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Cosmetic or General Dentist: How to Choose the Right One for My Needs

Did you know that only one-third of the population seeks dental care? Regularly going to the dentist is essential for your oral health. Routine dental appointments ensure your teeth, gums, and mouth stay in tip-top shape.

However, people go to the dentist for more than dental problems. Cosmetic dentistry provides additional services that help improve a person’s smile.

Knowing whether you need a general dentist or a cosmetic dentist for your needs can be challenging. While many dental offices offer services in both areas, understanding their differences is essential.

This guide will discuss everything you need to know about a cosmetic dentist vs a general dentist.

What’s a General Dentist?

A general dentist addresses discomfort, dental pain, and oral hygiene problems. They provide dental care to people of all ages.

They’re not focused on one area of dental services. They provide their patients with various types of services.

Preventative Services

Preventative dental services help stop oral diseases before they cause serious issues. Teeth cleanings, routine dental exams, and x-rays help you stay on top of your oral health.

A general dentist might also show you ways to improve your oral hygiene at home. They might also recommend various preventative treatments, like sealants. Your dentist can also fit you with a mouthguard to prevent teeth grinding.

Restorative Services

Restorative dental services address problems that your general dentist finds. These services include:

  • Root canals
  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Tooth extractions
  • Bridges

You can also visit a general dentist for emergency dental care. This includes a knocked-out tooth, abscess, or chipped tooth. A general dentist can also diagnose and treat periodontal disease and tooth pain.

What Are the Benefits of General Dentistry?

Keeping your teeth clean and detecting oral health problems are essential benefits of a general dentist. Let’s discuss other reasons you should visit a general dentist.


Prevention is key to avoiding severe oral health issues. These issues can include oral cancer and infection. Without going to a general dentist, you might not be aware of these problems until it’s too late.

A general dentist will look at your mouth during your routine cleaning. They’ll look for signs of oral health problems and clean your teeth. Some of the issues they look for include:

  • Cavities
  • Inflammation
  • Crowding
  • Plaque buildup

They can also let you know how to improve your at-home brushing and flossing routines. A general dentist can also recommend a mouthwash and toothpaste best suited for your mouth.

Improved Overall Health

A mouth infection can spread to other areas of your body, affecting your overall health. Gum infections can also compromise your body’s immune system. When your immune system is compromised, you’re more susceptible to illnesses.

Additionally, you might become more vulnerable to other health conditions, like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Maintaining routine general dentistry appointments is key to achieving optimal health.

What’s a Cosmetic Dentist?

Cosmetic dentists focus on improving the appearance of your smile, gums, mouth, and teeth. Their services can range from significant surgeries to minor fixes.

Dental Veneers

A dental veneer is a white, thin shell. The shell is made from ceramic, resin, or porcelain. Each veneer gets custom-made to resemble the patient’s natural teeth closely.

A cosmetic dentist will remove some of the enamel from each tooth before they attach the veneer. Removing the enamel enables the shell to bond to the teeth.

Dental veneers can fix various dental issues, such as:

  • Teeth gaps
  • Damaged enamel
  • Crooked teeth

Teeth Whitening

Our teeth get discoloured from drinks, medications, food, and smoking over time. Teeth whitening enables us to achieve a brighter smile.

The first step in the process is to remove debris, tartar, and plaque from your teeth. Your teeth then get bleached to make them appear whiter and brother.

Dental Crowns

A dental cap, or dental crown, covers damaged or decayed teeth. A dental crown helps prevent weakened teeth from breaking. They can also be used in cosmetic procedures to protect discoloured or misshapen teeth.

Dental Implants

Cosmetic dentists use dental implants to replace missing teeth. Your cosmetic dentist will insert a screw into your jaw. An artificial tooth is placed onto the screw, resembling natural teeth.

What Are the Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry does more than improve the appearance of your smile. Feel confident knowing your oral health is where it needs to be after you visit a cosmetic dentist.

Enhance Your Oral Health

Many people seek cosmetic dentistry procedures to fix crooked or cracked teeth. Straight teeth are easier to floss and brush. There are fewer spots where plaque and tarter can build up.

Fixing your teeth can help you reduce your risk of specific oral health issues. These issues include periodontal disease and tooth decay.

Improve Your Eating Habits

Some dental problems can harm how you eat. Chipped or missing teeth can make it challenging to eat some food. Having more than one missing tooth can significantly impact how you chew.

Cosmetic dentistry services, such as dental implants can improve your chewing ability. You can consume your meals without issue.

Increase Your Self Confidence

Around 22.6% of New Zealanders feel self-conscious about their smile. If you fall into that category, you might look for ways to hide your smile or stop laughing, so you don’t show your teeth.

Correcting the items that you’re self-conscious about will help you reduce your fears. You can live in the moment and experience joy. You can laugh and smile as often as you want without worry.

Contact a Reliable Dental Office in Auckland

There are a few overlaps between a general dentist and a cosmetic dentist. It’s essential to find a dentist that provides exceptional service that fits your needs.

At Northmed Dental Centre, we offer both general and cosmetic dentistry services. Whether you want to enhance your smile or stay on top of your oral health, we’re here to help.

Northmed Dental Centre is here to provide you with general and cosmetic dental care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our two Auckland locations.