Many adults report they are unhappy with their smile, but the growing options in cosmetic dentistry are allowing many of those people to feel confident in their smiles again. According to a 2015 study commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), more than one-third of American adults are unhappy with their smile. Because a smile is often the first thing people notice, being unsatisfied with that smile can greatly impact self-confidence. With the many advances in modern dentistry, there are a number dental fixes for issues ranging from chipped or missing teeth to discolored teeth.
The AAO study demonstrates a connection between “bad teeth” and perceived levels of success with 78 percent of Americans viewing adults with crooked teeth to be unsuccessful. But success isn’t the only factor at play. Bad teeth can also impact a person’s social life. This same study cites that 36 percent of participants believed they would have a better social life if they had a better smile, and an astonishing 48 percent of participants admitted to untagging an unflattering Facebook picture because they were unhappy with their smile. Additionally, being unsatisfied with the state of one’s smile has been linked to higher levels of low self-esteem. In a study published in the Journal of Community Health Nursing, 53 percent of participants demonstrated low self-esteem, with 67 percent of those participants having minor dental problems, and 33 percent having major dental problems.
With so many people living life with smiles they aren’t happy with, it’s no wonder that the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) reports that 86 percent of patients undergo cosmetic treatments to improve the physical attractiveness and self‐esteem. At her dental practice, Enchanted Smiles, in Topeka, Kansas, Dr. Stephania A. Caracioni offers a range of cosmetic dentistry options including dental implant restorations, full-mouth reconstruction, porcelain veneers, gum line recontouring and teeth whitening. With her specialized training at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute (LVI) for Advanced Dental Studies, she can provide high-quality cosmetic dentistry services to her patients. While Caracioni knows that preventative dentistry is equally important, she also understands that some patients are looking for a way to feel comfortable and confident in their smile again.
“While general or traditional dentistry focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral diseases, cosmetic dentistry focuses on obtaining a natural smile in perfect proportion and harmony with the entire face,” Caracioni said. “I love to put beautiful smiles on people’s faces because a smile can be the first thing somebody notices about you.”
Based on the findings of another AADC study, Caracioni is spot on in her thinking. The study concluded that 48 percent of adults believe that a smile is the most memorable feature after first meeting someone. Cosmetic dentistry is often the right option for people who would like to improve their smile. For tooth loss, dental implants are a popular choice because they are the most natural-looking.
“If you have lost one or more teeth, dental implants can provide you with the strength and stability of normal teeth,” Caracioni said. “Depending on your individual needs and treatment plan, your implant restoration could be a crown, bridge or dentures.”
For more extreme cases, full-mouth restorations may provide the most dramatic results.
“When damage, decay or disease has significantly affected your oral health, your best option to achieve a functioning, healthy and beautiful smile may be full-mouth reconstruction,” Caracioni said. “They provide amazing results for those suffering from frequent headaches or migraines, pain or soreness around the jaw, facial, neck, shoulder and back pain and many other symptoms.”
Other cosmetic dentistry options like teeth whitening, gum line recontouring and porcelain veneers are slightly less invasive treatments that can also improve a person’s smile. Regardless of which choice ends up being the right one, one thing is certain: cosmetic dentistry can have an enormous impact on a person’s life. By making improvements to their smile, people are effectively improving their lives by restoring their self-esteem and self-confidence.