Restorative Dentistry or Operative Dentistry focuses on the restoration of damaged teeth, such as the placement of fillings.
Although all dentists are trained in performing basic restorative or operative dental procedures, there are some that focus on this particular area of dentistry. Many patients consider these procedures to be a common service offered by dentists – which they are – but the levels of skill and expertise can vary significantly.
In many standard tooth restoration procedures, a typical silver filling is used which may last up to 14 years. However, a dentist who places emphasis on Restorative or Operative Dentistry will likely possess the knowledge, skill and expertise to restore the same tooth with a gold filling, which can last a lifetime.
The small percentage of dentists that focus on this area may choose to complete a 2 year post doctorate in Restorative Dentistry. However, similarly to Implantology (dental implants), Restorative/Operative Dentistry is not legally recognized as a dental specialty, but many dentists believe it should be and are lobbying for specialist status.