The Difference Between Cosmetic Dentistry and Restorative Dentistry

Most people know that cosmetic dentistry is used to obtain the perfect smile. However, before one undergoes a cosmetic procedure, some work is sometimes needed to lay a suitable foundation through restorative dentistry. This article explains both types of dentistry and the many procedures you can benefit from in each category.

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is a dental procedure that focuses on improving the appearance of your smile. Different reasons to have a cosmetic dental procedure include yellowing, uneven, or chipped teeth that may make you feel self-conscious.

Common Cosmetic Procedures:

  • Teeth Whitening: The teeth are whitened through bleaching to eradicate stains or discoloration of the tooth enamel.
  • Cosmetic Bonding: Minor discoloration or minor chips can easily be fixed through bonding. This is a tooth-colored putty molded to fill in chips or holes in teeth and small cavities.
  • Contouring: This is where a dentist reshapes an individual’s teeth by altering the shape, length, width, or position.
  • Veneers: Plastic or porcelain shells fixed to cover the tooth at the front. Veneers are fitted to every tooth and cemented to change the shape and color of the tooth and provide a more permanent solution than bonding or whitening.

What is Restorative Dentistry?

Restorative dentistry includes the procedures performed to keep your mouth functional and healthy. Restorative dentistry does not require a specialist to administer; it is the corrective and preventive steps general practice dentists take to ensure oral health. The goal of restorative dentistry is to keep the mouth functioning well to improve the general appearance of one’s smile.

Common Restorative Procedures

  • Dental Crowns: Caps made of porcelain or resin that are placed over damaged teeth to protect them from further damage
  • Fillings: Tooth-colored composite used to fill in sections of the teeth removed after a cavity
  • Dentures: Removable artificial teeth that improve the ability to speak and eat
  • Implants: Screws that replace the root of the tooth and create a foundation for artificial teeth.

The Difference Between Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry

Restorative dental procedures repair the teeth and alleviate painful symptoms caused by damaged or missing teeth. Unlike elective cosmetic dental procedures that focus on the appearance of the teeth, restoration is often essential to restore oral health and proper functioning. If you have minor chips or discoloration you may benefit from cosmetic dentistry but more severe decay and cracking will require a restorative dental procedure.

Schedule a Consultation

Fennell, Yoxthimer, and Associates specialize in restorative and cosmetic dentistry for patients of all ages! Give us a chance to restore the appearance and function of your teeth when you schedule a consultation at our office in Cincinnati, OH.

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