What is the Difference Between a Family and a Cosmetic Dentist

What is the Difference Between a Family and a Cosmetic Dentist from Oak Tree Dental in McLean, VAAre you aware of the differences between a family dentist and a cosmetic dentist? Though most patients visit a dentist twice a year, they may not be aware of a particular dentist’s training, education, or specialty areas.

If a patient desires a cavity filling or preventive oral health care education because gum disease runs in the family, it is important to choose a practitioner who has the appropriate area of focus. Similarly, if the goal is to change the aesthetics of a patient’s smile, it helps to understand the subtleties of these two roles.

Family dentist

Though family dentists and cosmetic dentists’ skills can overlap, there are a few differences in these providers' day-to-day work. A family dentist is generally a good place to start for patients who have no particular concerns with the appearance of their smiles.

The role of a family dentist

Family dentists focus on patients' oral health. Visiting a family dentist familiar with preventive care is generally a good idea for most adults as well as for older children. A family dentist and the dental hygienists who work under the dentist's supervision keep patients’ teeth clean, healthy, and free of the plaque that can cause issues down the line.

Times to visit a family dentist

Family dentists are typically the dental providers healthy patients visit twice a year for a dental checkup. Medical insurance, or separate dental insurance, often can cover these visits. A patient should visit a family dentist to get a thorough cleaning, to fill a cavity, to have a root canal, or to receive treatment for gum disease. Patients should also consider a family dentist when seeking a mouth guard for bruxism.

Cosmetic dentist

Though a cosmetic dentist has a different title, these individuals are also extensively trained in general dentistry as well as cosmetic procedures. Cosmetic dentists are educated in dental school and like all dentists must possess a Doctor of Dental Surgery or a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry degree to practice.

The role of a cosmetic dentist

Though these professionals focus on patients’ looks more than wellness, cosmetic dentists are medical professionals and hold the health of the patient paramount. Cosmetic dentists are able to provide services that change the appearance and feel of a patient’s smile.

Times to visit a cosmetic dentist

Because the main concern of cosmetic dentistry is the look of a patient’s gums and teeth, a patient should visit these providers for any concerns relating to the appearance of teeth or gums. If a patient seeks whiter teeth, teeth bonding, veneers, or any other oral alterations that are not primarily health-based, a cosmetic dentist is an ideal provider to consult.

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Cosmetic Dentist in McLean, VA

Conclusion

Both family dentists and cosmetic dentists can play an important part in your dental health, treatment plan, and aesthetic preferences. Choosing the correct dental professional is the key to ensuring a lifelong healthy smile, and some patients may seek out both depending on what issues they hope to address.

Request an appointment or call Oak Tree Dental at 703-763-5239 for an appointment in our McLean office.

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