A dental patient being examined by a dentist
Dentistry can be quite diverse when it comes to the variety of subtypes and services an office provides. Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with cosmetic and restorative dentistry, but we might not be aware of the differences between the two. In this article, we’ll compare and contrast cosmetic and restorative dentistry so that patients can be aware of which is which.

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is a form of dental care that focuses on improving the appearance of a person’s smile. Unlike traditional dentistry which primarily concentrates on oral hygiene, disease prevention, and treatment, cosmetic dentistry goes beyond these aspects to enhance the aesthetics of a person’s teeth and gums.

Several cosmetic dental procedures exist, including:

  • Teeth Whitening
  • Dental Veneers
  • Dental Bonding
  • Gum Contouring
  • Reshaping Teeth

Cosmetic dental care services can be useful when it comes to reducing or eliminating the appearance of chipped or cracked teeth, gaps in teeth, discolored teeth, or misshapen teeth.

What is Restorative Dentistry?

Restorative dentistry is a branch of dental care that aims to diagnose and treat oral health issues and restore the function and strength of the teeth and oral structures. This type of dentistry is a little closer to traditional dental practices than cosmetic dentistry. However, while there’s a preventive element to traditional dentistry, restorative dentistry focuses on repairing damage that has already been done. This way, dentists can take steps to restore a patient’s oral health.

Some restorative dental procedures include:

  • Dental Implants
  • Porcelain Crowns
  • Root Canals
  • Bridges
  • Fillings

Restorative dentistry may be an excellent option for patients who have cavities or tooth decay, broken teeth, or missing teeth.

Key Differences Between the Two

While cosmetic and restorative dental practices both provide patients with important services, it’s good to be aware of the key differences between the two disciplines. Let’s take a look at the differences in both the purpose and necessity of these two dental practices.

  • Purpose: Cosmetic dentistry is designed to improve the overall appearance of a person’s smile, not its functionality. Restorative dentistry, on the other hand, aims to repair damages done to the teeth, gums, and oral structures. However, there is a cosmetic element to restorative dentistry, as dental professionals do their best to make repairs aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.
  • Necessity: Cosmetic dental procedures are elective, meaning that they’re not sought as a form of emergency care. Restorative dentistry is essential, as these services aim to repair serious damage to the teeth and oral structures.

Cosmetic and restorative care are both important elements of many dental practices, including Signature Dentistry of Arvada. If you find that you’re in need of dental services, whether they’re cosmetic, restorative, or something else, you’re welcome to give our office a call. Schedule an appointment with our team and we’ll be happy to take care of your smile.