What Is the Difference Between Cosmetic Dentistry and Restorative Dentistry?

When you have a dental flaw or problem, such as a missing tooth or teeth stains, do you need cosmetic dentistry or restorative dentistry? While they might seem similar, there are some differences between the two. Knowing more about these types of dentistry can help you figure out which kind you need for improving your smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry refers to procedures that are done to enhance the appearance of your teeth. These procedures are typically done for aesthetic purposes only rather than needing to be done for functional purposes or to improve your dental health. For example, having coffee stains on your teeth won’t harm them, but it does affect your smile. Cosmetic procedures, such as teeth whitening, can be done to reduce these stains and make your teeth appear brighter again. 

Cosmetic dentists have training in different ways to enhance smiles, while restorative dentists focus on restoring teeth to their normal function. A cosmetic dentist has expertise in understanding how to improve patients’ smiles, whether that involves fixing gaps between teeth or minimizing unsightly discolorations. Some common types of cosmetic dental procedures include the following:

  • Teeth whitening for removing stains
  • Aligners for straightening crooked teeth
  • Veneers, crowns and bridgework made of porcelain, which provides a natural appearance
  • Composite bonding to enhance the appearance of teeth that have gaps between them or teeth that are uneven

Restorative Dentistry

Restorative dentistry refers to dental procedures that dentists do to restore function to teeth. Missing teeth, crooked teeth and other dental problems can prevent your teeth from functioning as they normally do. This can make it difficult for you to speak and chew food, which can affect your quality of life. Having these types of dental problems can also put your mouth at risk of developing other problems, such as tooth decay or gum disease. Missing teeth can affect the way your face looks as well by giving it a sunken appearance. 

Restorative dentistry refers to dental procedures that dentists do to restore function to teeth. Missing teeth, crooked teeth and other dental problems can prevent your teeth from functioning as they normally do.

Restorative dentists are trained in providing patients with dental services that ensure tooth functionality and correct structural problems. Having these procedures done can also offer other benefits, such as preventing a sunken appearance, improving smiles and boosting self-confidence. Some common kinds of restorative dentistry procedures include:

  • Dental implants for replacing missing teeth
  • Inlays and onlays to restore wholeness to damaged teeth
  • Dental crowns for covering damaged teeth
  • Fillings for tooth decay
  • Dentures or bridgework for replacing missing teeth

Keep in mind that it’s sometimes necessary to have restorative procedures done before having a cosmetic procedure done. These procedures fix problems with teeth, while cosmetic procedures take it a step further by enhancing their appearance.

If you need restorative or cosmetic dentistry, please contact Trailhead Dental to schedule an appointment. Our dentist can help you determine what needs to be done to give you a healthy smile.

We can help you plan a treatment and restore your oral health! Contact us