Digital restoration is not conservation. The two terms are not interchangeable. Restoring an image is the process of re-creating the appearance of the object.
Conservation includes several steps such as object examination, scientific analysis, research, and evaluation of the object’s condition. All conservation work involves treatment to prevent future deterioration.
Both conservation and restoration are time-consuming processes. Unless you are a trained chemist with a background in photographic conservation or a specialist in photographic restoration, you will want to hire a professional. A professionally-trained photographic conservator should handle your conservation work. Your attempts to remove damage could destroy your images.
Learn more about Preserving Your Family Photographs in my newly updated and revised book.