Paula S.Gould DDS
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  • Writer's pictureDr. Paula S. Gould, DDS

Your Guide to Finding Your Perfect Dentist

Finding the right dentist is crucial to maintaining good oral health and ensuring a positive dental experience. 

There are some similarities between the two areas of dentistry (cosmetic and general), and it may feel confusing to know which type of dentist you need. 

So let’s talk about it! 

In this article, we will discuss the main differences between a cosmetic dentist and a general dental health care professional. We touch on how to decide which type of provider is right for you with factors such as your specific dental needs, location, and provider qualifications in mind. 

Join us as we dive into the world of dentistry to help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.

General Dentist

The field of general dentistry focuses on improving and maintaining oral hygiene and preventing oral difficulties from arising. General dentists are like general practitioners in that their goal is overall oral health.

General dentists’ areas of expertise include:

  • Extractions

  • Fillings

  • Root Canal Work

  • Teeth Cleanings

  • Routine Dental Check-Ups

Cosmetic Dentist

The field of cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of smiles and ensuring beautiful teeth. Cosmetic dentists are similar to cosmetic surgeons, in that their main focus is improving the aesthetic side of things.

Cosmetic dentists’ areas of expertise include:

  • Dental Implants

  • Porcelain Veneers

  • Teeth Whitening

  • Cosmetic Bonding

  • Tooth Restoration


The route to becoming a general dentist and a cosmetic dentist typically starts the same. 

  • Both must graduate from an accredited dental school and earn either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD). The titles are essentially the same, and one does not hold more recognition than the other.

The difference for cosmetic dentists comes after dental school. 

  • Cosmetic dentists must pursue advanced training to become accredited in the cosmetic field. While not required, cosmetic dentists who are accredited through the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) hold the highest qualifications and greatest expertise.

General or Cosmetic?

The choice to opt for a general dentist or cosmetic dentist can be narrowed down based on your goals of treatment. 

If you’re looking to improve your overall oral health or are struggling with ailments such as cavities or gum disease, you may want to seek out a general dentist.

If you’re looking to improve your smile and achieve pearly whites or fix missing or misaligned teeth, you may find your needs better suited with a cosmetic dentist.

One helpful tip is to book a pre–appointment consultation! These consultations are a great way to get to know a dentist and learn more about their services.

Bergen County Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Paula Gould, a cosmetic dentist, serves the Bergen County, NJ, area and its surrounding regions. Her extensive knowledge and vast experience have attracted patients from across the country.

Dr. Gould is an active member of the AACD and attends yearly conventions to continuously further her education while staying up to date with the latest in cosmetic dentistry.

Ready to book your consultation appointment and start your journey to a better smile?

(201) 675-0340

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