In the past, cosmetic dentistry was limited in its appeal, but today more and more people are asking for it. In fact, at Kuzma Advanced Dentistry, all the dentistry we practice is cosmetic dentistry — if it doesn’t look good, then it’s not done right. We think we’re ahead of the trend, and eventually everyone will see it as we do.
Why? There are powerful forces driving the trend toward cosmetic dentistry that will only continue to strengthen.
Class Associations Have Changed
In the past, visible dentistry was desirable. When nobody had access to dentistry and only a few people had access to sugars that lead to tooth decay, having decayed teeth or missing teeth was a marker of being in the upper class. As people gained access to dentistry, they still wanted to show off their decay with gold fillings and crowns.
But today everyone has access to decay-inducing sugar and access to dentistry is common but still limited. Having healthy teeth is associated with being wealthy and connected. Nobody wants to show off their fillings and crowns these days.
We’re Living Longer and Healthier
In the past, people had few expectations of having a quality life after the age of 60, but today we see that our golden years can be truly golden. We can live active, energetic lives full of all the things that used to be reserved for youth, and we want a healthy, attractive smile to be part of that.
Because there’s no way (yet!) to exercise your enamel and keep it fit, cosmetic dentistry has to step in to restore our smiles.
Our Knowledge Has Improved
We’ve come to understand some of the drawbacks of old materials. For example, now that we know about the potential toxicity of metal amalgam fillings and some other metal restorations, the potential health benefits of tooth-colored fillings help them seem more desirable. In this case, the cosmetic improvement is secondary.
Technology Is Better
The first porcelain veneers were very fragile. In fact, the ones that were used in movies in the pioneering days of the 30s were so fragile that stars had to take them out when the cameras weren’t running for fear that they’d break. And though these teeth looked good on screen, they weren’t as attractive in person.
But today we have access to materials that are stronger and more attractive than in the past. You can get porcelain veneers that will last ten years or more without worrying. And with dental implants, we have the ability to replace lost teeth with new versions that look and function just like your natural teeth–who wouldn’t want that?!!
Our Perspective on Smiles Has Changed
If you look at old pictures, you’ll see that few people smiled. In the past, smiling was considered a sign of madness or an unsavory character. Only children were allowed to get away with it, but once we became adults we were expected to frown for the rest of our lives, and if we smiled it was something we kept behind closed doors.
But now people feel freer to smile. Having something to smile about is part of the American Dream, and it’s part and parcel of that that we should have a smile we feel good about and comfortable sharing.
If your American Dream is tarnished by a smile that’s discolored or crooked, cosmetic dentistry can help. To learn whether we can help you, please call 910-392-6060 for an appointment with a Wilmington, NC cosmetic dentist at Kuzma Advanced Dentistry.