Cosmetic Dentistry vs. Restorative Dentistry

Mar 04, 2020

Dentistry is a multi-faceted field. Many aspects of the mouth are covered in dentistry, not just teeth. The cheeks, facial bones, gums, tonsils, are among the parts of the mouth that dentistry tackles. This is why there are different specialties within dentistry. They allow for specialization. Dental experts can offer specific services to patients, based on their specialization. Even then, all the specialties borrow concepts from each other. They all work together to achieve the primary course.

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

It is a specialty of dentistry concerned with the aesthetic appearances of teeth and mouth in general. It focuses on proving the smile of patients to the human eye. Some of the procedures involved in cosmetic dentistry involve the following:

  • Dental veneers – are the most common appliances in cosmetic treatment for teeth. They cover up different flaws to improve appearance. Some of the issues covered include teeth discoloration, chipped and cracked teeth, spaces between teeth, mishappen teeth, to mention a few.
  • Partial dentures – for missing teeth.
  • Other dental bonding procedures – this includes dental crowns. They may be used for cosmetic purposes where veneers are not the best solution for the treatment at hand.

What is Restorative Dentistry?

It is a different specialty of dentistry that focuses on dental care treatment to restore the strength and the structure of a tooth. Restorative dentistry places a lot of emphasis on the health of a tooth for functionality. However, it also looks into other aspects of the mouth that can improve the functioning of teeth. Some of the treatments on restorative dentistry include the following:

  • Dental fillings – for dental decay.
  • Root canal therapy – for damaged tooth nerves and extreme dental decay.
  • Dental bridges – for missing teeth.
  • Dental implants – for missing teeth.
  • Orthodontic appliances – including traditional braces, Invisalign, retainers, to mention a few. They are used for realigning teeth.
  • Complete conventional dentures – for missing teeth.
  • Gum surgery – either gum reduction or gum grafting. They are used to improve the health of the gum tissue.

What Is The Difference Between Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry?

The differences between cosmetic and restorative dentistry are not very pronounced. Having that they both work in the quarters of the mouth, there is more that unites them than that which differentiates them. Some of the differences include:

  • Cosmetic dentistry has the sole purpose of improving the outward appearance of teeth. Anything else that improves afterward is only but a consequence of cosmetic dental works. On the other hand, restorative dentistry purely focuses on the functional aspect of the mouth. Anything that can be done to ensure your teeth and mouth is functioning at their best is done. The cosmetic improvements are usually but a consequence of restorative dental works.
  • Restorative dentistry may sometimes require dental specialization. It majors on preventive and corrective dental works. Therefore, a general dentist may not be in a position to handle all the procedures effectively. Cosmetic dentistry does not necessarily require a different level of specialization in teeth modification for improved appearances. A general dentist can apply the necessary appliances to cover up different oral flaws.
  • Cosmetic dentistry channels all attention to improving the look of a smile. Sometimes, this might undermine the health of teeth. Restorative dentistry in the other hand focuses on correcting all underlying problems to help improve the health of your mouth.
  • The results of restorative dental works are more permanent and final than those of cosmetic dentistry.
  • All cosmetic dental procedures are only offered based on wants and preferences. Most, if not all of the restorative oral procedures are offered based on need and diagnosis.
  • Cosmetic dentistry is a non-invasive approach to dental care. Restorative dentistry may be invasive, depending on the type of procedure being done.

Are the Two Specialties Similar?

Much as it seems like they are far different from each other, they have a lot of similarities. One of the greatest similarities is that they improve oral health. Whether you are improving the appearance of your teeth or working on restoring strength and functionality, the oral health will be impacted positively. This also informs why most of the treatments offered on either specialty are similar.

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