How Do Cosmetic and General Dentistry Treatments Differ?

Dentistry covers a very wide range of treatments, often dentists will categorise these treatments into subcategories, allowing them to specialise in particular areas of dentistry. The most common types of dentistry, you will find being offered in your local dentist practice, are cosmetic and general dentistry. To understand what exactly sets these two types of dentistry apart from one another, Holly House Dental have helped to explain their differences.

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on the visual appearance of a patient’s smile.  This will often include treatments such as teeth whitening, veneers, dental bridges, and white fillings. All of which aim to increase the confidence a patient has within their smile. For a dentist to offer these treatments they will typically have completed additional training on top of their dentistry qualifications. It is really important you visit a qualified dentist for any cosmetic treatments. With the demand for a ‘Hollywood smile’ there are many businesses offering services such as veneers and teeth whitening but do not have the experience, knowledge, and qualifications to do so correctly.

What is General Dentistry?

General dentistry covers the majority of what dentists offer. This includes general dental check-ups, dental crowns, dental hygiene treatments, and root canal treatments. General dentistry will deal with most dental concerns and emergencies. When visiting your dentist on a regular check-up, anything they can offer you within this appointment will come under general dentistry, including the preventative advice and guidance they can offer you. The main concern of general dentistry is the overall maintenance of your oral hygiene and the health of your teeth and gums.

Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments:

Teeth Whitening

A very popular cosmetic treatment, with many seeking whiter, brighter teeth. It is important to note, the whitening treatments will whiten your teeth a few shades lighter than the original colour. Therefore, results can differ from person to person. As teeth whitening falls under this type of dentistry, it is a professional treatment that should only be carried out by a qualified dentist. Any beauty salon offering this procedure without the presence of a dentist will be doing so illegally.

The process of teeth whitening includes the dentist taking an impression of your teeth to make your custom mouthguard. You will then use the mouthguard at home, applying the bleaching gel for a specified length of time. Often this treatment can take a few weeks and you may need to return for follow up appointments for long lasting results.

Veneers

Veneers are also another popular cosmetic dental treatment. Offering patients the chance to improve the colour, shape and position of their teeth, all in one procedure. Veneers are custom-made coverings which should only be fitted to those who have healthy teeth to begin with. At an initial appointment your dentist will assess the health of your teeth, often taking an X-ray to ensure there are no underlying conditions.

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge or dental bridges offer a permanent solution to missing teeth. Due to their durability, long lifespan and natural-looking appearance make these are very popular alternative to other teeth replacement treatments.

White Fillings

When your dentist suggests a filling, many people will choose to have white fillings, purely for their less obvious appearance. Unlike traditional silver fillings, white fillings will fit seamlessly into your mouth, avoiding the obvious appearance of your fillings when talking and eating.

General Dentistry treatments

Dental Check Up

A general dental check-up will consist of a throughout assessment of your mouth, teeth, and gums. Your dentist will also ask any questions about your health and lifestyle to offer the best advice and guidance for maintaining good oral hygiene routine. It is best to have a dental check-up every 6-12 months, as these will offer your dentist the chance to spot any concerns and refer you for treatment.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are used to restore the appearance of a damaged tooth, adding strength and support to the underlying structure. They are place over the entire surface of the existing tooth and should preserve the function of this. Your dentist may recommend dental crowns in several instances:

  • When your tooth has suffered a lot of damage and decay
  • To support a filling
  • Where a cavity is too large and a filling would be too obvious

Root Canal Treatment

A root canal infection will cause a lot of pain in the mouth and can make eating very uncomfortable. For the treatment of an infection in the root canal your dentist will offer root canal treatment. This consists of a local anaesthetic being administered and the soft tissue inside the affected tooth is removed.