I still remember the day I joined my masters program and my boss called me to his office and said remember You are an esthetic dentist not a cosmetic dentist and you will soon know what i mean”. As I thought about what he said, the days of working at the university taught me what he mean.
So what is Esthetic Dentistry? It is dentistry where the final outcome mimics nature as far as humanly possible within the biological frame work or as Dr. Pascal Magne simply puts it ‘Biomimetically emulating Nature”. In the opening pages of his classic, Magne talks about how nature cannot be humanly inspired but divinely designed and our job is to faithfully emulate it.
For too long the ‘ Hollywood Smile” has been the envy of young and old alike, those bleached A1 shaded teeth sparkling in the sun has captured everyone’s imagination. But le’ts have a reality check – do all of us want to have the same bleached smile? Or should age appropriate shades be chosen? Yes, in the end it is the patient’s decision but it is also our responsibility to give him the best, conservative and esthetically pleasing option.
Take for example a patient who was 55 came to me with a request for whiter and longer teeth but with the request that it should be age appropriate.
A conservative approach of using Feldspathic Ceramic Veneers from tooth 15-22 was the solution we used in this case after two weeks of home bleaching with 10 % Carbamide Peroxide.
The case was not perfect but the patient was happy with the final outcome because it suited her expectation. Now did all this come about in one day? No, It took various stages of planning to reach the final outcome, and here is where I point out that the treatment planning in a case is the most important step to gain an acceptable, biologically sound & esthetic result.
Take a look at this photograph. Can you spot the implant restoration supported here? Probably not. It is not easy to spot since it achieved the Bio-emulation that we strove for.
Here was a patient who had a tooth that was mobile and periodontally unsound in the anterior sector, his only request was that we replace the tooth and match it to his other teeth, looking at his teeth it was quite the challenge, but with sound treatment planning and implementation, and of course a gifted technician we were able to achieve a good result.
Taking the Pre-op photograph into consideration I think we achieved considerable success. However, the greatest satisfaction was when the patient told us, that his son who lived in another city came home and asked him what all the fuss of going to the dentist so often was all about – when there were no visible changes. To me and my team it was the best of compliments. (The tooth was 11 for those of you who couldn’t spot it).
I hope this post helps you understand better what Esthetic Dentistry is all about. May this inspire us to follow the divine design that our Creator so marvellously designed.
“I will praise thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, wonderful are your works and my soul knows it very well”. Psalms 139:14