As with any industry, the more specialized you get, the more confusing it can be for people outside that speciality. Cosmetic dentistry is no different. Here are some of the most common questions about cosmetic, reconstructive, and restorative dentists, and what they can do for their patients.
“What is a cosmetic dentist?” Simply put, a cosmetic dentist is any dentist who focuses more on the appearance of your teeth, rather than on the health of your teeth. Understandably, this distinction can create some confusion, especially when appearance and function are so closely related. For example, a missing tooth can be unsightly, but can also leave the mouth more vulnerable to infection if not treated. The more we learn about the connections between oral health and overall physical health, the less “cosmetic” some cosmetic procedures seem to be.
“What’s the difference between a cosmetic dentist and an orthodontist?” An orthodontist is primarily concerned with straightening the teeth you already have (“orthodontia” literally translates to “straight teeth”). They specialize in braces and corrective procedures. While these procedures can be considered cosmetic, orthodontists are considered specialists, and deal with a very specific set of dental technologies (braces, brackets, Invisalign, etc.).
“Can my regular dentist perform cosmetic procedures?” Many general dentists have added basic cosmetic procedures to their list of offerings. Most often this includes techniques such as chemical whitening and laser whitening. Procedures such as porcelain veneers are more involved, and dental implants to replace the roots of teeth require the expertise of an oral surgeon. Many patients find cosmetic dentists through referrals from their general dentist, when the patient needs or has asked for a service the general dentist doesn’t provide.
In this day and age, no one should have to be disappointed by their own smile. If you feel your teeth could be whiter, straighter, or more presentable in any way, find a cosmetic dentist who can present you with options. And never be ashamed to smile again. This is a great source for more: Kirkland dentist