As a dentist, I hear from people all the time about how they want to change the look of their smile but they just can not justify the cost of cosmetic dentistry. This is a completely understandable concern, especially at this time in our economy. Today however, I want to share with you a different perspective on the cost of cosmetic dentistry and how the benefits can far outweigh the costs. To begin with, lets actually talk about what cosmetic dentistry is, and what it is not.
What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is a category of dentistry which encompasses many different treatments, all with the aim to enhance the appearance of the teeth and the smile. Cosmetic dentistry has nothing to do with tooth decay or dental disease, and is thus typically deemed elective (i.e: optional). Unfortunately, as cosmetic dentistry is not treating dental disease, insurances typically do not cover such procedures. This of course means that cost can be a significant consideration in the decision process.
One of the most common cosmetic dental procedures is that of dental veneers. Dental veneers are porcelain coverings placed on teeth to change the look and appearance of the teeth and smile without needing to remove an extensive amount of tooth structure. Patients who undergo veneer treatment typically comment that they feel like a new person, which just shows how much of a difference a smile can make! With that in mind, let’s now discuss 4 life changing benefits of cosmetic dentistry as described by real life patients who have undergone cosmetic dental procedures. You will see that these are benefits that you just can’t put a price on!
4 Psychological, Social, And Health Benefits Of Cosmetic Dentistry
A Fountain Of Youth
One of the initial responses from our cosmetic dentistry patients upon delivery of their new smile is that they feel years younger. Over time, it is natural that teeth wear down, discolor and loose their youthful contours. Restoring the teeth contours, length, and revitalizing the shade can make a smile look much more youthful than it did previously.
Self Esteem Booster
Similar to the increased look of youthfulness, restoring a person’s smile can be such a self esteem booster. There are many people who come to us and say that they have disliked their teeth and smile their whole life, avoiding smiling whenever possible. This is so hard to hear because it is well known that smiling increases a person’s happiness and boosts endorphins in the body. These endorphins effect a person’s confidence and self esteem. Knowing that a person has been potentially deprived of self confidence simply because of the appearance of the smile they were born with is so disheartening to hear.
Even in this current era, where the self love movement is strong, there is still an abundance of the population that holds back their smile because they feel embarrassed. Enhancing your smile with cosmetic dentistry has proven time and time again to change the lives of its recipients by boosting their self esteem and allowing them to have a new lease on life.
In our office we want to help all of our patients achieve self confidence with their smile, whether it is by cleaning their teeth or treating them with cosmetic dental enhancements. At the end of that day, the most important thing is finding a way to have all of our patients love their smiles and love themselves.
A Door Opener
Going along with the topic of improved self confidence, it has been shown in multiple studies that a nice smile can land jobs and social opportunities. Whether it be a lack of self confidence due to a smile, or obvious poor oral health and decay; people notice this is a first impression. A recent study done in Washington on oral health showed that 13% of adults stated that the appearance of their mouth and teeth affected their ability to interview well for a job position 1. And while this percentage may not seem overwhelming, when you look at it from a different perspective, this means that 1 in 8 people feel they are overlooked for an employment position based on their teeth and their smile. Looking at this for large populations, this accounts for thousands of people whose daily lives and family income level is seemingly effected by their teeth.
The sad but realistic fact is, often times in life we are all given the chance at a first impression, and sometimes doors are closed based on the outcome of that impression. Opening those doors sometimes can be as simple as exuding more self confidence and leading with a smile.
Motivation For A Healthier You
While cosmetic dental procedures do not aim to treat cavities or dental disease, they can certainly help lead its recipients to better oral health. Oftentimes patients seek out cosmetic dental procedures because they have excess spacing, crowded teeth, or misshaped teeth. When teeth are like this, they can be hard to care for well. Food impaction, inability to floss well, and increase in plaque retention can all be issues related to improper tooth positioning and contours.
Cosmetic dentistry provides tooth contours that are smooth, proportionate, and well aligned with the other teeth in the mouth. This means that the teeth can be much easier to clean and care for, lessening plaque and bacteria retention and thereby increasing oral health status. Furthermore, having a smile you are proud to show off means that you will be more motivated to take care of and maintain it.
While cosmetic dentistry is not a desired, or even realistic, option for everyone; we always recommend that those that are interested seek a consultation to discuss with the dentist what can be done. Once you have a proposed plan, including the cost and time requirement, you can then weigh the pros and cons of treatment. Of course, keep in mind the 4 benefits just listed, as these are things that can sometimes be overlooked as they are intangible, but life changing benefits. Above all else, remember to SMILE, no matter what!
Dr. Arshia Kalantari has been a practicing general dentist for over 9 years and grows to love his profession more and more every single day. Since finishing dental school, Dr. Kalantari continually chooses to advance his education and takes specialty seminars and courses to become well practiced and knowledgeable in the fields of Sleep Apnea, Invisalign, Root Canal Treatment, and Cosmetics. Dr. Kalantari views his patients as an extension of his family and appreciates the bond he is able to form, always up for a chit chat or to lend a listening ear.