Difference Between Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry

Difference Between Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry

Restorative dentistry often overlaps with cosmetic dentistry and has a lot in common. For instance, both utilize crowns and dental implants to restore or enhance the patient's smile. However, as both are different terms, so are their procedures. Restorative dentistry usually takes action when a patient has already undergone cosmetic procedures.   

A general dentist usually performs restorative and cosmetic procedures. General dentists provide various restorative, cosmetic, and preventative services within their offices. Therefore, there is not always a need to visit a specialist unless and until there is a complicated case. These dentistry fields are primarily to restore missing, damaged, and decayed teeth. Though restorative and cosmetic dentistry has many similarities, there are also some significant differences. Continue reading to get to know these.  

Restorative dentistry focuses on procedures aimed at repairing decayed, broken, or missing teeth. People who undergo restorative procedures are the ones who come with complaints of excruciating pain, dental bleeding, or swelling. These could emerge due to an accident or after trauma. Restorative dentistry helps people alleviate such problems with immediate dental care.  

Most people avail cosmetic procedures to improve their smile. On the other hand, cosmetic dentistry uses elective procedures rather than essential ones. They alter teeth' spacing, alignment, color, size, or shape for better appearance. Restorative dentistry includes necessary functions for providing immediate help to the patient. In contrast, cosmetic dentistry aims to fulfill patients' needs for better self-esteem. 

Restorative and cosmetic dentistry have different purposes. The former is to enhance visual appearance, whereas the latter focuses on restoring teeth for better function. Restorative dentistry aims to restore damaged, decayed, or missing teeth and improve oral health. In comparison, the purpose of cosmetic dentistry is to elevate the patient's smile by using veneers, implants, fillings, etc.  

A typical restorative procedure is known as root canal therapy. Here the dentist uses a crown to protect the remaining tooth structure from decay or further damage. At the same time, the same dental crown is also used in cosmetic dentistry but with a different purpose. Here, the crown helps improve the contour, size, and color of the tooth rather than improving the tooth's function.  

Another difference between restorative and cosmetic dentistry is the type of dental materials used to fabricate restorations. Dental restorations used in restorative dentistry are durable and affordable to alleviate patients' problems. Whereas, in cosmetic dentistry, there are durable but focus more on being aesthetically pleasing.  

The standard procedures in restorative dentistry include the following: 

  1. Dental surgery.
  2. Tooth extractions.
  3. Fixed bridges.
  4. Dental implants.
  5. Braces and dentures.
  6. Bite adjustment.
  7. Root canal therapy.
  8. Tooth-colored dental fillings.
  9. Dental crowns. 

The standard cosmetic dentistry procedures include: 

  1. Teeth whitening.
  2. Gum lift.
  3. Dental veneers.
  4. Teeth bonding.
  5. Inlays and Onlays.
  6. Invisalign treatment.
  7. Dental implants.
  8. Porcelain crowns. 

Wrap Up

Restorative and cosmetic dentistry are similar dentistry practices, however, with different purposes. They are both used to resolve the patient's issue, whether it is essential or elective. If you want to avail any of these services, visit your dentist and get yourself evaluated for them. Usually, a cosmetic procedure happens before some vital work takes place in the patient's mouth.

You may contact your nearest dentist to know more about restorative and cosmetic dentistry. Your dentist will also guide you if you need treatment belonging to either of the two dentistry branches. 

Contact your dentist in Fairfield, Dr. Zhu at Freedom Dental, to learn the difference between restorative and cosmetic dentistry.


Restorative Dentistry: Introduction and Common Procedures

*This media/content or any other on this website does not prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. Therefore, we highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition*  

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