Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry: What’s the Difference?

young couple wearing different kinds of braces smile at each other

We offer a variety of dental services at Curtis Family Dentistry. Sometimes it can be confusing to hear different terms thrown around like “restorative dentistry” or “cosmetic dentistry.” We offer both types of dentistry, but what do they accomplish?

What’s the Difference Between Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry?

Restorative Dentistry: Dental procedures that repair and restore teeth that have been affected by tooth decay, gum disease, and other types of trauma.

Cosmetic Dentistry: Dental procedures that enhance the appearance of teeth and can correct stained or misaligned teeth.

Sometimes there is an overlap, and some procedures can be considered both restorative and cosmetic dentistry. Let’s go over some standard dental procedures and see if they are restorative or cosmetic dentistry.


Even though dentures improve the appearance of your smile, it’s considered a restorative procedure. This is because dentures are primarily put in to restore missing teeth and not necessarily for aesthetic reasons. But you can’t deny that natural-looking dentures can make you feel more confident.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are restorative dentistry because its primary purpose is to restore teeth. Implants can help you chew food and regain your physical and emotional well-being. Just like dentures, implants are custom-made to look like your other natural teeth. So it does help your smile aesthetically despite not being the main reason for getting an implant.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a restorative dental procedure that has cosmetic benefits. Just like dentures and dental implants, crowns restore and protect your teeth. Crowns match the size, shape, and color of your surrounding teeth. Which means it can improve the cosmetic appearance of your smile.

Teeth Whitening

Many people get self-conscious about having stained or yellow teeth. There’s not necessarily anything medically wrong with your teeth, except it’s not aesthetically pleasing. Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure that can remove stains from your teeth and give you a brighter smile.


Orthodontics, like Invisalign, can correct crooked teeth, gaps, and crowding. This makes your teeth straighter and makes you feel more confident about your smile. Correcting the alignment of your teeth is cosmetic dentistry. It can improve the health of your teeth, though. For example, it may make it easier to brush and floss your teeth. But it’s not a restorative procedure since it’s not restoring missing teeth.


Do you need to restore your teeth or improve the appearance of your teeth? Curtis Family Dentistry has the tools and qualified dental team to help you feel confident about your smile. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment. We’re looking forward to serving you!

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