When to Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

​​If you’re in need of improved dental care and live in the Southern California region, The Art of Dentistry, a cosmetic dentist located near downtown San Diego, provides superior general and cosmetic dentistry services. Art of Dentistry is led by Dr. David Landau, Dr. Lawrence Addleson and their extraordinary, highly skilled team. Both Dr. Addleson and  Dr. Landau hold advanced certificates for post-doctoral training in cosmetic and restorative dentistry and are well-versed in the latest technologies. Their  unique fusion of artistry, skills, and tech results in healthy, long-lasting smiles and overall improved dental health. 

Cosmetic Dentistry vs. General Dentistry

Both cosmetic dentists and general dentists:

  • Graduated from dental school

  • Were trained in the same foundational material

  • Are Recognized by the American Dental Association

But, not all general dentists are considered cosmetic dentists or are versed in cosmetic procedures. So, what is the difference and how do you know when to consider cosmetic dentistry?

A cosmetic dentist has the same basic training as a general dentist has; however, what sets them apart is that their services sit within the intersection of artistry and medical science. Cosmetic dentists have extensive training in more artistic aspects and are well versed in the cultural and social importance tied to dental aesthetics.

They provide cosmetic treatments which not only lead to better overall dental health but provide patients with improved aesthetic appearance, and often, better self-esteem.

In a nutshell: certain dental procedures are better handled by cosmetic dentistry treatments. But which kinds of treatments?


Common Cosmetic Dental Procedures

In general, both cosmetic dentistry and general dentistry will address tooth decay, alignment concerns, discolored teeth and overall oral health.

If you’re just looking for basic teeth cleanings and have relatively healthy teeth, a visit to a general dentist should do ya just fine.

However, if you have misshapen teeth, cracked teeth, or extensive dental issues, you’re likely a good candidate for the restorative dentistry treatments a cosmetic dentist provides.

The most common procedures and cosmetic dentistry work includes:


Dental Implants

Those who feel embarrassed about poorly fitted dentures, or have a missing tooth (or multiple missing teeth) may benefits from a dental implant, which can help create a more natural smile that minimizes the discomfort and hassle of wearing dentures. Typically, the implant base material is titanium, which is attached to the jawbone, minimizing the slipping or damage that often accompanies bridgework or dentures.

After a thorough dental consultation, your dentist will go over your treatment plan. The cosmetic procedure requires several steps, which includes fusing artificial, custom-made teeth to root anchors in the gum. It’s a long process, but it’s one of the most natural and long-lasting ways to repair teeth.

Dental Crowns

Crowns (or a “dental cap” as they’re sometimes called) help reshape teeth or fix broken teeth. Today, crowns are made with medical grade ceramic or porcelain, so they blend with your natural teeth, and are fused to metal to withstand biting pressure.


Dental Veneers

Tooth shape is determined by our genetics, our diet and environmental factors, but if you’re unhappy with your natural tooth shape, cosmetic dental work can help you achieve a more aesthetically pleasing smile.

Dental veneers can help improve:

  • Discoloration, and

  • Damaged enamel damage

  • Large spaces

  • Short teeth

Porcelain veneers are made from a thin, shell-like material which are custom made in office and are applied to the patient’s teeth.

Teeth Shaping

Dental bonding is s a relatively quick process, and can greatly improve a patient’s smile by using special, color-matched materials to repair or improve the tooth’s surface and is best for those with badly damaged or chipped teeth.


Gum Contouring

For those primarily concerned with having an overly “gummy” smile, gum reshaping can be done by manipulating the oral and maxillofacial tissues to create a more pleasing tooth and gum shape. This is usually done by a cosmetic dentist who will use a special laser or scalpel to remove excess gum tissue and shape the gum line to reveal more of the tooth.

Professional Teeth Whitening

While many dentists offer cosmetic treatment to help patients achieve a bright smile, most cosmetic dentistry offices offer more robust, in office teeth whitening options. These options range from custom-made whitening trays to laser whitening and more.

Office staff member

Orthodontic Treatments

While some general dentists still prescribe braces for alignment concerns, a cosmetic dentist will likely recommend patients use Invisalign® because it uses clear, medical-grade plastic that’s nearly invisible, and is removable for eating and drinking purposes. Most cosmetic dentists will custom-fit for each patient to help fix crooked teeth, misalignment, gaps or overcrowding. 

About The Art of Dentistry

Located in San Diego, Dr. David Landau, Dr. Lawrence Addleson and their extraordinary team are widely recognized for their top-quality smile designs. They have been awarded with recognition from their  peers for many consecutive years and have been credited for the “whole body” approach to cosmetic dentistry.