What Are the Similarities and Differences of Cosmetic Dentistry VS. Orthodontics?

What Are the Similarities and Differences of Cosmetic Dentistry VS. Orthodontics?

Nov 01, 2022

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

It is an area of dentistry that focuses on improving the appearance of smiles. Cosmetic dentists in Glastonbury, CT, improve teeth color, shape, size and spacing to benefit your smile’s aesthetics. Various patients look for dental solutions that improve their appearance, aside from addressing the underlying problem.

To achieve such changes in cosmetic dentistry near you, a dentist must incorporate various dental restorations. Some of the oral appliances for improving your smile’s appearance are:

  • Dental veneers
  • Dental crowns
  • Inlays and Onlays
  • Composite bonding – is the most common cosmetic procedure for masking dental flaws.
  • Dental implants, bridges, and dentures – for replacing lost teeth

What Is Orthodontics?

It is a specialty of dentistry concerned with the alignment of teeth and jaw. Orthodontic dentistry at Steven F. Hinchey, DMD, addresses malocclusions that affect oral functionality. Ideally, the major concern for orthodontic dentistry is improving your oral alignment to improve your mouth’s functionality. Some of the ways that orthodontics affects your smile are:

  • Closing spaces between teeth
  • Correcting improper bites – crossbite, overbite, or underbite
  • Straightening crooked teeth
  • Overcoming overcrowding
  • Closing open bites and repositioning misplaced midline
  • Improving jawbone health and tissue health

An orthodontist needs to use different dental appliances to achieve an orthodontic impact on your mouth. Some of them include the following:

  • Metal braces
  • Retainers
  • Space maintainers
  • Ceramic braces
  • Jaw repositioning appliances
  • Palatal expanders
  • Headgears

How Does Cosmetic Dentistry Compare to Orthodontics?

If you must choose between a cosmetic dentist vs. an orthodontist, you should at least know how the dental experts are different and similar. The functions of a cosmetic dentist are dissimilar to those of an orthodontist. Therefore, you should consider a comprehensive dental exam to determine which dental expert is right for handling your oral problems.

Ideally, the similarities between cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics are not plenty. The two areas of dentistry are similar in that they improve your smile’s appearance. Whether you get dental veneers or wear braces for several months, the result will be an incredibly beautiful smile.

Major Differences between Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics

You know that cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics are very different dental specialties if you are well informed. The major cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics differences are:

  • The goal of treatment – cosmetic dentistry primarily focuses on elevating aesthetics. Therefore, every dentist’s procedure will target changes that benefit your smile’s appearance. However, orthodontics focuses on the functional aspects of the oral cavity before the aesthetics. The orthodontists will make changes in your oral alignment to improve your bite, alleviate jaw pain and optimize teeth’ functionality. After orthodontics, you should be able to chew and speak better than before. While the results will improve your smile’s appearance, the primary goal is to optimize your mouth’s function.
  • The tools of treatment – cosmetic dentistry employs different oral appliances from orthodontics. Instead of braces and other teeth aligners, cosmetic dentists use composite bonding, veneers, and crowns to impact teeth’ appearances.
  • The complexity of the treatment – cosmetic dental procedures are not complex. They are simple oral modifications that improve your smile’s aesthetics. Orthodontics, on the other hand, is a complex treatment protocol that entails moving an entire tooth – the roots and crowns.
  • The treatment timeline – many cosmetic procedures offer quick fixes to underlying teeth’ imperfections. Composite bonding lasts 30 – 45 minutes to change a tooth’s appearance. Veneers and crowns can take longer than that, but it should not be longer than two weeks. Orthodontic dentistry takes a long time to impact any meaningful change in your smile. Wearing braces can take 6 – 24 months to realign teeth and realize desired goals.

Understanding the Overlap Between Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics

Aside from realizing improvements in your smile’s appearance, cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics overlap. Ideally, some types of teeth aligners in orthodontics are considered part of cosmetic dentistry. Instead of wearing conspicuous traditional metal braces, you can opt for clear aligners. Invisible aligners like Invisalign® are an area of cosmetic dentistry as they allow you to rock a beautiful smile even while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

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