Reality check — the limits of aesthetic dentistry
We’ve all seen the ads on TV. Happy people beaming back at us with their perfectly straight smiles filled with impossibly white teeth, telling us that if we too had a perfect smile, we’d be as happy as them. But I fear those ads are overselling the promise of aesthetic dentistry.
Sure, those people look happy but can having a perfect smile really change your life? Well, there are countless factors that contribute to happiness, and looks certainly aren’t everything. A great set of pearly whites may help increase your confidence and make you feel like smiling more often.
What aesthetic dentistry is really for
Teeth perform an important biological function, so it’s important to look after them to maintain your oral health. If left untreated, dental problems can be expensive, uncomfortable or even painful.
Many people feel self-conscious about their smile because genetics, lifestyle choices or poor dental care have led to cracked, broken or even missing teeth.
Others may find their teeth become dull or yellowed due to age, wear and tear, or drinking certain liquids like coffee and red wine.
If your teeth are discoloured but still structurally sound, getting them professionally whitened could be a simple solution to get you feeling great about your smile. The process gives each tooth a whiter, brighter appearance that’s an instant confidence boost.
If your teeth are cracked, broken or missing, you might consider more extensive dental treatment to correct those problems.
Getting the right shade of white
The process of restoring your teeth to get them looking and functioning the way nature intended is known as aesthetic dentistry. Unlike cosmetic dentistry which is primarily concerned with achieving the ‘perfect’ look, aesthetic dentistry is about getting your teeth looking and functioning as naturally as possible.
As aesthetic dentists, we try to achieve results that are age-appropriate and reflect what healthy teeth should look like, rather than the unnaturally bright smiles you might see on celebrities.
For example, if an 80-year-old had the same shade of teeth as a 20-year-old, that would look a bit odd. So, we aim to tailor the colour choice to each individual’s circumstances.
As a general rule, we aim for two or three shades brighter than a patient’s existing tooth colour. Your teeth should never look whiter than the whites of your eyes. We want to make sure the first things people will look at are your eyes and not your teeth. Unless they’re a dentist, of course!
How your dentist helps
If you’re thinking about improving the way your teeth look, always speak to your dentist first. A trusted dentist can recommend techniques that will best suit your teeth and your lifestyle, ensuring both the health and appearance of your smile for years to come.
So back to the question — Can a perfect smile really change your life? We definitely can’t promise that, but if improving your smile means you’ll be smiling more often, that can only be a good thing.