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General And Cosmetic Dentistry

Do you have a dental issue such as a loose, chipped or broken tooth? Maybe you’d like to get some veneers to improve the appearance of your smile. Or, perhaps you need a checkup to see if you have any cavities. Regardless of the issue, you want to visit the right dental professional who can help you get the results you want. General and cosmetic are just two types of dentists. Do you know the difference between the two? When it comes to cosmetic dentistry vs general dentistry there are many differences to consider so you can visit the right professional for the work you need done. Discover some information about each type of dentist and what they do.

What is a Cosmetic Dentist?

A cosmetic dentist is interested in helping patients improve the look of their smile. This professional takes additional courses focused on cosmetic dentistry to learn how to perform specific procedures that help patients enjoy a healthier, more attractive smile.

Examples of Procedures Done by a Cosmetic Dentist

Dental Implants

A dental implant is put in by a cosmetic dentist when a patient loses a tooth. The implant is connected to the jawbone, so it replaces the root of a lost tooth. A crown is connected to the implant to replace the tooth that is missing. Technology has improved so much in the last few years that a crown can blend in with the rest of a person’s teeth making their smile look much more attractive.


Dental bonding is a procedure that goes a long way to improving a patient’s smile. It can fix discoloration, cracked or broken teeth as well as misshapen teeth. It can even fix gaps between teeth. Bonding involves using filling material to fix a tooth, shape it and make it blend in with your other teeth. You can even have the newly repaired tooth colored to match the rest of your teeth.

Teeth Whitening

A cosmetic dentist is trained in teeth whitening procedures. Some cosmetic dentists perform teeth bleaching to cover discoloration and stains that can happen over time. ZOOM! Teeth Whitening is an example of a long-lasting procedure that greatly improves the look of a patient’s smile. Zoom! is a popular option because the whitening only
takes about one hour in a cosmetic dentist’s office.


A cosmetic dentist can put veneers on your existing teeth in order to achieve a more balanced, healthier smile. Porcelain veneers are popular because they look like natural teeth. Many patients choose them to hide stains and discoloration. They are made of durable material and last a long time.


A cosmetic dentist can put braces on a patient to correct a variety of situations involving misaligned teeth. Invisalign is a popular option allowing a patient to straighten their teeth without anyone being able to see the braces. Plus, the patient can remove the Invisalign for short periods of time as opposed to traditional metal braces. People of all ages are opting for Invisalign as a simple, low-maintenance way of straightening their teeth.

What is a General Dentist?

A general dentist is primarily concerned with the health of your teeth. Also, a general dentist educates young and older patients on the proper care of their teeth and gums to encourage long-lasting dental health.

Examples of Procedures Done by a General Dentist

Regular Checkups

A general dentist performs yearly checkups on patients looking for abnormalities, gum issues, cavities, etc.


Going to a general dentist usually involves a teeth cleaning. A dental assistant scrapes a patient’s teeth, removes plaque and cleans the gums. A dentist examines a patient’s teeth after the cleaning so he or she can clearly see the condition of every tooth. In addition, a general dentist looks at x-rays of the patient’s teeth to get a detailed look at the health of their teeth.

Filling Cavities

A general dentist fills cavities for patients. Filling a cavity is more for a patient’s dental health than for the appearance of their smile. This procedure is usually done in a general dentist’s office.

Root Canals

A dentist who is trained to address the interior health of teeth can perform a root canal. This procedure involves removing diseased tissue from the inside of a patient’s tooth. After removing the tissue, the area is cleaned, then sealed so the problem doesn’t occur again.

Tips on How to Choose the Right Cosmetic or General Dentist

Ask About Specific Procedures

When looking at cosmetic dentistry vs general dentistry, it’s a good idea to checkout the specific procedures offered by a dentist. The procedures offered, especially by cosmetic dentists, can differ from professional to professional. Checkout the dentist’s website or call the professional’s office and ask.

Do You Feel Comfortable with the Dental Professional?

Once you determine whether you need a cosmetic dentist or a general dentist, it’s important that you feel at ease with the professional. Are you having procedures explained to you in a thorough way? Do you feel welcome when visiting the office? The way you feel about a dental professional can determine how relaxed you are when you go in for a procedure.

Do You Have Answers to All of Your Questions?

One effective way you can determine you are going to the right dental professional is whether you get all of your questions answered. Qualified individuals in both general and cosmetic dentistry will take the time to answer all of the questions you have about procedures, aftercare and more.

When evaluating cosmetic dentistry vs general dentistry first look at the procedures performed by each one. Then, make an appointment to talk to the dentist about your unique situation and what the professional can do to help.


The Definition of Holistic Dentistry

The most common question most individuals have is “what is holistic dentistry?“. This is a biological dentist with the intention of using only the most natural and safest treatments for their patients.

These treatments were designed to provide the same outcome as modern dentistry. This is not a completely different kind of dentistry, but a less toxic approach. Oral issues are approached more naturally for the overall health, mouth and teeth of the patients.

Holistic dentistry uses non-toxic or bio-compatible restorative materials to eliminate infections while promoting the best possible patient care.

Holistic dentistry in New York City uses treatments and diagnosis that are less invasive, traumatic and toxic. These dentists rely on the natural regeneration and self-healing abilities of their patients. A holistic dentist also uses appropriate anesthesia, fillings and x-rays.

The differences are x-rays are used sparingly to decrease the amount of radiation patients are exposed to and composite or ceramic fillings are used as opposed to amalgam fillings with a mercury base. A water filtration system is used to prevent an accumulation of bio-film in the waterlines. Most holistic dentists also work with other health professionals such as naturopaths and physicians.


Holistic Dentistry vs Traditional Dentistry

One of the best ways to answer the question what is holistic dentistry is to explain the differences between a holistic and traditional dentist.

Traditional dentistry comprises a wide range of medical and dental studies to establish a reason for the dental conditions and the predisposition of the patient. Both types of dentistry try to find the link between general well being and good oral health. The holistic dentist incorporates a more overall approach. This places the focus on the way the body interconnects in addition to oral health. This concept is designed to improve the overall well being of the patient.

The concept of holistic dentistry vs traditional dentistry covers the skills of both types of dentists. Both types of dentists have also received training in general dentistry. A holistic dentist has additional skills such as acupuncture and naturopathy.

This means in addition to providing treatment, they can educate and advise their patients regarding the impact of dentistry on overall health. This includes links between diabetes and gum disease and pregnancy and cardiovascular health.

A holistic dentist also considers the nutritional, environmental, spiritual and physical elements of their patient’s lives.

The Specifics of Holistic Dentistry

Holistic dentistry in New York City does not consider amalgams an option. This is because they place as much value on their lives as they do for their patients. They will not allow the mercury vapors or the mercury itself anywhere near their patients or their staff.

If amalgams are offered by a dentist, this is not a holistic dentist. A holistic dentist will not provide fluoride for their patients because they believe it reduces the IQ of the child. Fluoride can also weaken the bones, increase the risk for fractures, cause white spots on the teeth and cause harm to the thyroid. A holistic dentist will never offer any treatment to a child that can cause damage.

A holistic dentist is extremely conservative regarding their drilling practices. When there is a cavity that must be filled, this dentist will take away as little of the tooth as possible. The material for the filling will be non-toxic.

If the cavity is considered large, a holistic dentist will consider an inlay. As much as two-thirds of a tooth must be removed prior to using a crown. This type of procedure will always be a last resort. Sealant material will not be used because they are usually made with BPS, BPA or Bisphenol A. This material disrupts the hormones and will not be used by a holistic dentist.

Holistic Dentistry And X-Rays

A holistic dentist genuinely cares about the patients they treat. They will not x-ray a child until they have reached the age of thirteen. This may seem unusual, but x-rays are not necessary for every cleaning or even annually. Exposure to radiation will accumulate over the life of the patient. This means it is in the best interests of the patient to have as few x-rays as possible.

Digital x-rays have an average of fifty percent less radiation than traditional x-rays. This being said, the amount of radiation produced is still significant. There have been studies suggesting having a large number of x-rays can increase the risk of developing a brain tumor.

Naturopathy And Holistic Dentistry

A holistic dentist has been trained in natural dental practices. They test their patients using either muscle testing or a standard blood test to determine which type of filling material is best for the biological needs of their patient. They do not use the exact same materials for every situation and patient. Their decision is partially dependent on the history and status of each individual patient.

A true holistic dentist does not believe dental materials were designed to be one size fits all. This belief is displayed in the way they operate their practices.

Homeopathic Approach

A holistic dentist will use a homeopathic approach when surgery is necessary. Instead of using traditional drugs with side effects, they often use homeopathy drops. This reduces the amount of painkiller required when performing the actual operation. Once the surgery has been completed, the patient will orally receive food based vitamin C.

Most traditional dentists use synthetic ascorbic acid. The natural supplement will help increase the rate of healing for the patient. In most cases the dentist will never have to write a prescription for any medication. This eliminates any potential side effects for the patient.

Holistic dentists will help their patients heal from surgery with an infrared device as opposed to prescribing painkillers. This type of device releases gentle heatwaves to promote natural healing. The device is held extremely close to where the surgery was performed for approximately twenty to thirty minutes.

This procedure is repeated multiple times each day. This provides benefits very similar to an infrared sauna. The devices reduces discomfort and increases the speed of the healing process. The sensation feels good and it does work. Once the stitches have been removed, the area will have healed nicely. Painkillers are not necessary for the recovery process.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Numerous experts in the dental field believe many of the wisdom tooth extractions are unnecessary. These findings have been published in the American Journal of Public Health. Roughly five million people have their wisdom teeth extracted every year. The result for 11,000 is permanent paresthesia. This condition causes a numbness of the cheek, tongue and lips.

This is caused by nerve damage as a result of the surgery. A holistic dentist does not believe in extracting wisdom teeth unless they are causing a problem. If the wisdom teeth do require removal, the holistic dentist uses extreme care to make certain cavitations are not created. Cavitations can cause health issues as time passes.

Root Canals

It is extremely rare for a holistic dentist to perform a root canal. In a lot of cases, a traditional dentist will diagnose an inflamed tooth as requiring a root canal. Many of these teeth will respond to a homeopathic approach. Sometimes all that is necessary is to clear away any dental materials that are toxic from around the tooth or to use herbs. Good nutritional support can also help reverse the need to perform a root canal. If a dentist suggests performing a root canal capped by a crown, they are definitely not holistic. This type of approach will totally destroy the tooth. It also practically guarantees a chronic outflow of bacteria will be released into the bloodstream.

If you are interested in learning more about our holistic approach to cosmetic dentistry, schedule an appointment to discuss in more detail.

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Our cosmetic dentistry practice in New York City offers complete dental care. Contact our cosmetic dentistry practice in New York City today to schedule an appointment or find out more information.

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