General Dentistry VS Cosmetic Dentistry, What’s The Difference?

When patients think about general dentistry they often conjure up images of fillings, crowns, extractions, cleanings, and regular check-ups. When asked about cosmetic dentistry a different picture comes to mind: braces, veneers, dentures, whitening and the like. Is there really a difference between these two distinctions? Let’s break it down. 

General & Cosmetic Dentistry

General dentistry is focused on oral health while caring for the teeth, but not striving to improve the cosmetic appearance of them. Cosmetic Dentistry includes the general dentistry practices of caring for the teeth, but they will at the same time strive to improve the patient’s smile using other methods. Here are some common services that are addressed by both the general and cosmetic dentist:

  • Cavities
  • Broken or damaged teeth
  • Misaligned, crowded or gapped teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Decaying teeth

The general dentist may use some of these other methods to improve oral health, though they are counterproductive when considering the cosmetic side.

  • Metal fillings (expand and contract with heat and cold & ca increase tooth sensitivity)
  • Metal braces (uncomfortable, highly visible)
  • Metal crowns (highly visible and unattractive)
  • Removable dentures (sometimes fit poorly, often look fake)
  • Fixed bridges (placement requires damage to part of teeth’s structure)

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry does everything with the goal of improving your smile, though these options are often more expensive than traditional dental work. When having cosmetic work done patient may be considered for:

  • Porcelain fillings
  • Porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers
  • Invisalign®
  • Dental implants for fixed dentures or individual crowns and bridges to maintain the structural integrity of surrounding teeth
  • Tooth whitening to help your teeth look healthy and younger

Talk To Your Dentist

If you are considering getting some work done, be sure to ask your dentist about future plans for your oral health. It’s crucial that you and your dentist are on the same page when considering your smile, and of course your budget. 

Here at Edgewater Dental we always walk our patient through a continuing care plan, ensuring that our patients get exactly what they’re looking for and end up having the smile they wanted. We’re dedicated to providing the best cosmetic dentistry Nampa has to offer! If you have any questions regarding the services we provide please don’t hesitate to reach out to us or to ask your dentist at your next checkup!

Ready to See the Difference?

When you're looking for a Nampa, ID dentist, you want the best. We do things differently at Edgewater Dental and aim to build a long-term relationship with our patients. We look forward to seeing you!


1436 S Edgewater Circle

Nampa, ID 83686

Contact Us

(208) 463-9600