There are two types of dentistry today. One is traditional dentistry targeting the oral hygiene and prevention of oral diseases, tooth decay, etc., by diagnosis and routine oral treatment. Its focus is maintenance oriented and a percentage which is covered by insurance. The other and most recent is cosmetic dentistry, aiming to improve the appearance of your teeth and smile. And in some instances dental procedures are implemented to improve function, which may have the tertiary effect of improving your smile, i.e. an implant. Thus, general oral diseases and related health issues are treated by general dental practitioners during the routine care of your oral health. Whereas cosmetic dentistry should be handled by a dental specialist, whether it is a prosthodontist, orthodontist or an oral surgeon/periodontist in conjunction with a prosthodontist.
Cosmetic dentistry, while it is not a recognized dental specialty, has risen to an art form in the field of dentistry. When applied in conjunction with the restorative benefits of general dentistry like dental fillings fall within the domain of general dentistry but crosses over into cosmetics when the materials of the restoration serve two purposes; the filling itself and the appearance of the filling. Thus a composite dental filling is covered by cosmetic dentistry to retain your look and smile as usual, but avoids the unsightliness of an amalgam (mercury filling).
There are many dental clinics and general practitioners providing a myriad of cosmetic dentistry procedures. Before opting for treatment, one needs to take care in selecting the right type of dentist with investigation that should include references, reviews, training and the skill set for the treatment as well as the particular procedure and protocol to be followed. In metro cities like Atlanta one can find many dentists who purport to be trained (or have trained themselves) as cosmetic dentists, which is a self-proclaimed non-existent specialty. These dental clinics and practitioners are providing general dentistry as well as cosmetic dentistry that range from performing root canal treatment, periodontal treatment, children’s dentistry, teeth whitening, bleaching and advanced cosmetic dentistry such as the placing of implants. Purported cosmetic dentists providing various cosmetic procedures as well as surgeries like full mouth rehabilitation, tooth laminates, tooth veneers, crowns, bridges, etc., can make a mess of your mouth if you’re not careful.
Little known, prosthodontic dentists are with the passage of time gaining popular recognition as patients become more familiar with the advances in dentistry and how they can enhance their everyday lives. They are expert dentists with a post graduate ADA recognized degree centered around a complete knowledge of dentistry, where function and beautification of teeth are combined in the final result — the right smile. A comprehensive approach by a prosthodontist is the best way to ensure that you are receiving the competent and qualified dental care you need.
Dr. Scheinfeld received her prosthodontics degree from Emory University’s Prosthodontics program in 1988. Of the more than 170,000 dentists in the United States less than 3,200 are degreed prosthodontists. According to Forbes Magazine there are only 560 currently practicing. If the Right Smile Center can answer your questions or provide you with a complimentary consultation, please feel free to contact us.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328
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