When Your Dentist Says “Cosmetic,” They’re Treating More than Your Appearance
When you hear the phrase “cosmetic dentistry,” what do you think? You might assume that it relates to a procedure that only has aesthetic value but lacks any health benefits. And no one would blame you for the assumption—that’s why “surgery” and “cosmetic surgery” are two very different things, after all. But the truth that every dentist wants you to know is this: the better your teeth look, the healthier they usually are! In fact, many cosmetic procedures have a positive impact on your oral health, and are often prescribed as treatment for actual health conditions. Here’s how:
Correcting a Misaligned Bite
Under the “cosmetic” category you’ll often find orthodontics. Wearing braces may seem like it’s just about giving you a nice, even smile, but the truth runs much deeper than that. Having an even bite may give you the confidence to smile more often, but more importantly, it’s good for your jaw and your teeth. A misaligned bite can lead to all kinds of issues, such as bruxism, damaged teeth, temporomandibular joint disorder, and more. Having straight teeth doesn’t just look good—it’s good for you!
Another risk associated with misaligned or crooked teeth is poor hygiene—when teeth aren’t positioned properly, it can be difficult to clean them thoroughly, and the buildup of plaque and bacteria over time can leave you with serious tooth decay. Cosmetic dentistry to correct your alignment improves your ability to keep your teeth clean, saving you from cavities, caries, and other symptoms of tooth decay.
Healthy Teeth and Bones
Your dentist may use cosmetic procedures such as veneers, crowns, and implants to repair or replace damaged teeth. A damaged or broken tooth is not something anyone should leave sitting in their mouth, but an empty space where a tooth once was is even worse. See, your jaw bones actually rely on stimulation from the roots of the teeth to remain healthy. Once that stimulation is taken away, the bone begins to disintegrate and deteriorate, which if left unchecked can lead to a facial collapse in severe cases. Therefore, if a tooth is damaged but the root is still intact, your dentist will want to install a crown—typically seen as cosmetic—to protect the root from further damage or decay. A lost tooth, on the other hand, can be replaced by an implant, which uses a titanium screw to fulfill the same purpose the root typically performs.
If you think cosmetic dentistry is just about how your teeth look, think again. These procedures are all designed to be just as beneficial to your oral health as they are to your appearance, letting you smile confidently and with peace of mind!
From Reattaching Cosmetic Dentistry to Treating Broken Teeth, Coming Prepared is Your Best Bet
You can do your best to avoid sudden harm or injury to your teeth, but the truth is, sometimes accidents just happen. It’s important in these cases to know that you can call an emergency dentist for help, and that there are steps you can and should take to avoid making a bad situation worse. Here’s what you should do if you find yourself having a dental emergency:
This should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: if you have broken and chipped a tooth as a result of trauma to the head or face that may have caused other injuries, you need to set priorities for seeking medical attention. As much as your teeth should be attended to sooner rather than later, if you have possibly suffered a traumatic brain injury like a concussion, or if you know or suspect that you have fractured a bone, please, go to a hospital emergency room first.
Make the Call
If there is nothing else to tend to first, pick up your telephone, and contact an emergency dentist. Don’t try to self-diagnose while on the phone. Just simply describe the incident that happened, and describe in as much detail the resulting injury. Let them know if you have recently undergone cosmetic dentistry or are undergoing orthodontic treatment. In particular, certain cosmetic dentistry procedures could leave your teeth more vulnerable if they were recent enough.
Protect Your Teeth
While you wait for emergency treatment, be sure not to attempt to tamper with your teeth in any way. Avoid eating solid food or further endangering the teeth. If you have lost a tooth—particularly a whole, otherwise-undamaged tooth—or a cosmetic dentistry piece such as a veneer or crown, protect it as best you can, as it may be able to be reattached under the correct circumstances.
It’s Dangerous to Go Alone
It’s absolutely paramount that you have a reliable way to get to and from the dentist’s office that doesn’t involved you getting behind the wheel yourself—especially on your way home. The reason for this is that you may be given anaesthetics, making it unsafe to drive. Public transportation isn’t a great idea either, though a taxi or an Uber probably isn’t the worst idea. Your absolute safest bet is to have a friend or family member that you trust to get you safely to and from your emergency visit.
Your emergency dentist will do their best to help you when you’re in need—following these steps will help them help you!