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!

Improving Hygiene

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!