Saturday, August 17, 2019

What is the Difference between Cosmetic Dentistry and Restorative Dentistry?

When it comes to oral care and dentistry, there are various fields that different dentists specialise in. Two such fields are cosmetic and restorative dentistry, with vast differences that set each specialty apart.

cosmetic dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry: What is it?

For the case of cosmetic dentistry, its name should be indicative of what it involves: improving the appearance or aesthetics of teeth, gums, and overall smiles. More often than not, cosmetic dentistry does not include dental work that fixes or improves upon oral functions, and is largely superficial.

To get a better idea of what cosmetic dentistry involves, here are some typical procedures that cosmetic dentists carry out for their patients:

  1. Whitening

    Also known as ‘tooth bleaching’, this is the most common dental procedure that patients undergo in order to improve the appearance of their smiles and discoloured teeth.

  2. Reshaping

    It involves removing enamel to improve tooth appearance, whether it is caused by small chips or just too long or crooked.

  3. Bonding

    Enamel-like dental composite is used to alter the appearance of a tooth, being sculpted into shape before being polished.

  4. Bridging

    This refers to the replacement of missing teeth.

  5. Veneers

    These are thin layers of porcelain laminates that rest directly over your teeth, in order to close gaps or enhance overall shape.

  6. Implants

    These replace missing teeth.

  7. Straightening

    For people with crooked teeth, straightening is an option to reshape and adjust the appearance of their smile.

Restorative Dentistry: What is it?

Unlike cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry deals in dental work relating to the diagnosis, management, and treatment of diseases of teeth and their supporting structures. In this case, both oral hygiene and function are severely affected, often by diseases that bring about decay that may spread throughout a person’s whole mouth if left unchecked.

Restorative dentistry procedures include the following:

  1. Inlays, onlays, and veneers

  2. Crowns and bridges

  3. Root canal therapy

  4. Composite tooth dental fillings

  5. Amalgam (silver dental fillings)

Differences between Cosmetic and Restorative: A Summary

It should be clear by now that cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry function for different reasons, and do not often overlap. Key differences between these two dentistry fields can be summarised as such:

Cosmetic dentistry is not concerned with rehabilitation or restoration of teeth or its supporting structures as a result of disease as opposed to restorative dentistry. Cosmetic work only improves upon existing appearances of various oral features, such as whitening teeth or reshaping them.

Restorative dentistry works primarily to prevent decay or the spread of disease, and involves intervention and reparation. It is not concerned with oral appearance or aesthetics.

It is important to know the difference between these two fields of dentistry. After all, if one suffers from imminent tooth decay or a disease that threatens the integrity and health of one’s oral support structures, it would be unwise to approach a cosmetic dentist to try and reverse these conditions.

In the same way, restorative dentistry will not help to straighten your teeth or whiten discoloured teeth, and should not be considered if one’s oral aesthetics merely need a bit of adjustments.

from Omni Dental Center

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

What Do Prosthodontists Do?

We are familiar with our dentist – the good-natured, friendly figure that is here to conduct yet another routine check on our teeth and oral hygiene. But even in the field of dentistry, specialties are vast. One such variation within the dental field is the prosthodontist.

Just as there are various types of doctors in the extensive medical field landscape, so it is the same for the school of dentistry. There are generalists, and there are specialists – such as doctors who only carry out heart surgeries, or doctors who are proficient in the mental health field.

As intimidating as the term might seem, prosthodontists engage in a subset of dental specialty that deals, specifically, with oral function, tooth replacement, and also restoration. Quite literally, “prostho” translates to replacement, while “dontist” refers to dealing with teeth. Thus, they are not to be confused with general dentists as they have very specific functions within the field of dentistry.

How does one tell the difference between someone who is a general dentist, and someone who is actually a prosthodontist? It may not be that difficult, even if both professions deal in similar departments when it comes to oral health and function.


The key differences between prosthodontists and general dentists are:

1. General dentists handle routine dental care and minor procedures like fillings. Prosthodontists are ultimately specialists, and carry out more extensive surgeries depending on patient needs. These include:

  • Jaw surgery, to adjust and amend facial problems and fix structure
  • Dentures, especially for the elderly and those with poor teeth structure and integrity
  • Implants
  • Crowning and bridging for teeth restoration
  • Cosmetics, meant to handle facial problems

2. General dentists take care of the basics, but prosthodontists are concerned with overall oral health and function.

3. Prosthodontists typically have undergone advanced training (in Singapore, three years more than the general dentist) in teeth replacement and restoration, and are a key part of any dental treatment plan.

They often are the leaders in dental teams, supervising general dentists and specialists as they craft and provide solutions to patients regarding oral care and restoration, due to their superior knowledge and further training.

4. Prosthodontists are often proficient with state-of-the-art technology and treatment methods when it comes to dealing with a missing tooth, or problems concerning all the teeth in your mouth – and even your gums. If a patient faces an issue that severely affects oral function, a prosthodontist is the one who will aid in restoring optimal oral function.

So while prosthodontists and general dentists fall under the same umbrella category of dental care, a prosthodontist is far more extensively trained. Where dentists maintain the health of your teeth, prosthodontists ensure your entire mouth is kept functional and healthy.

However, it does not mean it is a better idea to bypass general dentists and go straight to a prosthodontist for hygiene and general dental issues. Specialists exist for specific reasons, so be sure to remember where the expertise of a prosthodontist lies before approaching one for your dental issues and concerns.

from Omni Dental Center