Cosmetic Dentist or General Dentist?

Before I begin, please forgive me if this blog entry seems a bit self-indulgent. I ran into a guy at the gym this morning with whom I have been acquainted for the past four or five years. He asked, as often happens, if I would mind talking professionally for a moment. Actually, I usually do enjoy talking shop outside the office, so I said “sure.” He proceeded to tell me that he has some cosmetic concerns about his teeth, knows some of my patients, and wondered if I would feel comfortable treating him since we know each other. He also said that he has a regular dentist who takes care of his routine dental needs. It occurred to me that I was not having a déjà vu, but had experienced this kind of interaction before. I assured him that I would not only feel comfortable seeing him, but, in fact, most of my best friends are patients. It seems that knowing a patient first, often eliminates any of the trust barriers that some new patients have.

So, “what’s the problem?” you ask. Well, I am always happy to hear that I will be seeing a new patient and was flattered that he liked the dental work of ours he had seen. But, later, on the way home, it occurred to me that I must have been sending out the wrong message somehow. That people frequently think that all I do is cosmetic dentistry, and, on top of that, that I may be too busy to accept new patients. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, I love doing cosmetic dentistry and have had the training to do very nice work. But, overwhelmingly, most of my work falls under the category of General Dentistry. I have enjoyed some patient families for twenty-five years. And, their care included the routine cleanings and exams, fillings, extractions, root canals, crowns, bridges, dentures and so on that general dentists do. In fact, there is no specialty designation of “cosmetic dentist.”

So, if you are already a patient, you probably know all this. And, if you are not, please be assured that I am a General Dentist who does accept new patients and provides a full range of dental care! As a matter of fact, the “FAGD” after my name stands for “Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry.” I hope that this blog clears up any misconceptions and explains the initials after my name on which many have commented…

If you know anyone who will benefit from some general dentistry, we would certainly appreciate your kind referrals. Thank you for your indulgence, and, as always, please feel free to call the office at 908.359.6655 or email us at

NOTE: Originally posted February 10th, 2009