Differences Between Cosmetic Dental Services and Restorative Procedures

Differences Between Cosmetic Dental Services and Restorative Procedures from Midtown Dental - The Gallery of Smiles in Houston, TXCosmetic dental services should not be confused with restorative procedures. Cosmetic treatments aim to improve the way that your teeth and gums look, while restorative treatments are performed to restore the function of damaged teeth.

However, many restorative treatments used in dentistry also provide cosmetic benefits. Crowns, for example, are designed to look like natural teeth. A crown encases the tooth that it is placed on. It restores the tooth’s appearance, but it also protects it from bite forces and irritants in the mouth. Improving the appearance of your teeth with cosmetic dental services often gives you restorative benefits and vice versa.

Exploring the differences between cosmetic dental services and restorative treatments

Let us take a look at cosmetic dental treatments that also have restorative purposes.

1. Crowns

Crowns can be placed for cosmetic or restorative reasons. They are durable restorations that can withstand bite forces and cat last up to 25 years when properly maintained.

Issues that crowns can be used to fix include decayed, deformed, broken, fractured, short, and discolored teeth. Crowns can also be used to close gaps between teeth, and they are often attached to other restorations, like dentures, bridges, and implants.

The conventional method for placing crowns requires two dental visits. The first visit is used to prepare the patient’s tooth for the crown by removing enamel from its sides. An impression of the patient’s tooth is also taken during the appointment, and a temporary crown is used to protect the tooth.

The impression is sent to a dental lab where crowns are made. It takes about two weeks. The patient returns to the office when their custom crown is ready. The dentist swaps the temporary crown with the customized one to complete the treatment.

2. Composite bonding

Composite bonding is a non-invasive treatment that also provides restorative and cosmetic benefits. The composites used for these treatments are putty-like materials that are applied to teeth and molded as desired.

The composite can be used to rebuild teeth structures, or it can be used to improve the tooth’s appearance by covering up issues like discoloration. Getting a tooth restored with dental bonding takes about 45 minutes, and the patient can leave with a better-looking, more functional tooth.

3. Implants

Implants are used to replace missing teeth, restoring the patient’s smile and the function of the lost teeth. They can also prevent the bone tissue loss that takes place after losing teeth.

Strictly cosmetic treatments

Not all cosmetic treatments provide restorative benefits. Examples of treatments that are performed purely to improve how a tooth looks include:

  • Teeth whitening: This involves using bleaching agents to remove stains from teeth surfaces and deep within them
  • Veneers: These tooth-shaped shells cover the fronts of teeth, improving their appearance
  • Teeth reshaping: This involves shaving off small portions of enamel to improve a tooth’s appearance

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Explore cosmetic and restorative treatments

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Request an appointment or call Midtown Dental - The Gallery of Smiles at 713-979-4127 for an appointment in our Houston office.

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