The term “Esthetic” or “Cosmetic” Dentistry has been used frequently in the dental industry. The concept of “Cosmetic Dentistry” is ill defined by the dental industry. The reason for the quotations around the phrase is because there is no such specialty in dentistry. The term “Cosmetic Dentistry” is used to imply that one particular dentist is more versed in nice appearing outcomes than others. Of course, this is only a marketing ploy. A dentist who calls themselves anything other than a General Dentist is attempting to market themselves to a different type of patient or a different demographic. This marketing ploy implies advanced training or superior results. The exceptions to this are dental specialists. Only a dental specialist can call themselves by a recognized specialty designation.

    All true dental specialties require at least three additional years of advanced training. The recognized dental specialties are: Endodontics (root canals), Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Pediatric Dentistry (children), Oral Pathology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Orthodontics (braces), Periodontics (gums), Prosthodontics (reconstructive and esthetic dentistry) and Community Health (government dentistry).