How Cosmetic Dentistry Improves Your Health

Smiling with red lips on the left side of the page against a white background

Having a great smile is highly important to many people. So important that a recent study found that about 48% of Facebook users removed themselves from tagged photos because they did not like their smile. In general, most people consider themselves and others to be more attractive when they are smiling. 

However, for people with less than perfect teeth, smiling may produce anxiety and embarrassment that causes an individual to smile less. Because smiling has a host of benefits, these individuals are missing out by not smiling more. 

Luckily, modern dentistry has developed a variety of cosmetic dental treatments that can alter the size, shape, color, spacing, and alignment of imperfect teeth to enhance the visual aesthetics of one’s smile. Depending on the specific imperfections a person would like to correct, they can choose from cosmetic dental treatments such as: 

  • Composite fillings
  • Dental bonding
  • Dental crowns or bridges
  • Dental implants
  • Full mouth reconstruction
  • Inlays/onlays
  • Invisalign
  • Porcelain Veneers
  • Teeth Whitening

Although cosmetic dental treatments are primarily known for their ability to improve the appearance of one’s smile, they are also used to restore missing, damaged, or decayed teeth to their former state. In fact, if you look at the above list of cosmetic dental treatments, you may realize that there is a definite overlap between cosmetic dental treatments and restorative dental treatments.

Both cosmetic and restorative dental treatments are very similar, however the main difference between the two is that restorative dental treatments are focused on restoring only the function, while cosmetic dental treatments restore both the function and the visual appeal. Because of this, cosmetic dental treatments offer many health benefits, including: 

  • Cleaner Teeth: teeth that are crooked, overlapping, or improperly spaced can collect more plaque and tartar, which promotes the growth of harmful bacteria. As a result, they are more likely to develop dental issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. Conversely, teeth that are properly aligned and spaced are easier to keep clean and have less areas that can trap bacteria. This means the chances of developing tooth decay and gum disease are significantly reduced. Additionally, the first step to any cosmetic dental treatment is usually a professional teeth cleaning. During a professional teeth cleaning, a special tool called a scaler is used to gently scrape and remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth. The teeth are then rinsed and polished with a fluoride polish to help strengthen the enamel and prevent future plaque and tartar from accumulating. 
  • Better Medical Health: oral health is directly related to overall health and vice versa. In fact, oral health has been shown to be directly associated with endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, and pregnancy/birth complications. Furthermore, certain medical conditions can also affect one’s oral health including: diabetes, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Depending on an individual’s medical history, certain cosmetic dental treatments can help to improve their oral health and minimize the risk of developing other, more complicated medical conditions. 
  • Feeling More Happy: cosmetic dentistry can help boost mental health because people who are comfortable about their smile generally smile more. In fact, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 88% of people report that smiling improves their mood and makes them feel good overall. They also note that people who smile more on a regular basis can increase their lifespan by about 7 years. 
  • An Even Bite: because cosmetic dental treatments can correct the alignment, spacing, shape, and size of teeth, this also helps them to correct the bite as well. Having an uneven bite can cause a range of dental issues like premature tooth wear, tooth sensitivity, damaged teeth, or even temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), also known as TMJ by some. Over time, an uneven bite can cause a loss of speaking and/or eating function. By placing the teeth in a more optimal position, the overall bite will also become more even, helping the jaw to function properly and retain this function for longer. 
  • Greater Social Success: a smile is an international symbol for happiness that is understood regardless of language. Simply stated, people who smile more seem more approachable. From a mental health standpoint, this can be beneficial because it helps to build and strengthen social relationships. According to the American Association of Cosmetic Dentistry, 57% of people note that a smile from a stranger makes them want to smile themselves, while 41% simply note that it improves their mood. In the workplace, smiling can also have an important impact. Many studies have found that employers are more likely to hire and promote those who smile a lot, because they promote a happier work environment. Conversely, it has also been found that those with poor dental health are less likely to be hired or promoted due to inaccurate stereotypes about poor dental health. 
  • Strong Teeth: teeth that are decayed or already damaged are not as strong as other teeth and are more susceptible to further decay or damage. In some cases, they may also be at a higher risk of becoming loose and eventually falling out. By restoring damaged or decayed teeth, cosmetic dental treatments ensure that they retain their natural form and strength. 
  • Increased Self-Confidence: a big mental health benefit of cosmetic dental treatments is their ability to increase a person’s self-confidence or self-esteem. This is huge for someone who has been embarrassed or ashamed of their smile for a long time. Feeling better about oneself has a ripple effect and will likely improve various areas of one’s life. 
  • Maintain Bone Mass: certain cosmetic dental treatments, such as dental implants, are used to replace missing teeth. Unfortunately when a tooth is lost and the bone is no longer being properly stimulated, the surrounding bone structure will begin to be reabsorbed back into the body. Over time, this will cause the facial structure to change shape and it can even result in the loss of chewing and speaking functions. Because dental implants replace missing teeth and stimulate the surrounding bone, they prevent the loss of bone mass and maintain proper function. 
  • Decreased Tooth Sensitivity: tooth or teeth sensitivity is that annoying ache one feels when biting into something too hot, too cold, acidic, sticky, or too sweet. Unfortunately, many people suffer from tooth sensitivity when they don’t have to. Tooth sensitivity can occur for a variety of reasons, but the most popular is simply that the outer enamel layer of the tooth has worn down. Without this protective layer, stimuli are able to access the tooth’s nerve through the porous dentin layer. Luckily, there are many cosmetic dental treatments that can act as a shield and block out stimuli from being able to enter the tooth. As a result, tooth sensitivity generally subsides. 

 

Are you interested in seeing what cosmetic dentistry can offer you? For the best cosmetic dentist in Wall, NJ, schedule a consultation with Dr. Anthony Mancino of Comprehensive Dentistry today! Comprehensive Dentistry is also proud to serve residents in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. 

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