Cosmetic dentistry continues to grow in popularity, and the technologies and techniques we use continue to evolve to provide even better results. While some people think that it involves little more than teeth whitening and replacing lost teeth, there’s quite a bit more to it than that.
A beautiful smile has a huge impact on you and the people around you. So let’s take a look at a few facts about cosmetic dentistry – how it’s changed, how it impacts your smile, and how it’s perceived by people at large.
Cosmetic Dentistry Goes Back a Long Way
The ancient Etruscans were making dentures with ivory and bone as far back as 700 B.C. At the time, it was also regular practice to take teeth from the dead or extract them from living donors and sell them for use in other people. The results weren’t exactly hygienic, though, and deteriorated quickly.
There is also evidence that people were making gold crowns and bridges as early as 200 A.D., while cultures like the ancient Egyptians would hammer seashells into their gums as teeth replacements. As far as whitening goes, the early romans used a toothpaste that contained urine as a major ingredient. Sounds weird, but urine does have ammonia in it, which can act as a whitening agent.
Patients Often Don’t Ask About Their Options
Despite it’s growing popularity, many patients are often uncomfortable or unwilling to ask about various procedures. Surveys show that the majority of people are actually unhappy with their current smile, and yet it’s often the dentist that has to brings it up the subject of these procedures.
In fact, according to the latest survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, it’s the dentist that starts the cosmetic dental conversation 82% of the time.
Whitening is the Most Requested Procedure
This is normally the most requested procedure because it’s what people know, and they know that it doesn’t take long to get immediate results.
Although, to be fair, this could be interpreted another way, because crowns, bridges and veneers are also common procedures, but they are often categorized as reconstructive rather than cosmetic.
Cosmetic Dentistry is an Investment in the Future
As we grow older, a lot of our physical characteristics change. However, it doesn’t seem to matter how old you are, surveys have shown that a person’s smile will always have an impact on the first impression they make. No matter what else changes, survey participants said that it’s the smile that remains the most attractive.
It’s an Art and a Science
While there are some cosmetic procedures that a general dentist can perform (veneers, whitening, etc.), in order to get the smile just right – to use all the tools available and really revitalize or remodel a smile – it’s going to take a little more than that. It requires continuing education and specialized training and an understanding of the aesthetics of a facial structure to make sure the results come out right.
A Smile is a Powerful Thing
The overwhelming majority of people in the United States believe that a great smile is more important for a great first impression than any other characteristic (including hair, clothes, etc.) on top of that, other people rate smilers as more attractive, more fun, and more interesting.