Teeth Whitening? Veneers? Let's Talk Cosmetic Dentistry
A Conversation with Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Kelly Wang
Cosmetic dentistry is aimed at creating a positive enhancement to your teeth and your smile. Although teeth whitening or veneers comes to mind when we think of cosmetic dentistry, but a cosmetic dentist can provide much more. A skilled, experienced cosmetic dentist can help to improve your appearance, your smile, your self-esteem and confidence.
Smile More, Live Better, Live Longer
Benefits of cosmetic dentistry is as much about health as it is aesthetics. Numerous studies conducted by reputable institutions such as Harvard Medical School and Stanford University School of Medicine have found increased smiling and laughter leads to longer life span, improved immune system, reduced stress levels, and help protects the heart.
How Does Your Teeth and Smile Affect Your Image?
Studies by American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry surveying over 1,000 adults have shown that an attractive smile is the leading factor in first impressions. 96% of the respondents believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing and 74% feel an unattractive smile can hurt career chances and social life. The two dominant factors affecting a smile’s attractiveness are Straightness (crooked/missing) and Color (yellow/staining) of the teeth. Whiter teeth is associated with youth, health, and attractiveness. People with whiter teeth are also considered to be more professional. Patients who received whitening and/or orthodontic treatment have reported improved sense of attractiveness & self-esteem.
How can I get a Perfect Smile?
While we all feel we know a beautiful smile when we see one, there is no perfect smile. That’s because each person has a different perception of what is beautiful — you and your cosmetic dentist may even have a difference of opinion.
While non-dentists typically focus on a single element, cosmetic dentists look at the entire complex — the lips, gums, teeth, bite, face, personality type, hair and skin color, and more. They examine the smile and analyze the length of the teeth, how the teeth line up with other facial features, gum-to-lip distance, and other characteristics. While it’s important for dentists to listen to their patients to understand what is desired, it’s equally crucial for patients to listen carefully to their dentists to understand what procedures are being suggested and what they entail. It is this attention to dental details that can create an appealing smile — and great results.
So it is important that you discover what you really like and then discuss that with your dentist.
What can Cosmetic Dentists do for me?
Common concerns that cosmetic dentists address are: crooked teeth, damaged teeth, discolored teeth, and gaps between teeth. Today, cosmetic dentistry has evolved that cosmetic dentists can address both functional and aesthetic concerns with treatments that include tooth whitening, tooth bonding, tooth-colored restorations and fillings, porcelain veneers and more. Where alignment is concerned, a cosmetic dentist will often work in conjunction with an orthodontist.
Choosing a Cosmetic Dentist
Not many dental schools provide general education in cosmetic dentistry. Therefore, it is essential that a dentist pursue post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry to master the required skills and knowledge. There are well-respected advanced cosmetic dentistry education programs that help dentists perfect skills through hospital-based residency and real-life case presentations. When choosing a cosmetic dentist, it is advisable to look for training experiences gained from a reputable academic institution.
Information Source: New York University College of Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Dental Association, TWMOHW, Jonathan B. Levine & Associates