Is It Better to See a Cosmetic Dentist, a General Dentist or a Prosthetist?

You can select your dentist based on your oral health needs if you understand the difference between a general dentist, a cosmetic dentist, and a prosthodontist.

It might be time for some dental work, and you might wonder what type of dentist you should see. Perhaps you are wondering: “Which dental specialist should I see: a general dentist, a cosmetic dentist, or a prosthodontist?“ The answer depends on the type of dental issue you have. 

You will most likely visit a general dentist if you are experiencing pain or if your problem is primarily preventive in nature. If you’re mostly concerned with the appearance of your smile, you might go to a cosmetic dentist, but you should really consider a prosthodontist instead. What’s the difference? You’ll discover it here! 

Cosmetic dentists and general dentists

The initial training and education of a general dentist and a cosmetic dentist are very similar.  In addition to regular checkups, fillings, and dental crowns, both of them offer general treatments. Their services include tooth repair and cavity filling. Additionally, you can receive teeth whitening treatment in both types of dental offices. 

However, there are other factors that set them apart that also need to be considered.


Although a general dentist is primarily concerned with preventive care and routine treatments, a cosmetic dentist is concerned as well with the appearance of your smile. Cosmetic dentists acquire specific skills in the field of aesthetics and gain specific training on how to improve the appearance of your teeth by attending professional courses or programs.

In this regard, cosmetic dentists should have better training in performing aesthetic dentistry procedures like bonding, porcelain veneers, crowns, and smile makeovers.  

Dentists who work in cosmetic dentistry strive to give you a white, fresh and natural smile while providing good dental care. An aesthetic dentist will, for example, make a posterior (back) crown look beautiful so it contributes to the overall aesthetics of your mouth, regardless of whether you or others can see it.


During the decision making process, it is not only important to consider training but also the day-to-day experience of the employee. As a result of performing these dental procedures all day long on a diverse pool of patients, cosmetic dentists are usually better trained than general and family dentists in aesthetic cases. 

There’s a difference between doing a couple of full mouth veneer cases a year and one case a week. Practice makes perfect in any profession.

Affordability and Quality

Choosing a dentist depends on a number of factors, including price and quality.  

The fees charged by both cosmetic and general dentists are usually similar. A slight price difference may occur, but these differences may be due to the materials used or the doctor’s additional training. 

If you seek dental work from a cosmetic dentist, you can expect to have materials used that preserve the aesthetics and look of your smile, such as superior bonding supplies for porcelain veneers or dental laboratories for porcelain crowns. This may result in a few extra bucks, but the difference won’t be significant.

Prosthodontists versus cosmetic dentists. 

You may be thinking: “A cosmetic dentist might be able to give me a dazzling smile.” if you want a dazzling smile. The difference between a prosthodontist and a cosmetic dentist is that even though both specialize in cosmetic and restorative dentistry, they perform similar procedures.  

American Dental Association states that prosthodontics is devoted to treating clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible replacements in cases involving missing or deficient teeth, comfort, appearance, and health. 

The distinction between cosmetic dentists and prosthodontists is that cosmetic dentists are general dentists who have taken cosmetic dentistry courses, while prosthodontists have gained a postgraduate certificate in prosthodontics after extra three years of university training. So, they are the best professionals to deal with both the correct function of your mouth and its aesthetics.

Most prosthodontists specialize in more involved procedures and handle more complex restorative and cosmetic cases.

Procedures performed by prosthodontists

Dentistry has experienced remarkable advances in techniques and materials over the last few decades. Today’s prosthodontists are able to create perfectly natural-looking smiles with these innovations. 

Depending on your specific needs, you can choose from many different procedures. Your prosthodontist can perform regular cosmetic procedures such as:

  1. Whitening of the teeth
  2. Bonding of teeth
  3. Veneers made from porcelain
  4. Crowns made from porcelain
  5. Makeovers for your smile

As well as restorative and reconstructive treatments, they are also specially trained.  Dentists with this level of training and experience can repair or replace damaged or missing teeth and care for maxillofacial tissues. In order to restore the function and appearance of your teeth and gums, prosthodontists use the following procedures:

  • Implants for the teeth
  • Bridges between the teeth
  • Partial and complete dentures 
  • Full Mouth Rehabilitation/Reconstruction

A prosthodontist specializes in complex treatments that require a team of specialists, as well as conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorder syndrome, trauma or accident-related injuries, and sleep disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea.

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