The difference between preventative, cosmetic and restorative dentistry

Every dentist’s main concern is the health and function of your mouth. There are a number of specialties in the field of dentistry. There are a few differences between cosmetic, restorative, and preventative dentistry.

Preventative dentistry (general dentistry) is concerned with the prevention of dental problems and maintenance of a healthy mouth. Most dental checkups include preventative dentistry such as a full examination, dental x-rays, and dental cleaning. With proper preventative care, most patients can avoid more costly and invasive restorative dentistry.

Cosmetic dentists are primarily dedicated to enhancing the appearance of a patient’s smile. Before undergoing any cosmetic dentistry treatments, a patient must first undergo a complete examination to be sure there are no underlying problems such as decay and infection which could compromise cosmetic outcomes. Cosmetic procedures include tooth whitening, porcelain veneers, and Invisalign tooth straightening.

Restorative dentistry focuses on restoring function and structure to teeth that are missing, damaged, or infected. Dental crowns are the most common restorative dentistry treatment. Another restorative treatment is a root canal to remove infection from a tooth. Dental implants and dentures also fall into this category since they are designed to replace missing teeth to restore the function and appearance of a patient’s mouth.

Most dentists practice general or preventative dentistry in addition to a specialty. At Alouf Aesthetics our advanced training allows us to help you achiever your dental goals with preventative, cosmetic, restorative, and implant dentistry. Call us today for your consultation at 540.375.0095


  1. David Norriss on December 11, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    I am glad that you explained that restorative dentistry’s purpose is to restore teeth to their original state. This can be through multiple methods like replacing missing teeth or a root canal. I think that this is probably the most important form of dentistry because it helps people have normal looking teeth again. They won’t have to worry about infections or having a bad alignment.

  2. […] Preventative and cosmetic dentistry are very different yet so alike. They serve the same objective- to keep the teeth healthy and give the patient a beautiful smile. The only difference lies in their methods and the time they are integrated. Preventive dentistry is more of a precaution against dental issues while cosmetic dentistry provides solutions to dental troubles. […]

  3. Taylor Hansen on November 16, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    It’s interesting to learn that restorative dentistry is when they restore the teeth to the original state. This speaks to me since I have dealt with some root canal problems in the past and now my teeth are hurting again. I’ll have to see a dentist right away to avoid any future problems that will hurt.