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The Desert Dental Alternatives Blog

The Difference Between Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry

The Difference Between Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry

All dentistry aims to provide you with optimal oral health, whether you are seeking preventative, restorative, or cosmetic dental procedures. Even cosmetic dentistry can have positive long-term contributions to oral function.

However, there are some main differences between restorative and cosmetic dentistry in purpose and procedure. By understanding those differences, you can better make informed decisions. Whether you need restorative or cosmetic dental work, Desert Dental Alternatives can help lead you on your smile journey and enjoy beautiful, healthy teeth and gums.

For more information on if cosmetic or restorative dentistry is right for you, Call Desert Dental Alternatives today!

Restorative vs. Cosmetic Dentistry

Simply put, restorative dentistry prioritizes oral health and function through fixing many concerns including pain, deterioration, decay, and even jaw function. The idea here is to correct and restore problem teeth and areas with the goal of maintaining oral health. On the flip side, cosmetic dentistry prioritizes the aesthetic look of your teeth and gums—your smile. You may or may not receive functional or health benefits from cosmetic dental work.

While there are many overlaps in restorative and cosmetic dental procedures such as crowns, inlays and onlays, and dental implants, it is the primary purpose and goal of the procedure that determines the difference. This difference will also be relevant to insurance coverage and the necessity of the dental work, as well as the ordering and process of receiving multiple procedures as needed.

Do You Need Restorative Dental Work?

Restorative dentistry is always a priority, as this work is necessary to maintain optimal oral health. Not addressing dental concerns can not only cause significant pain and damage to the teeth, gums, and jaw, but can also lead to further health concerns. Even immunity is impacted by oral health.

You may need to prioritize restorative dental work if you are experiencing:

  • Tooth decay or cavities
  • Missing teeth
  • Broken, cracked, or chipped teeth
  • Nerve pain
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Weakened teeth
  • Mouth trauma or injury
  • Bleeding or inflamed gums
  • Jaw pain or loss of functionality

Restorative dentistry includes many different procedures to address these concerns, including fillings, root canals, crowns, bridges, implants, inlays and onlays, dentures, and gum deep cleaning. Sometimes these are carried out as emergency dentistry, but your dentist will always assess what procedures need priority and determine a plan to address all necessary concerns.

Common Cosmetic Dental Procedures

Once you know that your teeth and gums are in good shape, you can focus on the appearance of your smile through cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry includes procedures such as:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Teeth straightening
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Crowns and bridgework
  • Implants and mini-implants
  • Composite bonding
  • Inlays and onlays
  • Discoloration correction

Just like how you may correct aesthetic concerns along with restorative dentistry, you may experience health benefits with some of these cosmetic procedures. Straight and properly spaced teeth, for example, lead to less decay and better chewing functionality. Missing teeth can cause bone loss later down the road. However, if there is no pressing issue, and the primary goal is to fix personal appearance, dental work is considered cosmetic.

Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry

Whether you know you need restorative dentistry or want to correct the appearance of your smile through cosmetic dental procedures, the team of experts at Desert Dental is here to help meet your needs and goals. In a boutique environment, our office emphasizes comfort and trust for all of our many patients. We want you to make the best-informed decisions about your oral health, so you can smile healthily and confidently.

Call our cosmetic dentistry team at Desert Dental Alternatives TODAY and let us lead you on your smile journey!