Restorative Dentistry Versus Cosmetic Dentistry

While both are extremely common and versatile dental practices, there are big differences between restorative and cosmetic dentistry treatments.  Let’s discuss…

The goal of both types of dentistry is to activate your best smile, but to achieve the results, these two types of dentistry need to work as a team.  Think of restorative dentistry as the foundation that the shine of cosmetic dentistry will be built on.  For this article, we’ll focus on the basics when it comes to these two types of modern dentistry to give you an overview of what to expect.

What is restorative dentistry?

When your dentist speaks about restorative dentistry, he or she is referring to an array of procedures that keep your mouth (and smile) functional.  Restorative dentistry encompasses procedures like implants, crowns and fillings, the pillars that let you chew and speak properly while looking like you have a full set of teeth in your mouth.  So instead of handling the aesthetic side of your smile, restorative dentistry focuses on keeping your smile working the way it should.

Restorative dentistry is often used to fix a variety of dental health issues, including complications from tooth decay, missing teeth or worn dentures, bridges and crowns (caps).   Ideally, these issues are dealt with early on, before they become serious problems, so that the treatments are less invasive and often less expensive.

What about cosmetic dentistry?

While restorative dentistry focuses on keeping your mouth healthy and functioning properly, cosmetic dentistry is there to ensure your smile looks as good as it can.  Of course, your oral health comes first, but looks can help you feel good, which is arguably just as important.

Popular cosmetic dentistry procedures work to improve the look of your smile through an army of procedures and treatments that are at your dentist’s disposal.  These include treatments like teeth whitening, bonding, contouring and veneers.  With these cosmetic dentistry tools, your dentist will be able to repair chipped or uneven teeth, restore the bright shine of stained or discolored teeth and even completely change the look and shape of your existing teeth.  The idea is always to supplement the proper functioning of your mouth, but with the added aesthetic beauty that can be brought to the surface with cosmetic dentistry. 

Are restorative dentistry and cosmetic dentistry ever used together?

The short answer is YES!  Both these types of dentistry work together to give you your best smile, but one does not necessarily facilitate the other.  For instance, if you’re missing a tooth, then that will affect both the function and the look of your smile.   A missing tooth needs an dental implant – and that’s restorative dentistry, but once the implant is in place, it will need to be shaped and colored to match the rest of your smile – which is cosmetic dentistry. 

Think about it like this – if your teeth are not functioning as they should (for whatever reason) then restorative dentistry is ready to help.  If your concerns are aesthetic, then cosmetic dentistry is your best friend. 

If you’re concerned or curious about any of these treatments and how they might apply to you, speak to one of our expert dentists in St. Catharines and Burlington.  We’re ready to answer your questions, make recommendations and ensure that you are the owner of a smile to be proud of.

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