If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, you may want to brush up on the modern dental lingo, especially if you’re searching for a specific type of treatment. Deciphering between restorative dentistry and cosmetic dentistry can be difficult because they both improve the appearance of your smile. However, only restorative treatments benefit the health of your teeth and gums.

The Goal of Restorative Dentistry

The purpose of restorative dentistry is to restore teeth to their natural, healthy state. When teeth are missing, there are restorative dentistry procedures to replace them.

Restorative dentistry addresses the following dental issues:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Cracked teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Cavities
  • Infected teeth

When these problems arise, dentists offer one or more of the following procedures:

  • Fillings: made from composite resin or silver amalgam and used to fill in cavities
  • Dental crown: can be used for restoring teeth with extensive tooth decay, cracks, or chips
  • Dental bridge: used for replacing one, two, or three teeth in a row and designed to look, function, and feel like natural teeth
  • Root canal therapy: repairs an infected tooth by cleaning out and removing infected tissue, then filling the root canals with a special dental material
  • Denture: recommended to replace an entire arch of missing teeth
  • Dental implant: small, screw-like rods that replace tooth roots and attach to crowns, bridges, and dentures

The Purpose of Cosmetic Dentistry

When you want to improve the appearance of your smile, cosmetic dentistry is the way to go. Dentists offer cosmetic solutions to patients with healthy teeth and gums who aren’t satisfied with one or more aspects of their smiles.

Though cosmetic procedures can overlap with some restorative procedures, they don’t prioritize the health or function of the mouth. Cosmetic procedures change the shape, color, and size of the teeth, resulting in a more beautiful smile, and a more confident you.

Some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures include:

  • Porcelain veneers: For patients with cosmetic imperfections like chips, discoloration, or spacing, dental veneers are an incredible option. These thin, durable shells are cemented to the front of the patient’s teeth and are custom-made to fit in with the rest of the patient’s smile.
  • Dental bonding: One of the quickest and most affordable ways to improve your smile is with dental bonding. In this procedure, dentists use the same material as they do with dental fillings to fix cosmetic issues like chips, cracks, and discoloration.
  • Tooth contouring: Do you have one tooth that is longer than the others? Or funny-shaped? Tooth contouring, also called enameloplasty, changes the length or shape of a tooth in less than thirty minutes.
  • Teeth whitening: Over-the-counter whitening has nothing on professional teeth whitening. Who doesn’t want a radiant smile? In just one hour at a dentist’s office, patients can achieve a smile that’s up to eight shades brighter! Many dentists also offer at-home professional whitening kits.

If you have healthy teeth and gums and want to improve the appearance of your smile, you are the perfect candidate for cosmetic dentistry! Find an experienced dentist who offers cosmetic treatments near you today.

Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry in Duncan, OK

At Chisholm Trail Smile Center, Dr. Matthew L. Bridges offers preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry treatments for patients of all ages. To learn which procedures are right for your smile, call our office today at (580) 255-4880.