It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the job outlook for dentists is expected to increase by 6% over the next decade. We rely on these experts to provide us with a variety of services to improve our teeth’s appearance and support proper dental health.

However, many people tend to only have experience with preventative dental services. The reality is that there are two other main types: cosmetic and restorative dentistry.

So what are the main differences between these two types? And how do you know which one is right for your needs? If you need the answers to these questions, you’re in the perfect place.

This guide will help you decide whether cosmetic dentistry or restorative dentistry is right for you.

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is all about improving the appearance of your teeth and gums. It can also work to fix unattractive over or underbites. When most people think of cosmetic dentistry, they tend to think of dental procedures that change the color of teeth.

However, cosmetic dentistry can also change the size, position, and overall alignment of the teeth. It’s important to note that cosmetic dentistry isn’t meant to be functional.

Most of the time, it’s simple to enhance the visual look of your mouth. That being said, this improved appearance does often provide people with more confidence when it comes to their smiles.

What Is Restorative Dentistry?

If cosmetic dentistry is focused on appearance, then restorative dentistry is far more concerned with functionality. This branch of dentistry seeks to diagnose diseases related to the teeth.

Often this starts with gum disease, which can affect roughly 46% of patients over the age of thirty. However, it also extends to more extreme cases when the teeth are damaged or missing.

Once the dentist diagnoses the type of disease or condition you’re dealing with, they’ll give you your options when it comes to treatment. Cosmetic dentistry does tend to be more popular than restorative dentistry. Why?

Because most people tend to be more concerned with the look of their teeth than the health of them. Usually, people will only seek out restorative dentistry if the problem gets bad enough to cause pain and discomfort.

The good news is that with preventative dentistry services, you can often avoid the restorative ones entirely.

Differences Between Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry

The biggest difference between restorative and cosmetic dentistry is that one is essential and the other is elective. With most types of restorative conditions, you’re experiencing symptoms that interrupt your daily life.

This can include things like pain, bleeding, swelling, and more. If left untreated, these dental conditions can even become life-threatening. That’s why it’s essential to treat them.

Most cosmetic procedures, on the other hand, aren’t entirely necessary. They can be used to improve the appearance of your teeth, but there’s not a similar sense of urgency because your tooth health isn’t on the line.

Another difference is the materials used in both types of dentistry. Restorative procedures prioritize materials that are durable and affordable for the average person.

Cosmetics focus on durability and appearance which can make them a little more expensive.

What Are Common Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Services?

It’s important to remember that there is often a lot of overlap between cosmetic and restorative services.

That being said, most of the time you can usually divide them into distinct categories. If you require any of these procedures, then you need a cosmetic dentist:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Veneers
  • Fixed bridges
  • Dental implants
  • Teeth straightenings
  • Aligners
  • Composite bonding

Check out this link to learn more about some of the cosmetic services we offer here at Albee Family Dental.

What Are Common Types of Restorative Dentistry Services?

If you’re experiencing pain, discomfort, or bad smells coming from your mouth, then likely need restorative dentistry. The longer you wait, the worse the condition can get. Here are some of the common services you’re likely to encounter:

  • Root canal therapy
  • Dental surgery
  • Dental crowns
  • Tooth fillings
  • Tooth extractions
  • Dentures

This page will show you some of the restorative dentist services that we can provide.

How to Choose a Procedure

Most of the time, it will likely be obvious whether you need cosmetic or restorative dentistry. However, this isn’t always the case. If you aren’t sure which one you need, we recommend meeting with a professional.

Describe your situation and desired outcome to them. From there, they can give you an overview of your options. For example, if you have missing teeth they might recommend dentures or implants depending on your situation, preferences, and budget.

Any dentist worth their salt will have no problem walking you through the treatment so you know exactly what to expect.

How to Pick the Right Type of Dentist for Your Needs

If you think you need cosmetic or restorative dentistry, then it’s time to find a practice in your local area. When searching, the first thing you should look for is a dentist that accepts your health insurance.

If you don’t have health insurance, you should prioritize an affordable dental practice that caters to low-income patients. Next, once you find some dentists, check out the reviews on them.

These online reviews will give you a good sense of what the average person’s experience has been like at the dental practice.

Lastly, make sure they’re qualified. Most dentists proudly display their proof of education. However, if you have any doubts, don’t be afraid to ask to see it.

Need Cosmetic or Restorative Dentistry? Contact Albee Family Dental

We hope this guide helped you learn more about cosmetic and restorative dentistry. As we mentioned in the last section, regardless of which service you need, the most important thing is to find an experienced and welcoming dentist.

Dr. Jennifer Albee has been practicing dentistry for over two decades. During that time she’s perfected the art of providing top-notch dental services in an environment that’s comfortable for everyone.

So come find out the difference you get when you visit Albee Family Dental. Schedule an appointment today.