear aligner trays to align the teeth rather than using traditional metal wires and brackets.
  • Gum contouring/gum grafting: If the patient has too much gum that shows when smiling, they have the option of having their gums contoured. If the patient does not have enough gum or experiences gum recession, they have the option of undergoing gum grafting.
  • Teeth whitening (both in-office and take-home): It is quite common to experience staining or yellowing of the smile. Undergoing teeth whitening can lift layers of stains to reveal a brighter and whiter smile.
  • Tooth-colored fillings: Rather than restoring damaged or decayed teeth with silver fillings, tooth-colored fillings provide a discrete option that is matched to the shade of the tooth.
  • Smile makeover: full-service cosmetic dental treatment that is designed to completely alter the look of the smile

The type of cosmetic dental treatment that you pursue in our Sydney dental office will depend upon what you wish to change about the look of your teeth and gums.


Digital Smile Design

One of the most impressive developments made in the cosmetic dental industry is the Digital Smile Design (DSD) system. Here at FY Smile, we are proud to operate as an official Digital Smile Design clinic; our staff are highly trained in the latest cosmetic dentistry developments and are fully equipped to use this revolutionary cosmetic dental tool.

Digital Smile Design is an interactive and fully digital tool that allows patients to take a precisely informed approach to their cosmetic dental treatment. 

Gone are the days of time-consuming and confusing cosmetic dental treatment planning. With the use of DSD, patients do not have to fret over not being satisfied with the outcome of their treatment. 

Digital models of the teeth are recorded and examined to plan out the treatment that the patient needs or wants. A detailed projection of the finished product will be presented to the patient before treatment even begins, providing the ability to tweak or change the treatment plan to produce the ideal results.

Digital Smile Design allows for maximum time management and the full involvement of the patient in their treatment, making it an excellent option for any patient.


FY Smile: Best Dentist in Sydney

Moving forward with the information that you have learned here, you will have a better understanding of the difference between a cosmetic dentist and a general dentist.

Here at FY Smile, we are proud to offer both comprehensive general and cosmetic dental services in Sydney.

If you’re in the Double Bay area and searching for the “best cosmetic dentist near me”, search no longer. For the most comprehensive general and cosmetic dentistry in Sydney, put your trust in FY Smile.

Your journey towards the beautiful smile of your dreams starts here. In addition to offering comprehensive dental and orthodontic treatment options in Sydney, FY Smile is proud to operate as an official Digital Smile Design clinic. Our team of experts will work with you to design a beautiful smile that naturally complements your features and provides you with priceless confidence.

For more information about general dentists vs cosmetic dentists, or to make an appointment at our Double Bay dental office, give us a call anytime at 02 8319 5557.