What’s the Difference Between Restorative Dentistry and Cosmetic Dentistry?

Restorative dentistry deals with restoring the functionality of a person's teeth. It should not be confused with cosmetic dentistry, which aims to restore the aesthetics of a person's teeth. Restorative dentistry focuses on the science of fixing dental issues while cosmetic dentistry is more of an art form. It does take additional years of training and studying to learn how to perform the treatment options that are currently available.

What separates cosmetic and restorative dentistry

While cosmetic and restorative dentistry both have clearly defined purposes, both dental specialties often overlap. For example, a cosmetic and restorative dentist can both install dental prosthetics like implants and crowns. Because these devices serve both purposes, they restore the function of the lost or damaged tooth and they improve the way the person's smile looks.

The difference between the two is the extra steps a cosmetic dentist goes through to improve the appearance of the person's smile.

4 Treatments performed by a restorative dentist

This dental specialty treats structural dental issues with treatments like:

1. Implants

Implants are used by restorative dentists to replace lost teeth. It is a great solution that replaces the missing tooth's roots as well as the crown. The implant is pushed into a hole drilled into the patient's jawbone and it is given up to six months to fuse with the bone tissue holding it in place. A crown is then attached to the outside-facing end of the implant.

Many patients prefer implants as a solution for missing teeth since they do not have any special cleaning requirements. The artificial tooth is simply cleaned like a real tooth and the implant can last an entire lifetime.

2. Fillings

Fillings are used to treat cavities. These are small holes that develop on teeth surfaces, often leading to increased sensitivity and toothaches. Cavities can be easily treated early on, but they tend to continuously expand when left untreated. This expansion can easily lead to an infection or the total loss of a tooth.

3. Root canal

Root canals are performed to clean out the pulp chamber of a tooth. The pulp chamber can be exposed due to damage caused by trauma or decay. The soft tissue there can become infected when exposed to oral bacteria.

During a root canal, the pulp chamber is cleaned out using files and the medication is administered to fight any infection. The hole is closed up and the tooth might be protected with a crown.

4. Dental crowns

Crowns are used to restore the function of a tooth that has been weakened by damage. It looks like a real tooth and it fully covers the tooth it is installed on, taking over its duties. Crowns can be made from a variety of materials and each has its pros and cons. Crowns made from porcelain or ceramics tend to be the closest visually to real teeth.

Get your teeth working properly

A restorative dentistry professional can evaluate your teeth and recommend treatments that improve their functionality. Contact our clinic for a consultation today.

Request an appointment here: https://www.familydentistryonline.net or call Old Alabama Dental Care at (770) 200-4032 for an appointment in our Alpharetta office.

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