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Safer ways to the perfect smile

Aesthetic dentistry and Cosmetic dentistry are synonymous in the sense that they provide the patient with an improved smile appearance.

We frequently provide consultations for patients wanting to improve their smile appearance. I am writing this blog because I have found many patients attending our clinic asking for an alternative and safer way to improve their smile appearance. Many of these patients have been ‘quoted’ to have crowns on otherwise very healthy teeth to improve their smile appearance.

The Problem

Crowns are a fantastic dental treatment to improve the structural integrity of a weak tooth and also to improve the appearance of that tooth. However, the critical point here is that a crown will only strengthen a tooth which is already weakened by a previous filling, trauma or some sort of structural defect. A healthy tooth which has never had a filling will actually become weakened by a crown and this may well result in poorer long term prognosis for this tooth.

In such cases, much safer and minimally invasive treatments involving orthodontic treatment, veneers or composite bonding are certainly the preferred option. When we plan cosmetic dental work for our patients, we will discuss all of these options and only realistically consider the safe options. The safe option may take a little longer to perform however, it will last much longer and will not results in the development of future dental problems.

Ethics

So what is the difference between cosmetic and aesthetic treatments?

My good friend and mentor, Colin Campbell, coined the phrase “the difference between Cosmetics and Aesthetics is that there is no ethics in cosmetics”. The important point made by Colin is that all treatments designed to improve someone’s appearance should consider the ethical responsibility of the dentist. As healthcare professionals we know what is harmful treatment and what is safe, therefore, we should inform our patients of this and ensure that we help them choose the treatment that will be both safe to them and help them achieve their desired expectations.

Thank you for reading

Mohsin Patel BDS MJDF RCS (Eng)

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