Most people on the planet wish they had heeded their mothers and dentists advice as children to brush regularly and take extremely good care of their teeth. Unfortunately, hearing and listening are two different things and the majority of us need a wake up call from a painful cavity or even finding out that we need a root canal because we have neglected good advice for too long.
However, some people really do go above and beyond to have healthy teeth and will also visit the dentist a few times a year even when it is unnecessary. “Why is that?” you may ask. Well the answer is extremely simple: cosmetic dentistry. You may be familiar with general dentistry as it usually comes in response to some sort of painful stimulus or loss of functionality. However, cosmetic dentistry is different as it focuses primarily on the aesthetics of your teeth. It’s purpose is to give you that Hollywood smile. Today we will discuss how these two practices are inexplicably linked, how they are different and how they are similar.
Where They Meet
The two types of dentistry are not always at odds with one another. While general dentistry may focus on functionality it would be naive to assume that it does not take cosmetics into consideration. Take for example one of the most common procedures in the field of dentistry: the filling. Should your tooth acquire a cavity that is too large your dentist in Williamsburg may suggest that the cavity be removed and your tooth be filled. There are a number of different fillings available each with its individual drawbacks and benefits.
Some commonly used fillings include gold, silver and amalgam (a metallic composite material). Amalgam is probably the most commonly type of filling as their is a large amount of research in support of it. While all of these options are durable enough to be used as a long-term solution for fillings they can be extremely noticeable when you laugh or smile as their dark color is diametrically opposed to the natural tint of your teeth.
However, if you have the right dental plan you may be in luck! There are also other types of fillings such as ceramic or special composites that are designed to match the color of your teeth. People who have the ability may opt for these fillings because they receive the best of both worlds, aesthetics and functionality. This is a great example that general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry do not have to be polar opposites but can sometimes act as a unit for the sake of the patient.
Where They Diverge
One of the arguably most popular treatments of cosmetic dentistry is teeth whitening. Many people desire to have the kind of smile that are often flaunted by celebrities or toothpaste commercials. However, it is often misunderstood that the teeth whitening process is actually more of a stain removal treatment. During this a bleaching gel is used to gain entry to the pores of the teeth before an active agent is administered to remove any existing stains. Leaving you with the natural color of your teeth rather than a pure white smile.
While usually considered safe by most dentists, it is worth noting that there can be some risks and complications involved with the procedure. As the bleaching agent is used to actively open up pores on the teeth the protective layer of a tooth may be slightly impaired. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and in some severe cases damage to the root of the tooth. In this way cosmetic and general dentistry diverge extremely as the latter is implemented usually to treat things such as damage to roots or hyper-sensitivity while the other can passively cause it.
What This Means
It is not possible to say that just general dentistry is necessary for a persons well-being. The aesthetics of teeth have a large amount of psychological impact on people and having teeth that are ill-colored or even missing can cause a negative spiral in terms of a persons mental health. According to the FHDC around 70% of people with bad teeth say that it impacts their mental health negatively, affirming the previous statement. Therefore cosmetic dentistry and general dentistry, rather than being polar opposites, are two sides of the same coin that can work in unison to enable people to feel happy, healthy and confident.