If you’ve ever looked into updating your smile with dental implants, porcelain veneers, or orthodontics, you may have wondered whether what you’re seeking is cosmetic dentistry or reconstructive dentistry in Columbia, SC. Although there are key differences between the two types of dentistry, they can have some crossover and often serve similar purposes.

Reconstructive/Restorative Dentistry

woman gazing off to the side and smiling with teethThe primary goal of reconstructive or restorative dentistry is right there in the name: To reconstruct the smile you once had. Reconstructive dentistry is for people whose teeth have suffered damage or wear. If you have lost teeth due to disease or trauma, experienced chipped or broken teeth, or even if your mouth shows wear and tear, reconstructive dentistry aims to bring your dental health and aesthetics back into tip-top shape.

For example, if you need a filling or have older fillings that need replacing, reconstructive dentistry can solve the problem with composite fillings. These fillings are colored to look like your teeth so that they will be a subtle and attractive part of your smile.

If you’re missing a few teeth, you have a few options within reconstructive dentistry to replace them. You may want to try dentures, which have come a long way since the days of the ill-fitting, unnatural-looking sets we see in the popular media. Or, if you want a more permanent solution and are a good candidate for them, dental implants are the ultimate reconstructive dentistry tool, allowing you to replace a missing tooth with a fully functional artificial one.

In short, reconstructive dentistry aims to correct damage and wear to your teeth — and leave them more beautiful.

Benefits of Reconstructive Dentistry

The benefits of reconstructive dentistry are many. The annoyance, pain, and eating restrictions cease to exist when you choose to repair your teeth with reconstructive dentistry. You’ll enjoy

  • Eating your favorite foods without pain
  • Drinking ice cold or piping hot beverages without sensitivity
  • Clear speech without lisps
  • Decreased jaw pain because of an even bite force
  • Reduced risk of damage to your other healthy teeth
  • Teeth that stay straight and beautiful
  • Easy biting and chewing with a properly aligned jaw
  • Reduced risk of sleep breathing disorders like sleep apnea
  • Long-lasting results
  • The confidence to smile with abandon

Who Is a Candidate?

Candidates for restorative dentistry have damaged teeth, missing teeth, or malocclusion (bad bite). Schedule a consultation with our reconstructive dentist if you think you might be a candidate for reconstructive dentistry in Columbia. We’ll talk and examine your teeth, gums, and jaw. Then, together, we’ll make a plan to restore your mouth to health, function, and beauty.

You might be wondering, “Can I get reconstructive dentistry with gum disease?” The answer is yes! That’s what reconstructive dentistry is all about—healing your mouth and giving you a smile that functions at its best. Reconstructing your mouth will likely take some time, but the result is worth the wait.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry, on the other hand, is more concerned with aesthetics. While your teeth may be perfectly healthy and sturdy, you may still want to update your smile to have a more beautiful appearance.

For example, a cosmetic dentist can provide whitening services to brighten up a stained or discolored smile or Invisalign to straighten out crooked teeth subtly.

The bottom line is that cosmetic dentistry is made up of procedures that aren’t medically necessary but instead aim to give you a beautiful smile you can feel proud to show off.

Sometimes, we can use procedures from both camps simultaneously. A complete smile makeover can give you a brand new look with a custom-designed combination of procedures that may include both cosmetic and reconstructive elements. In the end, the difference between reconstructive and cosmetic dentistry doesn’t matter to you: All that matters is that you walk out of your Columbus dental office with a healthy smile you love.

Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry has many benefits, some you may not have even thought about!

  • Enhanced smile
  • Enhanced facial structure
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Long-lasting results
  • Gain respect with peers
  • Happily smile in family photos
  • Enjoy nights out with friends without feeling self-conscious about your smile
  • Benefit oral health
  • Increased quality of life

Who Is a Candidate?

Anyone can be a candidate for cosmetic dentistry unless your teeth are absolutely perfect. Which, let’s face it, isn’t usually the case! If you have discolored teeth, gaps in your smile, or teeth that are crooked, small, or generally misshapen, cosmetic dentistry is for you.

A good way to tell if you need cosmetic dentistry is to inspect your smile in photos. Are you happy with it? If not, schedule a consultation and exam. You’ll meet with our Columbus cosmetic dentist, and together, you’ll come up with a plan on how you can enhance your smile. Many cosmetic dentistry procedures are fast and painless. For example, you could get an entirely new smile—straight, white, and attractive size—with porcelain veneers in just a few weeks.

What Type of Dentistry is Right For Me?

If you’re unsure what type of dentistry is for you, pay attention to your teeth while using them for functional things such as eating, talking, and biting. Also, pay attention to how they generally feel when you aren’t using them. Do you notice something that causes you pain, discomfort, or difficulty? If so, reconstructive dentistry might be for you.

On the other hand, if you don’t notice any functional difficulties or pain and would like to enhance the appearance of your smile, then cosmetic dentistry it is!

However, we know that sometimes it can be hard to tell, and you might want both. Or you might have bite issues that you didn’t realize were issues. The best way to tell which type of dentistry is for you is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Adam Hahn in Columbia, SC.

Get Both In Columbia, South Carolina

One of the very best things about our unique dental office is that our dentist, Dr. Hahn, is a cosmetic and reconstructive dentist! He has advanced training in both areas to give flawless, functional, healthy smiles every time. Look at all the happy smiles in our smile gallery, and you’ll know that Smile Columbia Dentistry is your dental practice.

If you’re looking for a cosmetic dentist in Columbia, SC, call (803) 781-9090 or contact us online to make an appointment.