Midtown Toronto

April 13, 2024

What are the differences between cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics?


Everyone deserves a fantastic smile that boosts their confidence and promotes good oral health. Thanks to modern dentistry, there are solutions to fit just about everyone’s needs and address nearly any dental concern.

Perhaps you’ve encountered the terms cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics and found yourself wondering, “What’s the difference between cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics? Aren’t they pretty much the same thing?”

Well, the quick answer is no, although they both aim to achieve a similar outcome: improving the appearance of your smile. But the way they go about it is pretty different.

Unlike orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry offers a wide range of services, each with slightly different results. It’s essential to note that standard orthodontics mainly focuses on fixing dental irregularities and isn’t typically considered a cosmetic treatment option.

Each path champions a distinct specialty and strategy, harmonizing the pursuit of an enhanced smile with a simplified comprehension.

Cosmetic Dentistry:

If you’ve ever wondered about cosmetic dentistry, let us break it down. It’s all about transforming your teeth, gums, and, of course, your smile. But it’s not just about fixing; it’s about the magical ability to turn your dream smile into a beautiful reality.

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Orthodontics plays a pivotal role in the world of dentistry, specializing in diagnosing and treating what we call “bad bites” or malocclusion. It’s all about ensuring your teeth align and function harmoniously. This field offers several well-known treatments, including braces, clear aligners, and retainers.

How your teeth come together is paramount to your oral health. By enhancing the alignment of your upper and lower teeth, you’re working towards a beautiful smile and reducing the risk of various oral health issues. These include cavities, gum disease, and excessive wear and tear that can lead to erosion.

Orthodontics is more than just straightening teeth; it’s about safeguarding your oral well-being and ensuring your smile serves you well for years.

Cosmetic Dentistry’s Top Procedures

  • Teeth Whitening: Brighten your smile easily and effectively, either in-office or with take-home kits, to eliminate stains and discolorations.
  • Dental Bonding: Correct minor imperfections like chips or gaps using a special resin that seamlessly matches your natural teeth, creating a harmonious look.
  • Dental Veneers: These ultra-thin porcelain shells have revolutionized smile makeovers, concealing flaws and creating a flawless appearance.
  • Veneers: Achieve a flawless smile with these thin porcelain shells.
  • Crowns: Restore and beautify damaged teeth.

Cosmetic Dentistry’s Top Treatment Goals

The core objectives of cosmetic dentistry treatments are to:

  • Enhance Aesthetics: Achieve a more attractive and captivating smile by addressing imperfections and enhancing your overall appearance.
  • Boost Confidence: Elevate self-esteem and self-assurance by providing a smile that you’re proud to share with the world.
  • Preserve Natural Teeth: Prioritize the conservation of your natural teeth while improving their aesthetics and functionality.
  • Personalized Solutions: Tailor treatments to individual needs, ensuring that your unique smile goals are met.
  • Long-lasting Results: Deliver lasting results that stand the test of time, providing you with a beautiful smile for years to come.

Considering the Best in Toronto? Luna Dentistry Has You Covered!

When searching for the best cosmetic dentistry in Toronto, look no further than Luna Dentistry. Our team is dedicated to helping you achieve your dream smile. Contact us today for a consultation, and let your journey to a beautiful smile begin!

With the diverse range of cosmetic dentistry options available, you might wonder why orthodontics should be on your radar. Let’s explore the distinctions between these two approaches.

Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry:

Cosmetic dentistry services offer a range of appealing features:

  • Smile Enhancement: Achieve a remarkable transformation for your smile.
  • Teeth Brightening: Restore brilliance to discolored teeth.
  • Improved Tooth Shape: Enhance the aesthetic appeal of your teeth.
  • Concealing Imperfections: Skillfully hide any flaws, such as chips and cracks.
  • Symmetry and Balance: Attain a smile that exudes harmony and balance.
  • Elevated Confidence: Boost your self-assurance through a more captivating smile.

Considerations of Cosmetic Dentistry:

It’s important to note that cosmetic dentistry costs are typically not covered by insurance. Insurance providers typically do not classify cosmetic procedures as essential or medically necessary.

Furthermore, sustaining your enhanced smile necessitates a level of commitment. Certain treatments, like porcelain veneers, are irreversible and may require replacement every few years to maintain their optimal appearance.


Orthodontics plays a vital role in the world of dentistry, focusing on the diagnosis and correction of what we commonly refer to as “bad bites” or malocclusion. Its primary goal is to ensure that your teeth fit together harmoniously. Within this field, you’ll find a range of well-known treatments, such as braces, clear aligners, and retainers.

The alignment of your upper and lower teeth holds significant importance in the realm of oral health. By enhancing this alignment, you’re not only working towards achieving a beautiful smile but also reducing the risk of various oral health issues, including cavities, gum disease, and the kind of wear and tear that can lead to erosion.

In essence, orthodontics transcends the mere act of straightening teeth; it’s a comprehensive approach dedicated to safeguarding your overall oral well-being and ensuring that your smile remains a reliable and healthy companion for many years to come.

Common Orthodontic Treatments

  • Braces Braces are a well-recognized method in orthodontics. They work gradually by shifting your teeth into their desired positions using brackets, bands, and wires. You can choose from different types of braces based on your needs, including traditional metal braces and clear (ceramic) braces.
  • Clear Aligners For those seeking an alternative to braces, clear orthodontic aligners like Invisalign® and ClearCorrect® are popular options. Instead of brackets and wires, these systems utilize a series of custom-made, clear aligner trays. You wear each set of trays for one to two weeks before moving on to the next set. Over time, these clear aligners gently guide your teeth into their proper positions.
  • Retainers After completing your orthodontic treatment with braces or clear aligners, a retainer becomes essential. This custom-made oral appliance prevents your teeth from shifting out of their newly achieved positions. Your orthodontist will provide guidance on how often you should wear your retainer to maintain the treatment results.
  • Palate Expanders Some orthodontic treatments are recommended during childhood. This is because a child’s facial bones are still developing, making them easier to adjust. A palate (palatal) expander is one such treatment that widens a child’s upper jaw. While not all children require palate expanders, they can be beneficial under specific circumstances, creating additional space without the need for tooth extractions or other procedures.

Benefits of Orthodontics: 

Orthodontic treatments offer numerous advantages, extending beyond cosmetic enhancements:

  • Improved Oral Hygiene: Aligned teeth are more manageable to clean, reducing the risk of plaque buildup and oral health issues.
  • Enhanced Functionality: Straightening teeth can lead to better chewing and speech functions, contributing to overall oral well-being.
  • Pain Relief for TMJ: Orthodontic treatment can alleviate discomfort associated with TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorder, enhancing your quality of life.
  • Oral Health Benefits: A well-aligned bite lowers the chances of cavities, gum diseases, and various other oral health concerns, ensuring a healthier mouth.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Ultimately, orthodontics aids in achieving and maintaining an attractive and healthy smile, boosting self-confidence.

Disadvantages of Orthodontics:

The primary downside of orthodontic treatment is its duration. It necessitates strict adherence to treatment guidelines and demands patience until your desired results are achieved. The treatment timeline varies considerably among individuals, with some completing it in less than a year while others may require two years or more.

Each person’s unique requirements influence the treatment duration, making it essential to consult your orthodontist to comprehend what lies ahead.

Moreover, insufficient cleaning around orthodontic appliances can heighten the risk of cavities. To mitigate this risk, it’s imperative to follow your orthodontist’s oral hygiene recommendations conscientiously.

Cosmetic Dentistry Vs. Orthodontics

Cosmetic dental procedures seek to improve the aesthetic appeal of your smile, while orthodontic treatments focus on rectifying structural matters within your oral region. Both disciplines have dedicated experts trained to address specific concerns.

Therefore, whether you aim for a remarkable smile enhancement or need assistance with issues such as discomfort relief, biting complexities, or comprehensive oral health, understanding the distinctions between these two domains enables you to make informed decisions regarding your dental welfare.

​​Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics Common Aspects:

  • Oral Health Focus: Both cosmetic dental procedures and orthodontic treatments contribute to enhanced oral health, albeit in distinct ways.
  • Qualified Experts: Each field relies on highly trained professionals who specialize in their specific areas.
  • Personalized Care: Patients benefit from tailored treatment plans that cater to their unique requirements and objectives.

Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics Notable Contrasts

  • Objective: Cosmetic dentistry primarily revolves around enhancing the visual appeal of a smile, while orthodontics concentrates on rectifying structural concerns within the mouth.
  • Treatment Approaches: Cosmetic dentistry employs procedures such as teeth whitening, veneers, and bonding for surface enhancements, whereas orthodontics utilizes appliances like braces and aligners to address bite and alignment issues.
  • Specialists: Cosmetic dental work is typically carried out by cosmetic dentists, while orthodontic treatment is often overseen by orthodontists who possess specialized expertise in correcting dental and facial irregularities.
  • Duration of Care: Cosmetic dentistry often delivers quicker results, whereas orthodontic treatments may necessitate a more extended timeframe, ranging from several months to a few years.
  • Insurance Considerations: Cosmetic dental procedures are frequently regarded as elective and may not be covered by insurance, whereas orthodontic treatments may have partial coverage in certain medically necessary scenarios.

Which treatment is right for me?

In making the right choice between Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics for your smile, it’s essential to weigh your individual needs and objectives. Cosmetic dentistry offers a swift and efficient path to a more aesthetically pleasing smile, focusing on surface enhancements.

On the other hand, orthodontics addresses structural concerns and may require a more extended commitment.

At Luna Dentistry, we stand prepared to guide you toward optimal decisions and deliver exceptional treatment experiences.

I’m Kaveh, your trusted dental specialist, and I extend an open invitation for you to get in touch whenever you require assistance or seek answers regarding attaining your desired smile and ensuring long-term oral well-being.

Let’s talk about it

Choosing the right option for your smile makeover can seem like a daunting process. It is very important to speak to your dentist to choose the option for you, as not all procedures are suitable for all cases. It is important to choose a procedure that is right for your immediate and long-term goals.

Feel free to reach out to any of our locations, to speak to any of our dentists to choose the right pathway for you.

Luna Dentistry Mount Pleasant

(647) 503-5102

Luna Dentistry Richmond Hill

(833) 719-2678

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Orthodontics and Cosmetic Dentistry FAQs:

  1. Can dentistry and orthodontics be combined? Yes, dentistry and orthodontics can be combined to address both general dental needs and orthodontic issues.
  2. Can someone be both a dentist and an orthodontist? Yes, it is possible for someone to be both a dentist and an orthodontist. To achieve this, a person would typically complete dental school to become a dentist and then pursue additional specialized training in orthodontics. This dual expertise allows them to provide both general dental care and specialized orthodontic treatments.
  3. What is the difference between cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics? Cosmetic dentistry aims to improve the appearance of teeth, focusing on aesthetics. Orthodontics, however, primarily deals with correcting misalignments and bite issues for better oral function and health.
  4. What’s the difference between braces and cosmetic braces? Braces are orthodontic devices used to align and correct teeth and bite issues. Cosmetic braces, also known as clear aligners, are a more discreet alternative to traditional braces, offering a less noticeable appearance during treatment.

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