A close up photo of a woman smiling.

When most people think of going to the dentist, they think of root canals, cavity fillings, and wisdom teeth removal.
Aside from these often necessary procedures, however, there are a number of additional reasons you might visit the dentist.

In this article, we’ll answer some common questions about cosmetic dentistry and discuss how it might enhance your dental care routine.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is a specialized area of the dental field that strives to promote aesthetic, functional, and healthy changes to the teeth. Cosmetic dentistry aims to correct problems in appearance, function, or basic health that otherwise lessen the quality of your teeth.

What are some common cosmetic dentistry procedures?

Cosmetic dentistry includes a wide range of procedures. These may include teeth whitening, teeth reshaping and resizing, gap and alignment correction, crack and chip repair, and gum contouring. Cosmetic dentistry can also include dentures, veneers, and certain kinds of aesthetic implants.

What’s the difference between cosmetic dentistry and dental medicine?

Dental medicine, generally referred to simply as “dentistry”, is the branch of medicine that aims to prevent, treat, diagnose, and study diseases and conditions of the mouth. It has a much longer history than cosmetic procedures, dating back almost 9,000 years by some accounts!

Today, general dentists treat common oral conditions like dental caries (cavities), periodontal disease, and teeth extraction, as well as recurring check-ups like examinations, X-rays, and comprehensive health diagnoses.

By contrast, cosmetic dentistry is not technically recognized as a medical specialty, and virtually anyone with a formal training background in dental medicine may claim to be one, regardless of skill and true experience. However, there are accredited organizations like the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry that can train professionals in the dental industry to ensure they have the expertise and knowledge to give patients the quality care they seek and deserve.

Is there another name for cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is sometimes referred to as “aesthetic dentistry.” Although this phrasing might make superficiality come to mind, there is nothing wrong with desiring a beautiful smile. We’ll address why in the response to the next question.

Why should I consider cosmetic dentistry?

Although it’s certainly not the most important thing, physical appearance does affect your day-to-day life. Not only are clean, white teeth a sign of health, but they can significantly enhance your self-esteem, confidence, and success in interpersonal relationships. Furthermore, people who take care of their appearance tend to live healthier and happier lives.

When you feel good about the way your teeth look, you’re likely to smile a whole lot more.


If you want to learn more about cosmetic dentistry or talk to an accredited cosmetic dentist, you can visit Federal Hill Smiles today.