Research tells us that smiling reduces stress and has long-term positive benefits for health and success. When we smile, it sets off a chain reaction that feeds through the muscles of the face, goes back into the brain and releases serotonins and endorphins, which reinforces feelings of happiness and joy. So what might be getting in the way of someone’s smile?
For some, fear or a lack of financial resources may have kept them from the dentist or orthodontist when they were younger, leading to decay and damage later on. It is also natural for teeth to yellow over time.
Whatever the root causes, there are far too many people for whom their smile doesn’t reflect their inner personality. Even more serious are the negative health effects of a flawed smile or damaged teeth.
Cosmetic dentistry is the art of enhancing – rather than changing – a person’s appearance through various techniques applied to the teeth and gums. For some people, it’s an option to restore health to decayed or damaged teeth. For others, a younger and more attractive smile is a major component in achieving overall self-improvement and greater self-confidence.
You may be surprised to learn that cosmetic dentistry is not only done for cosmetic purposes. A poor bite can affect joints, facial muscles and even posture. I have helped many patients correct their bites, enhance chewing and digestion, and correct speech issues.
There have been numerous advancements made in the field of aesthetic dentistry in recent years. Digital x-rays reduce a patient’s exposure to radiation by 90% and can be viewed instantaneously, at a greater quality than ever before.
The materials to make crowns and veneers are more predictable, comfortable and efficient to work with – procedures that used to require multiple visits can now be performed in only one or two. They also look more like natural teeth than ever before.
Lasers have provided the greatest advances in dental care. They have reduced the need for profound anesthesia and greatly diminished post-treatment pain. Lasers can help modify an obtrusive or uneven gum line, and can be used to detect and treat decay. Low level lasers are used to decrease pain and inflammation of TMJ. Lasers can be utilized to perform biopsies and other minor surgeries with little or no anesthesia, and no need for stitches.
The “right” cosmetic dentist should have an eye for aesthetics, extensive experience, a commitment to continuing education, access to the most current technology and a passion for people. They should also be willing to listen to their patients, always keeping their health and smile goals foremost in their minds.
A dynamic smile says, “I like who I am.” Smiling is good for your health. I encourage anyone who is unhappy with their smile to seek the care of a qualified, experienced and compassionate practitioner. Because when you enhance your smile, you enhance your life!