Preventive vs. Restorative Dentistry

Preventive vs. Restorative Dentistry

Post Date: Dec 06, 2023

Your oral health is an important factor in your overall health. When you’re dealing with oral diseases, mouth pain is hard to escape from. And the health of your teeth directly affects your ability to eat well and feel confident. The field of dentistry plays a big role in your mouth’s health. That’s where preventative and restorative dentistry comes in.

Purpose of preventative and restorative dentistry

Preventative and restorative dentistry both aim to care for your mouth, but they have different goals. The purpose of preventative dentistry is to keep your mouth healthy, stop the disease before it starts and maintain good oral hygiene. Like many types of preventative healthcare, preventative dentistry involves monitoring and routine care with the goal of preventing future problems.

Restorative dentistry comes along when you’ve already had damage to your teeth, whether from an accident or oral disease. It helps make your teeth and mouth healthy again. Simply put: you’re restoring oral health that was lost to disease or damage through restorative dentistry.

Types of procedures

Preventative dentistry includes procedures like regular professional cleanings, annual X-rays, checkups, and fluoride treatments. This is what you should expect from your routine yearly or twice-yearly appointments at your dental clinic. Sometimes procedures like wisdom teeth removal are considered preventative dentistry as well, since taking them out early can help you prevent complications later. The idea is to stay on top of your oral health so you can catch issues early or avoid them altogether.

Restorative dentistry might include procedures like dental implants, veneers, treatments for gum disease, fillings, crowns, and root canals. It sometimes includes surgeries as well. The need for restorative dentistry could come from broken or missing teeth, gum disease, cavities, or other oral diseases.

Insurance coverage

Many dental insurance plans treat coverage for preventative and restorative dentistry differently. Each individual’s insurance is different. But many insurance plans cover the cost of yearly x-rays and a yearly or twice-yearly checkup and cleaning.

Beyond those basics of preventative dentistry, it really depends on your coverage whether (and how much of) restorative procedures would be covered. It’s a good idea to check your plan documents to know for sure. You can always ask at your dental clinic or your insurance company in advance what will be covered.

Cost of care

The cost of preventative care is usually much less than the cost of restorative care. That’s true whether you’re talking about dentistry or other medical fields. By prioritizing preventative care, you can help detect problems early, before they get worse. That cuts down on the bigger costs from more extensive—and sometimes emergency—procedures.

But don’t let the fear of expense keep you from seeking dental care. Community Health Partners clinics in Bozeman and Livingston offer dental services, including emergency dental care during the first come, first serve morning walk-in clinic.

Like other services at CHP clinics, dental care is available on an income-based sliding scale if you don’t have insurance. Resource coordinators are available to help you apply for government insurance plans if you need assistance. Reach out to make an appointment and find out more about the available services.