How are cosmetic and restorative dentistry similar?

girl smiling at camera

Most general dentists offer a variety of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental services. Many of us are familiar with preventive dentistry, but cosmetic and restorative procedures can often be confused.

Cosmetic and restorative dentistry both aim to improve smiles. However, cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of your smile and restorative dentistry prioritizes the health and function of your smile. Many times, patients who want to enhance their smile need restorative treatments first.

In this blog, we’ll define cosmetic and restorative dentistry and discuss the different issues they fix.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Are you embarrassed of your smile because of crooked, stained, or gapped teeth? Do you have a gummy smile? If yes, cosmetic dentistry is just what you’ve been looking for! Cosmetic dental solutions don’t usually improve the function of your smile, but they will improve the aesthetics to build confidence, take years off your appearance, and help you live a more vibrant life.

How does a cosmetic dentist do this? Here are some of the most common cosmetic dental treatments and their effects:

  • Teeth whitening: brightens your teeth up to nine shades
  • Composite bonding: covers up cracks, chips, and gaps
  • Porcelain veneers: conceals intrinsic stains, chips, cracks, and odd-shaped teeth; fills in gaps
  • Invisalign® and Six Month Smiles: straighten teeth
  • Gum reshaping: uses a laser to even the gum line and make teeth appear longer
  • Teeth contouring: corrects misshapen, worn, chipped, and oversized teeth

Many dentists also offer total smile makeovers for patients with multiple cosmetic issues. The dentist can create a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan that combines all of the treatments you need. He will work with you to create the smile you’ve always wanted!

Restorative Dentistry

Before you can undergo any cosmetic treatments, your smile must be healthy. In some cases, restorative dental procedures are necessary before continuing with cosmetic ones. Sometimes, restorative solutions also improve the appearance of your smile!

Here are the main goals of restorative dentistry:

  1. Replace missing teeth
  2. Repair damaged teeth
  3. Improve chewing ability
  4. Improve digestion
  5. Relieve dental pain
  6. Boost confidence

To achieve these goals, your dentist will use one or more of the following restorative treatments:

  • Dental implants: the most effective and successful way to replace missing teeth and improve oral health
  • Dental crown: cover damaged teeth, encase broken teeth, and protect vulnerable teeth from bacteria
  • Dental bridge: replaces one or more missing teeth in a row
  • Inlays and onlays: placed in or on top of the pits and fissures of the chewing surface of a damaged tooth to restore and guard against further decay
  • Fillings: strengthen a tooth that has been treated for a cavity
  • Root canal: removes the infected part of a tooth but keeps the outer tooth structure intact

Dental fillings, crowns, and bridges will be carefully crafted to look natural and feel comfortable. Because these treatments can be more intrusive, our dentist offers safe dental sedation to relieve any stress, anxiety, or pain.

The Takeaway

Though cosmetic and restorative dentistry have different goals, they both improve your smile! Sometimes, a cosmetic treatment will also benefit the health of your smile and vice versa.

If you’re interested in having any of these dental treatments done, call a cosmetic and restorative dentist near you today.  

Our Salt Lake City dentist is prepared to help you achieve all your smile goals. Contact our conveniently located office today at (801) 262-2744.

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