Cosmetic dentistry is the type of dental care you need when you want to improve the appearance of your smile. Orthodontics, on the other hand, is a specialized type of dental care focused on improving the position of the teeth and jaw to overcome an inadequate bite. Both orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry work with the teeth to achieve a more aesthetic and pleasant smile. However, there can be some confusion about what exactly each branch of dentistry entails and the difference between the two.
As you can see, cosmetic dentistry focuses on the “cosmetic side” of the spectrum, limiting treatment to mostly superficial areas of the teeth. However, orthodontics takes a different approach. While cosmetic dentistry doesn't change the actual alignment of teeth, it can be used to address aesthetic and dental health needs. Orthodontists tend to specialize in correcting dental irregularities.
Therefore, they may be consulted to help with misaligned or crooked teeth, an insufficient bite, or a crowded mouth. A cosmetic dentist deals directly with teeth, aesthetics and the way they feel, as well as how teeth work in the mouth. Therefore, you can consult a cosmetic dentist for veneers to treat the problem of stained or golden teeth, for example. Cosmetic dentists are trained in the most innovative procedures and techniques to help improve the look of your smile, focusing on superficial problems and not addressing structural changes in the mouth.
To help you decide the dentist versus orthodontist question and determine which one is right for you, we will first highlight the main aspects of each and then explain the difference between dentists and orthodontists. Although both work with teeth, cosmetic dentists and orthodontists are not the same thing, each has specific skills to help patients get the smile they deserve and address the problems that have been affecting them. If you want to whiten your smile or transform a malformed tooth, seek the guidance of a cosmetic dentist who can design a plan that will help you recover your smile. Both orthodontists and cosmetic dentists are specialists who can help you correct imperfections that prevent you from having the ideal appearance of your teeth.
For example, if a tooth was chipped or broken during an accident, a cosmetic dentist can repair the damage or use porcelain crowns to cover it. If you have gaps between your teeth, a cosmetic dentist can use veneers to cover your teeth and help you achieve a perfect smile in just a few visits. While a dentist focuses on the broader aspects of the mouth, an orthodontist is a licensed dentist who specializes in correcting dental irregularities, such as crooked teeth, crowded teeth, and excessive or minor bites. So how do you fix open teeth? Both aesthetic dentists and orthodontists can address a diastema, and each specialist has their own distinctive approach.
Jason Smithson is an internationally renowned aesthetic and reconstructive dentist who formerly belonged to London's Harley Street Medical District. He now resides in St Agnes, Cornwall, where he offers dental services, dental education and expert medico-legal witnesses. All other cosmetic complaints, such as color, shade, shape, or even tooth damage, can only be solved with a cosmetic procedure.