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Medically reviewed by Dr Jerry Jesin — By Andrea Galick

Difference Between a Dentist and a Cosmetic Dentist

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The world of dentistry is much like any other sector of the medical field. There are professionals who provide general services and those who provide more specialized ones. If you are wondering what the difference happens to be between a dentist and a cosmetic dentist, read on. You will soon have a clearer idea of what each kind of professional offers in the way of dental services.

The Dentist

In most cases, people referring to a dentist mean a dental professional who offers a broad range of treatment options. The goal in most cases is to provide support with issues that threaten to harm the patient’s health in some manner. Those services often include things like root canals, teeth extractions, treatments for gum disease, and fillings.

General dentists may offer their services to specific age groups, or to families and individuals in general. Today, it’s not unusual for a dentist to operate a website that includes an overview of the types of dental services offered. This makes it easier to determine if you need some sort of basic dental care or if you would do better to seek out the services of a specialist.

How About the Cosmetic Dentist?

The cosmetic dentist in Toronto offers services that have to do with improving or preserving the appearance of your teeth. To that end, these professionals often offer services such as veneers, a crown if needed, and treatments for broken or cracked teeth. Many also provide support when it comes to solutions that will replace natural teeth. For example, a cosmetic dentist may offer dental implant services, the creation of partial dentures, and even fitting the patient for a full set of denture plates.

Is There Any Overlap?

There is quite a bit of overlap when it comes to providing patients with treatments intended to protect the teeth while enhancing their appearance. Both general dentists and cosmetic dentists receive the same basic training and are capable of helping a patient with most types of dental situations.

For example, you could go to a general dentist if you need a tooth extracted. If the plan is to get rid of that tooth and replace it with an implant, a cosmetic dental professional could manage both procedures for you. In like manner, a general dentist would be capable of administering whitening treatments as well as a cosmetic dentist.

Cosmetic and general dentists would each be able to fill a cavity for you. The difference would be that the general dentist would most likely use an amalgam filler that would protect the rest of the tooth, but not necessarily provide a fully natural appearance. By contrast, the cosmetic dentist would likely use a composite filling that matched the color of the tooth. The cosmetic dental professional might also recommend the installation of a crown to complete the natural look of the repaired tooth.

If you need dental work but are not sure if you need a family dentist or one who is a specialist in cosmetic dental procedures, contact the general dentist first. After an examination, the professional will know if it’s something he or she can manage for you, or if a referral to a cosmetic dental expert would be best.

Regarding your dental health, you may wonder whether to choose a general dentist or a specialist in cosmetic dental procedures. At Smile By Design Clinic, we bridge the gap between general and cosmetic dentistry to provide you with comprehensive dental care that ensures both the health and appearance of your smile.

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.


North York Smile Centre
5 Park Home Ave #130,
North York,
ON M2N 6L4