Comparing Restorative Dentistry with Cosmetic Dentistry

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Most have heard of general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry, while fewer grasp the concept of restorative dentistry. While general dentistry emerged in the early 1800s, that desire to have a beautiful smile didn’t pick up until the 1900s, eventually giving rise to the term “cosmetic dentistry” in the ‘90s. In this article, we’ll examine the three distinct fields within the dental profession and explain how they differ.


What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

The main objective of cosmetic dentistry is to create that perfect smile. Cosmetic dentists focus on how you want your smile to look, as opposed to general dentists, who focus on improving the health of your mouth. Cosmetic dentistry is ever-popular among those in professions where appearance is important, such as modeling or broadcast news, and it continues to grow in popularity among the general public.

You might say that cosmetic dentistry is more about the art, and not the actual science behind the procedure – but nonetheless, cosmetic dentists must undergo years of extensive study and training to be able to perform cosmetic procedures. Cosmetic and restorative dentistry may have some overlap. But while restorative dentists stop after helping someone achieve a set of healthy, fully-functioning teeth, cosmetic dentists go farther in helping that person achieve their vision of a perfect smile.


Typical Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Common procedures in cosmetic dentistry include:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Fixing chipped teeth
  • Evening out uneven teeth
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Porcelain crowns
  • Porcelain bridgework
  • Composite bonding
  • Dental implants
  • Tooth-colored filling
  • Aligners
  • Teeth straightening
  • Contouring


What Is Restorative Dentistry?

Restorative dentistry aims to keep your mouth healthy and fully-functioning. Rather than focusing on the appearance of the teeth, it involves taking preventative and corrective measures to ensure that your mouth, teeth, and gums stay as healthy as possible.

Restorative dentistry will fix structural issues in your teeth, like damaged or missing teeth. Dentists in this specialty use a variety of devices – such as dentures, crowns, bridges, and implants – in order to restore the proper function of your teeth. Unlike cosmetic dentists, they sometimes stop there without addressing the surface-level appearance of the mouth.


Typical Dental Restorative Procedures                                                                  

Common procedures in restorative dentistry include:

  • Filling cavities to prevent further decay
  • Replacing missing teeth with implants, bridges, or dentures
  • Strengthening broken teeth with crowns or caps


How Are Disposable Dental Supplies Used in Restorative and Cosmetic Procedures?

Disposable dental products help dentists and their assistants maintain a safe and dry environment. Single-use products prevent the spread of harmful germs and bacteria. Products like face masks, autoclavable pellet dispensers, cotton roll dispensers, as well as sterile sponges provide added protection from infections. Other disposable products routinely used in restorative and cosmetic procedures include:


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