Restorative vs. Cosmetic

What are the Differences Between Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry?

For many patients, it is easy to use cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry as interchangeable terms. Both focus on improving the aesthetics, function, and look of your teeth. A main difference between the two is whether or not the treatment is voluntary or needed for health reasons.

Cosmetic Dentistry vs. Restorative Dentistry Treatments

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dental treatments improve the shape, color, and and overall appearance of an individual’s teeth. This includes the alignment and position of the teeth as well as the shape of the gums. In many cases, cosmetic dental treatments are optional, and do not necessarily improve the function of the teeth. The most common types of cosmetic procedures include teeth whitening (link to teeth whitening post) and veneers.

What is Restorative Dentistry?

As implied by the name, restorative dentistry is focused on restoring health and function to a tooth and its supporting structures, such as gums. Restorative dental treatments are often necessary for patients who have experienced dental trauma, have missing or broken teeth, suffering from gum disease or a cavity. Common restorative treatments include dental implants, (link to dental implants post) crowns and bridges, dentures, and fillings.

The Key Difference Between the Two

The difference between cosmetic and restorative dentistry is a lot like a lesson we learned in geometry class: a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not always a square. In much the same way, while restorative dentistry do have cosmetic benefits for patients — and many of the procedures overlap — cosmetic dentistry does not always have explicit restorative benefits. Meaning, not every cosmetic dental procedure is aimed at restoring tooth function and health, i.e. teeth whitening.

Both types of dentistry, however, can benefit your oral health.

How Can Cosmetic or Restorative Dentistry Benefit My Health?

By nature, restorative dental treatments are designed to help improve a patient’s oral and overall health.
The aim of restorative dentistry is to return a patient to their best overall health, whether it is closing gaps between teeth through dental bridges or implants or removing a cavity and placing a crown. Good oral health is directly tied to good overall health.

Cosmetic dentistry procedures are not intrinsically aimed at improving a patient’s oral health, but this isn’t to say they don’t have health benefits. When our teeth are bright, white, and look healthy, we are more likely to take care of them. Services and products like teeth whitening and porcelain veneers can help you achieve the smile you have always wanted. Once that look is achieved, you are more likely to want to preserve your smile’s health and appearance.

Improving Your Health, Boosting Your Confidence

One of the biggest benefits to receiving restorative or cosmetic dental procedures is renewed confidence. A healthy, bright smile can help you make a lasting, positive impression on the people you meet each day. At the practice of Falbo, Monday, & Graziani, PLLC we are dedicated to helping you achieve your best dental health. We work with patients in every stage of life and are proud to be a trusted team for general, cosmetic, and restorative dental services.

For more information about our practice, please give us a call at at 304-343-1216 to reach our Charleston office or 304-562-6301 to reach our Hurricane office.


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