There are many different types of dentists, but the two most prominent types are the general dentist and the cosmetic dentist. Although both general and cosmetic dentists share the same base of knowledge and training, a cosmetic dentist’s specialty is the overall appearance of a patient’s teeth. 

For patients in need of dental work, understanding the subtle differences between general and cosmetic dentistry may help in choosing which dentist is right for them. 

What Is a General Dentist?

A general dentist is a dental professional who provides basic dental care. This type of dentist can perform a variety of dental procedures, such as teeth cleanings, fillings, and extractions. 

General dentists may also provide more complex procedures, such as root canals and crowns. In addition to providing dental care, general dentists also play an important role in preventive care. This includes educating patients on how to practice good oral hygiene habits and how to prevent dental problems.

When Do You Need a General Dentist?

You should visit a general dentist at least once a year for a routine checkup and cleaning. If you have any concerns about your oral health, such as a toothache or bleeding gums, you should see a dentist as soon as possible.

What Is a Cosmetic Dentist?

A cosmetic dentist is a dental professional who specializes in improving the overall appearance of a patient’s teeth. Cosmetic dentistry can include a variety of procedures, such as teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and dental implants. Cosmetic dentists may also provide more complex procedures, such as full mouth reconstruction. 

In addition to improving the appearance of a patient’s teeth, cosmetic dentists may also provide services to improve the function of a patient’s teeth. This can include procedures such as bite correction and teeth straightening.

When Do You Need a Cosmetic Dentist?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the need for a cosmetic dentist will vary from person to person. Some people may visit a cosmetic dentist to improve the overall appearance of their teeth, while others may need a cosmetic dentist to correct a dental issue that is impacting their ability to eat or speak properly. 

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to visit a cosmetic dentist should be made based on the individual needs of the patient.

What Services Can a Cosmetic Dentist Offer?

1) Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular services that a cosmetic dentist can offer. This procedure can help to brighten the teeth and make them appear whiter. 

There are a variety of teeth whitening products and methods available, so it is important to consult with a cosmetic dentist to find the best option for you.

2) Veneers

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are designed to cover the front surface of the teeth. Veneers can be used to improve the appearance of the teeth and protect them from damage.

3) Dental Implants

Dental implants are artificial roots that are placed into the jawbone to support a replacement tooth. Dental implants can be used to improve the appearance of the teeth and make them look more natural.


There are many different types of dental procedures that can be used to improve the appearance of the teeth. Some of these procedures are more expensive than others, but they all have their own benefits. It is important to talk to your dentist about the different options that are available to you and to decide which one is right for you.

If you are looking for a cosmetic dentist in Bethesda, you can only work with the best. Pike District Smiles offers cosmetic dentistry services that can bring back your smile. Get in touch with us today to get started.