What is The Difference Between a Dentist and a Cosmetic Dentist?

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When you are looking for a dental professional to help you take care of your teeth, it’s not unusual to come across some practices that offer general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, or even both. That makes you wonder - is there any real difference between general or family dentistry and cosmetic dentistry? While there is some overlap, there are specific differences you should understand. Here are some examples to keep in mind.

The Education and Training

All dentists must go through training at accredited dental schools before they can practice. The goal is to ensure they all know how to manage basic dental care for their patients and take care of the more common issues that arise. Cosmetic dentists receive the same and education as other types of dentists, plus additional training focused specifically on areas involving restorative or corrective dental surgery.

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This overlap in education is one of the reasons some people are confused about the differences between family or general dentists and those who practice cosmetic dentistry. They share a measure of training, but the cosmetic dentist goes on to secure more specialized training in preparation for his or her career.

The Main Focus of the Practice

The typical general or family dentist is focused on promoting basic dental hygiene, diagnosing and repairing problems like cavities, tooth extractions, and similar basics. The general dentist invests a lot of effort in basic teeth maintenance and support. This is important, since a dentist serves as the front line of defense when it comes to promoting dental health.

A Markham cosmetic dentist may leave all the basic care and maintenance to a general dentist. The focus is more on employing procedures designed to improve the appearance of the teeth. That means spending more time with patients who need help with teeth straightening, whitening, or replacing missing or damaged teeth with partial dentures, full sets of dentures, or dental implants.

Read more: Why Is It Important to Get Teeth Cleaned?

The Types of Patients the Dentist Will See

A family dentist is likely to accept patients of all ages. A general dentist may focus on pediatric or adult dentistry. There may even be an emphasis on dentistry for the elderly.

In most cases, a dental professional who is part of a cosmetic dental clinic will see patients based on the type of procedure they are seeking and whether the patient is old enough to undergo that procedure. For example, the cosmetic dentist would certainly see a younger patient who had been in an accident and needed some type of reconstructive surgery to restore his or her appearance. At the same time, a person of the same age who wanted crowns might not be old enough for that type of procedure.

Keep in mind that if your dentist does not have the training to perform a certain kind of cosmetic procedure, a referral to a qualified cosmetic dental expert will be provided. In both instances, the goal of these professionals is to ensure that you receive the type of care needed in the most timely manner possible.

Read more: Why You Should Consider a Dental Implant Procedure at This Markham Dentist

Andrea Galick

Andrea Galick is an accomplished Dental Hygienist (RDH) with a passion for helping patients achieve optimal oral health. Andrea has built a reputation as a caring and skilled practitioner who puts her patients at ease and provides individualized care that meets their unique needs.

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Everyone here is very friendly and provides excellent care. I received a full exam on my first visit, and everyone took time to answer my questions and ensured I felt comfortable the entire time - exactly what you want when visiting the dentist. I highly recommend Markham Smile Centre for anyone looking for great dental care.


There is an ample parking space before you get into the office. The receptionists welcome us friendly with proper COVID-19 procedures in place. The staff worked with patient very patiently and professionally. My teeth cleaning was done by Ying, she explained every detail to me and I did not feel any pain or uncomfortable at all. Thanks to the best team !


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