In today’s quest for beauty and eternal youth cosmetic dentistry is emerging into the forefront. Many patients are choosing to utilize the many different procedures of cosmetic dentistry to improve the look of their smile. While cosmetic dentistry does take into account the treatment of dental problems and even the prevention of dental problems the main focus is on improving the appearance of a patient’s smile. While cosmetic dentistry is not a modern day Fountain of Youth there are significant benefits to using cosmetic surgery. A wise consumer will consider the issue from all sides. While it would be imprudent to state there are no drawbacks to cosmetic dentistry as of today most patients report being happy with the outcome of their procedures. The field of cosmetic dentistry has many benefits. Here are just a few-
1. Obviously the biggest benefit to cosmetic dentistry is that it produces results. Patients who just a few years ago may have had to be satisfied with chipped, cracked or broken teeth can now have that fixed. Teeth that have been deeply discolored can be whitened. In fact most types of dental defects can be corrected with cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry can even reduce signs of aging and leave the patient with a more vibrant and youthful appearance. It can also repair dental damage caused by trauma, illness, infection, developmental abnormalities, or heredity.
2. Since cosmetic surgery is so successful it can leave the patient not only with a more attractive physical appearance but an improved psychological outlook as well. Many patients report battling years of low self-esteem that is reversed when these types of dental problems are corrected or covered up. They report being more comfortable not only with themselves but with others they have relationships with.
3. With the exception of patients who live in extreme rural or remote areas cosmetic dentistry is fairly accessible. Unlike other specialties of cosmetic surgery, cosmetic dentistry has become fairly widespread even in smaller urban areas. While many dentists choose to specialize in cosmetic dentistry most of the procedures of cosmetic dentistry are not beyond the scope of general dentists. This leaves the possibility of utilizing cosmetic dentistry much more open to a wider segment of the population.
4. While it would be dishonest to say cosmetic dentistry is cheap the price of many procedures used in cosmetic dentistry is coming down. This enables many more patients to be able to benefit from cosmetic dentistry. In addition many dental insurances are choosing to cover cosmetic dentistry procedures when done to help with structural reasons. Patients considering cosmetic dentistry should check with their insurance company to see if procedures are covered.
5. Cosmetic dentistry has long lasting effects. Unlike many other cosmetic procedures many cosmetic dental procedures can last as long as upwards of 10 years. This is a huge benefit to patients as it limits the amount of money and time that must be committed to maintaining whatever procedure that has been done.
6. The recovery time from cosmetic dentistry is fairly short. Many other cosmetic procedures require a lengthy recovery time and involve a great amount of pain. Most patients using cosmetic dentistry report not only a short recovery time but very little pain in the recovery. In addition the success rate for these procedures is quite high with some studies showing success rates on cosmetic dental procedures up into the 90th percentile.
As with any other medical decision patients should weigh both the pros and cons and then make the decision that is right for them. But the bottom line is dental technology has provided a fast, efficient and relatively cost efficient way to improve our smiles by the use of cosmetic dentistry.
Dr. Joseph Wilbanks, DDS, is a leading dentist in Toccoa, Georgia. Dr. Wilbanks specializes in