The Difference Between Cosmetic Dentistry and Restorative Dentistry

The Difference Between Cosmetic Dentistry and Restorative Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry do have a lot in common, however, they both serve different purposes.

There is a common misconception surrounding cosmetic and restorative dentistry that suggests they both offer the same dental treatments and produce the same results.

While there is an overlap between the two, there is still a noticeable difference. Here’s how…

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry primarily aims to correct cosmetic concerns. These concerns may include tooth discolouration, chipped or cracked teeth, or if the patient wishes to completely transform their smile.

Cosmetic dental treatments include teeth whitening; in-chair professional teeth whitening or take-home kits, composite and porcelain veneers, as well as CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic) crown restorations.

What is restorative dentistry?

As the name suggests, restorative dentistry aims to primarily restore your smile. This may mean restoring the overall function of your teeth, jaw and, in more severe cases, your facial bone structure.

Treatments for restorative dentistry include crown and bridgework, dental implants used for a single missing tooth, as well as dentures for a row of missing or weakened teeth.

Restorative dentistry ultimately allows our dentists to strengthen, maintain and restore the general function of the mouth, teeth, jaw and gums. By doing so, however, restorative dental treatments can, in some cases, improve the overall appearance of the patient’s smile.

Essential vs. Elective Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry can be divided into two main categories: essential and elective.

Cosmetic dentistry is arguably an elective form of dentistry as it generally does not pose the same urgency as restorative dentistry does. Cosmetic procedures are used to alter the shape, size, colour and, in some cases, alignment of the teeth. Most patients seek cosmetic dental treatment due to dissatisfaction with their smile, rather than because they may be experiencing pain symptoms.

Restorative dentistry, on the other hand, is a facet of dentistry that involves repairing and restoring broken, severely decayed teeth, or teeth that are missing. Most patients seek restorative dental treatments because there is something wrong with their teeth or they are suffering from a dental condition that is causing them functional issues. These concerns and conditions may include dental pain, swelling or bleeding, as well as issues involving their speech or bite.

Book A Consultation in Murwillumbah

If you’d like to learn more about cosmetic or restorative dentistry, or to book your consultation with one of our exceptional dental professionals, get in touch online or call our team on (02) 6672 1068 today!