There is no recognized specialty of cosmetic dentistry, but there are dentists who specialize in cosmetic procedures. They are commonly called cosmetic dentists. Traditionally, that was the place to make an appointment for any cosmetic procedures. Dental insurance does not cover elective cosmetic procedures, so costs are the responsibility of patients.


Technological advances allow many cosmetic procedures to be completed in the office of a general dentist. Costs may be lower at a general dentist and, in some cases, partial insurance coverage may be approved. Cosmetic bonding is an example. This procedure is used to fix chipped or broken teeth. It will also protect the tooth from further damage, so some cost reduction may be available via an insurance policy.

Professional whitening can be completed by a general dentist as can composite or porcelain cavity fillings. Veneers are fabricated in a dental laboratory, but a general dentist can make the moldings for them and adhere them to the teeth of patients. Those expecting perfection may want to have veneers applied by a cosmetic dentist. An excellent application does take experience, which a general dentist may not have.

Restorative Cosmetic Procedures

Dental implants are an example of a procedure that falls under different dental categories. Replacing a missing tooth or teeth will improve appearances but will also restore the bite and original shape of the mouth. Implants can be completed by a cosmetic, restorative, or general dentist. Several articles are available for additional reading online.

Dental categories are blurred because procedures are faster, easier, and less complicated than they were in the past. General dentists have access to equipment and training that make cosmetic and restorative procedures safe and comfortable. A CEREC machine, for example, allows a general dentist to replace a ceramic crown in one hour. A special oral camera scans the spot where the old crown was placed and the machine fabricates the crown right in the office.

Patient Care

The best result of dental advances in technology is that patient care delivery is more accessible, affordable, and comfortable. Patients with anxiety issues are more at ease during appointments because procedures are less painful. People are less likely to neglect teeth because x-rays can be completed in a fraction of the time it used to take to get a full set. Cleanings are more efficient, so people can fit them into hectic schedules.