Most of us are familiar with the most ordinary details of dental care. Cavities and gum disease are concepts drummed into us from the earliest days of grade school. We know that brushing and flossing are necessary to keep our teeth and gums healthy and that mouthwash can effectively fight bad breath. Our dentists, however, are aware of another essential truth. They know our smiles are an important part of our self-esteem and that the care they provide is essential to helping us feel our best when engaging with others. For this reason, emotional dentistry has been a critical part of our oral health care.
Emotional Dentistry And Why It’s A Priority
The concept of emotional dentistry is a familiar one. It’s a term to describe the relationship between a patient’s oral health, their dentist, and their care. It’s also a model that outlines a method of presenting options for dental treatment that considers how these options are presented. Paramount among these considerations is how the aesthetics of the patient’s smile impacts their self-esteem.
Regardless of whether they communicate openly, most people have a connection between their oral health and their self-esteem. Poor oral health often leads to embarrassment and a fear of ridicule about tooth decay and other imperfections in their smile, such as discoloration. For some, this is merely a fear; for others, it’s a reality they’ve faced in their experiences with others. In some cases, patients may have beautiful teeth and still be experiencing insecurities due to a condition known as smile dysmorphia.
Emotional dentistry allows your dentist to address these cases with compassion for their patient. Using a variety of approaches, your provider can take steps to provide treatment options that help preserve your self-esteem, boost confidence, and support your identity. Some options include:
- Smile Design: This is a relatively recent introduction to dentists’ services. Instead, the recent advances that make smile design an active and visual part of the process are recent. Dentists can now show their patients what the results of their procedures are likely to be. As a result, patients can make better-informed decisions.
- Intraoral Scanners: These devices make achieving aesthetic smiles easier by improving the treatment planning process. They enhance the ability to address problems accurately while also making it possible to design smiles that fit the aesthetic nature of their patient’s features more precisely.
- 3D Printing: An increasing number of dental offices are acquiring 3D printing stations that serve numerous purposes. In some cases, these can be used to mill dental restorations on-site. In others, they are used to create representations of the patient’s oral cavity for treatment planning. They’re an incredible tool that lets patients see results faster than ever.
Emotional Dentistry Helps Patients Achieve Their Goals
Emotional dentistry is an integral part of helping dentists help patients. There’s nothing more important than helping patients feel great about their smiles. The next time you see your dentist, see if you can tell how they are practicing emotional dentistry as part of their practice.