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Cosmetic and restorative dentistry has a lot in common. Both are used to restore damaged, decayed, or missing teeth. Both can be performed by a general dentist, too.

However, how are the two differentiated if cosmetic and restorative dentistry are so similar? What is most significant with these differences that affect their prices? A simple explanation of cosmetic and restorative dentistry’s main differences and similarities is here to answer these questions.

Cosmetic vs. Restorative Dentistry

The common definition of restorative dentistry is any dental process that focuses on repairing or restoring damaged oral structures. Cosmetic dentistry, however, focuses on aesthetics or the appearance of your smile. These two do overlap because restorative procedures can also offer aesthetic benefits, so here is a side-by-side comparison.

Purpose of Treatment

As said, restorative dentistry focuses on function. Restorative dental treatments work on decaying, damaged, or missing teeth to regain proper function. Along with these, it also protects oral and bone health. Usual procedures are root canals followed by dental crowns or dentures. These prosthetics are more affordable and practical for most people.

On the other hand, cosmetic dentistry is all about your smile. Procedures aim to improve the teeth’s contour, color, or size. Also, there are procedures, like veneers or laser gum removal, that do not do anything to improve function. Also, they can only be done when overall oral health is remarkable.

Need and Urgency

Restorative dentistry is essential. Procedures must be done at the earliest possible time to prevent long-term damage such as sagging facial muscles and jaw bone degeneration. Restorative dental care also resolves issues such as pain, swelling, etc. Procedures and prosthetics like dental bridge procedures can give you a chance to have good and long-lasting oral health.

Cosmetic dentistry procedures are more elective, which means there is no urgency for the treatments. Most people choose to have treatments when they are not content with the appearance of their teeth. They get procedures done when they want to alter their teeth’s color, shape, or alignment. Such procedures can be veneers, teeth whitening, and laser gum removal.

Materials Used

Materials used in restorative dentistry are durable because they need to withstand the same beating natural teeth go through. Also, there are more affordable options for crowns, same day dentures, and bridges. Affordable types can be made of acrylic resin.

However, restorative dentistry can jump over to cosmetic dentistry. If there is a need for prosthetics, dentists can make these from porcelain or dental composite resin that can match the color and translucency of the patient’s natural teeth. This makes cosmetic procedures slightly more expensive because of the materials and artistry that come with them.

Considering a Procedure?

Consult with your dentist first. The dentist must check for cavities, chips and cracks, and gum health. If you want to pursue a cosmetic treatment, your dentist must address the other issues first. Restorative dentistry is the first step, whether you need fillings, root canals, laser periodontal therapy, etc. Once your mouth is completely healthy, you can go ahead to explore cosmetic treatments and get the perfect smile you want.