What Is the Difference Between Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry?

What Is the Difference Between Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry?

Sep 01, 2021

Often when we hear of dentistry, we are quick to think that it only entails dental procedures that can sort out all your oral needs. While that is the essence of dentistry, the existence of many dental specialties is evidence that different dental procedures are necessary for the sustenance of excellent oral health. For some, the dental procedures needed are measures to bring healing and recovery, while others are looking for dental solutions that can help them achieve Hollywood-perfect smiles. Either way, there is a place for you in dentistry, and all you need is to identify the correct specialty that can work for you.

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

It is a specialty of dentistry concerned with the aesthetics of your smile. Ideally, the dental experts in this specialty focus on the different features of your smile and how they can work together to accentuate the features of your facial appearance. Many cosmetic procedures in dentistry are not done due to necessity but are rather considered elective dental procedures. It implies that cosmetic dentistry is a field of dentistry that attracts only the patients that are self-conscious about their appearances. Some examples of dental procedures performed in cosmetic dentistry include the following:

  1. Dental bonding – to attach dental veneers or composite resin to teeth.
  2. Teeth reshaping – to alter the shape of teeth regarding size and unusual shapes
  3. Closing spaces between teeth – caused by orthodontic challenges
  4. Tooth replacement – using dental bridges and dentures to replace missing teeth.
  5. Teeth whitening – to remove stubborn teeth stains and improve the whiteness and brightness of teeth.
  6. Gum surgery – either gum grafting surgery or gum reduction surgery. These surgeries are done to correct the appearance and health of the gum tissue when you smile. Gum reduction helps deal with a gummy smile, while gum grafting helps restore lost gum tissue.

What Is Restorative Dentistry?

It is a specialty of dentistry concerned with the repair and restoration of teeth and other oral features of your mouth. Restorative dentistry is set aside for the performance of dental procedures that can impact the functioning of your mouth. In that case, restorative dentistry is a specialty that welcomes all patients who have underlying dental issues that compromise the optimal functionality of their oral cavities. Some common examples of restorative dental procedures include the following:

  1. Tooth fillings for dental cavities and tooth decay.
  2. Root canal therapy for diseased and damaged teeth.
  3. Tooth replacement – when you have a missing tooth or more, some restorative alternatives may include dental implants, dentures, or dental bridges.
  4. Bone grafting surgery – done to restore lost bone tissue and reinforce the strength and stability of teeth.
  5. Tooth crowning – involves installing dental crowns to restore cracked, chipped, or broken teeth.

Are the Two Different?

Cosmetic dentists and restorative dentists serve different roles in dentistry. This is the only way you can be confident in the fact that cosmetic and restorative dentistry is different. Technically, cosmetic dentistry prioritizes the aesthetic appearance of your smile. As such, all the treatments you receive in cosmetic dentistry will be for the primary goal of beautifying your smile. The approaches, therefore, do not have to be invasive or corrective. Many cosmetic dentists will recommend quick fixes to restore the appearance of your smile.

On the other hand, restorative dentistry prioritizes the functionality of your oral cavity. Therefore, all the treatments offered are geared toward improving the productivity of your mouth by boosting functionality. In that case, whether the procedures and treatments are invasive or not, if they are necessary to restore the optimal functionality of your mouth, then your restorative dentist will proceed to perform them.

Still, even though cosmetic and restorative dentistry is different specialties, they are also interconnected. For instance, in the process of restoring your smile to improve the functionality thereof, the dental treatments in restorative dentistry positively impact the appearance of your smile. In the same way, some cosmetic dental procedures have a positive impact on the functionality of your oral cavity, even while they focus on the appearance thereof. Besides, there are dental procedures like orthodontics that can be performed for both cosmetic and restorative purposes.

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