Dental Technology—A Must-See Video
Changes in dental technology are fast-forwarding the practice of dentistry forward. In this video, Miguel Stanley—a practicing dentist for over 20 years—unpacks how key advancements in dentistry not only make procedures less painful and quicker for the patient, but also help people feel better about themselves and increases self-esteem.
The way we present ourselves and how others perceive us play an integral role in our self-worth. And thanks to advancements in dentistry and cosmetic dentistry, people who undergo transformative restorations today report a 23% increase in happiness as a consequence.
However, dentistry hasn’t always been focused on resorting smiles. In fact, dentist procedures used to be handled by your local barber! The early days of dentistry was focused on solving a problem like pulling a bad tooth, and wasn’t considered to be too difficult. Just 150 years ago, you’d go to the barber for a haircut and, while you were there, they could pull out your tooth. Can you imagine your hairstylist taking care of both your hair and your teeth?
Even in ancient times like in Greece and Rome, going to the dentist was considered to be a painful experience. It’s no wonder there are still so many people who fear the going to the dentist, even a thousand years later.
It’s true. For the vast majority of history, the dentist—or barber—has been associated with extreme pain.
Dr. Stanley takes a look back at history and then discusses why most paintings from the Renaissance era don’t show subjects smiling with teeth. Think, for example, of the most famous painting with one of the most famous smiles. Did you think of the Mona Lisa? Good. Now, think hard about that painting. While it contains that incredible smile, the smile is closed-lip. In fact, most paintings of centuries past—and even the earliest photographs—feature closed-lip smiles.
Into the 1920s and 1930s, photography started to pick up on some toothy grins. And yet, as you might expect, the teeth displayed in these photos were decayed if not missing altogether.
That beginning of smiles with teeth in photography acted as one of the catalysts for patients seeking restorative dentistry. In fact, photography has played a significant role in the way dentists practice. Unlike 25 years ago where the work of dentists was rarely photographed and displayed publicly, today patients love to show off their white, straight teeth all over social media. Thanks to that, dentists must ensure that they are staying on the cutting-edge of technology and providing the best services.
Today, the evolution of technology—both in dentistry and on social media—has continued to push restorative dentistry advancements, in particular. However, it’s still always lagged behind other practices of medicine.
For example, seeing a prosthetic arm is very normal, however veneer implants or other types of bridges that are artificial teeth are not discussed in mainstream. But now, dental technology is moving fast forward, and in the very near future there will no longer be any stigma surrounding cosmetic dentistry procedures.
When it comes down to it, thanks to dentists like Dr. Ku who continue to strive to make these procedures mainstream, no one should feel ashamed of their smile OR feel like they have no options. The constant sharing and uploading of photos isn’t going away anytime soon. If you are embarrassed by your teeth or are concerned about how your smile looks, stop imitating Mona Lisa and take advantage of how technology has made restorative dentistry accessible and mainstream!