What’s the Difference Between a General Dentist and a Cosmetic Dentist?

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According to the CDC, between 2011 and 2014, nearly 19% of children between ages 5 and 19 had untreated tooth cavities. Contrasted with a hundred years ago, when dental health was in its infancy, those figures actually sound OK. And to a General Dentist it would seem to indicate that oral health education is at least working for the majority of young people and their parents.

On the other hand, the CDC also reports that during the same period, nearly 32% of adults between 20 and 44 years of age had untreated cavities. The difference is pretty startling and indicates that regular visits to the dentist decrease as the child gets older.

When was the last time you visited the dentist?

It’s a pretty simple and direct question, but also one that has ramifications for community dental health as a whole. Given the fact that so many people have untreated cavities, that’s a whole lot of people who are possibly suffering from toothache! And toothache is definitely one symptom that should never be ignored because it indicates an underlying dental health problem.

By booking an appointment with us here at Volterra Dental through our convenient online portal, you’ll be able to see Dr. Richard Blackburn. He is a highly trained professional who can offer general and cosmetic dentistry. But how do you know whether you need to have general dental work or cosmetic dental work? What’s the difference between them?

Clearing up the confusion

The truth is that most people get confused between General Dentistry and Cosmetic Dentistry. For most of us, all dentists are just dentists, and that’s all there is to it; but there are some distinct differences.

First things first: all dentists are trained in General Dentistry, but some of them go on to do extra study and training that allows them to specialize in Cosmetic Dentistry. So, what’s the difference between them?

The General Dentist deals with general oral health care problems and offers the following services:

  • Oral health check-ups
  • Treating cavities and installing fillings
  • Diagnosing and treating the cause of toothaches and pains
  • Fluoride treatments
  • Preventative care and hygiene

The Cosmetic Dentist deals with the aesthetics of teeth and offers the following services:

  • Teeth whitening for a brighter smile
  • Smile makeovers that may include whitening and dental veneers or caps
  • Dental implants, dentures, and inlays and Onlays

Here’s why a cosmetic and general dentist are both important

Recent studies have been looking at the links between the plaque and bacteria present in the mouth and arterial and heart health. The initial findings are that some bacteria present in the bloodstream and arteries originated in the mouths of people with periodontitis and gum disease.

While studies are ongoing, the thinking is that at the very least, inflammation of arterial tissues could be linked directly to poor oral health.

Even though the studies have not yet concluded, this tells us in no uncertain terms that good oral health is important in the scheme of overall community health. In this context, the practice of General Dentistry, with a focus on preventative care and oral health, is the first line of defense.

By taking your children to the general dentist on a regular basis, you not only educate them on the importance of good oral hygiene and health but also potentially set them up for life in terms of good oral health habits.

Though many people might wonder why Cosmetic Dentistry is also important, consider this: millions of Americans suffer in silence with missing, stained, or damaged teeth. Living with these issues can mean social anxiety, embarrassment, failure to engage with others, and even anxiety and depression.

While it is true that some people focus on the smile makeover services offered by Cosmetic Dentists like our own at Volterra Dental, it’s really important to remember that our smiles are important to the way that we live and function in society.

Our dentists can offer people with missing teeth, stained teeth, damaged teeth, and discolored teeth a second chance in life!

Whether a toothache or crooked smile, we can help you!

Whether you have a bad toothache, missing teeth, or you’re bringing in your precious son or daughter for the first time, we can help you here at Volterra Dental. Request an appointment online today and let our highly qualified General and Cosmetic Dentist—Dr. Richard Blackburn—help you.

Image cred: Pixabay