young adult woman standing outside, smiling“Do I need a general dentist or a cosmetic dentist?” is a common question amongst Columbia, SC residents looking to improve their oral health and whiten and brighten their smiles. To help answer that question, let’s take a look at general dentistry vs. cosmetic dentistry in Columbia and learn what differences, if any, exist between the two.

If you’re looking for an affordable general dentist in Columbia, SC, who also performs cosmetic dentistry procedures, you’re in the right place. All people earning the degrees of DDS and DMD are general dentists, but many of those who hold a Doctorate of Dental Studies or a Doctorate of Dental Medicine degree are also cosmetic dentists.

Confused yet? Let’s put it this way: Virtually every dentist is a general dentist, but not all general dentists are cosmetic dentists. While “cosmetic dentistry” is not a specialty recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA), it is a highly specialized area of dentistry that requires extensive education and training. By the way, DDS and DMD are basically the exact same education; some dental schools issue DDS degrees while others issue DMDs.

In a nutshell, general dentists are primarily concerned with preventative care and the health and functionality of your teeth, gums, and mouth. Cosmetic dentists, on the other hand, are primarily focused on the aesthetics of your smile—making your smile as white, bright, and flawless as possible.

Your general dentist will likely perform cosmetic dentistry procedures because he or she has had the training required to do so, and your cosmetic dentist has probably practiced general dentistry for a number of years before performing the more artistic cosmetic dentistry. Think of general dentistry as more of a science and cosmetic dentistry as more of an art (with a whole lot of science thrown in!).

Common General Dentistry Procedures

If you’ve got a toothache or bleeding gums, you’re going to need a general dentist. If oral cancer runs in your family and you feel it’s time for a cancer screening, you’re going to need an affordable general dentist. If you have a cavity or highly sensitive teeth, you’re going to need a general dentist.

Now, to make things more complicated, some general dentistry procedures are also considered cosmetic dentistry procedures. The reason for that is some procedures improve the health and functionality of the tooth while also improving the aesthetics of the tooth—hence, that procedure is both general and cosmetic dentistry. Here are just some of the most common affordable general dentistry procedures in Columbia, South Carolina:

General dentists in Columbia are all about preventative care, which means twice-daily brushing and flossing and twice-a-year dental appointments for thorough cleaning of those pearly whites.

Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Once your teeth and gums are in good health, cosmetic dentistry takes the wheel to straighten, whiten, and brighten your smile. There are numerous affordable cosmetic dentistry procedures in Columbia to transform your smile from a snoozer to a stunner, and sometimes it only takes a couple of visits to the office! Here are just a few of the affordable cosmetic dentistry procedures designed to improve the aesthetics of your teeth:

  • Porcelain veneers
  • Inlays/Onlays
  • Dental implants
  • Dentures
  • Teeth whitening
  • Invisalign®
  • The Denture Fountain of Youth®
  • Fillings
  • Smile Makeover

You will notice that many cosmetic dentistry procedures are also considered general dentistry because they improve the aesthetics of your smile while also improving the health and functionality of your teeth. This is just further proof that general dentistry in Columbia and cosmetic dentistry in Columbia go hand in hand.

Cosmetic Dentistry and General Dentistry: BFFs

Here are some specific examples of how some procedures are considered general dentistry AND cosmetic dentistry:

  • Porcelain veneers are both because they fix flaws to improve the attractiveness of your smile but are also restorative in that they protect the surface of the tooth from damage.
  • Dentures enhance your smile by filling empty spaces, but they also address bite problems and restore function.
  • Dental bonding is cosmetic because it straightens and whitens teeth, but it also repairs decayed or dead teeth.

Find a General Dentist or Cosmetic Dentist in Columbia, SC

Smile Columbia Dentistry offers an LVI-trained cosmetic dentist who has studied extensively at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies. We can also offer one of the most affordable, compassionate general dentists in Columbia, SC. The clear choice for dentistry in Columbia, SC is just a phone call away (803) 781-9090, or simply fill out our online contact form so one of our dental members can contact you.