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The Differences Between General, Family and Cosmetic Dentists

In the US, there are about 200,000 dentists. However, they all do not perform the same procedures or specialize in the same areas. Dentists can be generalists, family specialists, or cosmetic experts.

The variations between these three types of dentists can be confusing to people – who needs which type? Here is a basic breakdown of each specialty.

What is a general dentist?

General dentists are responsible for providing preventative and restorative oral care to patients. They also offer routine oral exams and cleanings as well as fillings, crowns and bridges.

Consider general dentists as your teeth’s primary care physician. General dentists are trained to provide a wide variety of treatments, instead of only offering one service or type of treatment. General dentists might refer you to a specialist if your case is outside of their scope, or if your case is particularly difficult.

What is a family dentist?

Family dentists are trained to provide preventative and restorative oral care for children as well as adults. They offer routine exams, cleanings, fillings, crowns, and bridges.

A family dentist might also be the best choice if you have a child that is nervous in new situations or doesn’t enjoy being at the doctor’s office. Their offices are often oriented towards fun themes and offer games and prizes. These amenities help to lower anxiety and fear about going to the dentist and add an element of fun.

Additionally, the staff at these offices are more accustomed to dealing with kids and will be more suited to their needs. However, they may also see the whole family.

What is a cosmetic dentist?

While cosmetic dentists are trained to do everything a general or family dentist is trained to do, their practices often focus on different aspects of dentistry. As the name implies, cosmetic dentists often focus more on the cosmetic side of dentistry.

Because they focus more on the aesthetics of dentistry, their patient base tends to be older and willing to spend money on some of these more expensive procedures, such as dental implants, veneers, dental bridges, teeth whitening, Invisalign, clear braces, dentures, and other cosmetic dental procedures.

It is important to understand that many dentists choose to focus on multiple types of dentistry. A dental office could have it’s focus on one, two, or even all three aspects of this type of dentistry.

When it comes to finding a dentist in your area, you’re going to want one that offers the specific treatment options that are right for you. A little research will go a long way in this regard.

Here are the basic differences between general and cosmetic dentists, and family versus general.

General dentists routinely offer a variety of different dental procedures and treatments. They are mostly focused on preventative and restorative care along with patient education and overall oral health. Most patients are adults.

Cosmetic dentistry deals exclusively with enhancing the appearance of teeth and not diagnosing dental problems or performing routine exams. Usually caters to an older clientele.

Family dentists specialize in treating younger children and their entire family. It’s more of a family atmosphere.

If you’ve never had to go and see a dentist before, it can be really confusing. There are three types of dentists – general dentists, family specialists, or cosmetic experts – but which one should you visit? The differences between these categories might not seem like much at first glance (well… they don’t sound all that different), but the difference is in what each type does best. Our Dentist in Eugene specialize in all the above dentistry so it becomes easier for you to make a visit without actually worrying about which one to visit.

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