Cosmetic dentistry, whether you’re whitening your teeth or getting new crowns, is a form of voluntary treatment people often undergo to improve their appearance. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t serve a functional purpose, as well.
“If your teeth are worn down, or you want to change the shape of them, make them look better—these are all forms of cosmetic dentistry,” explains Dr. Karim Lalani, a dentist at the New Westminster location of Family Dental Centres. “But there is also improved function that goes along with certain procedures.”
In many ways, your bite can actually age you, Dr. Lalani says, meaning changing your bite can be an effective anti-aging strategy. Your teeth move as you age, which causes your bite to change as well. Often, your bite is aging your facial structure without you realizing it.
“If you put your teeth back where they belong, and increase those areas that are worn down, it has a big impact,” says Dr. Lalani. “Nature’s pretty smart. When you put things where they belong, they look better and function better.”
Teeth whitening, veneers, and fillings are some of the more popular forms of cosmetic dentistry. Patients range from the young adult who had bad teeth growing up and always dreamed of improving his or her smile, to the senior whose teeth have gradually worn down.
But like other forms of cosmetic dentistry, these procedures often result in functional improvement, as well, says Dr. Lalani. Veneers, for example, protect the teeth in addition to improving the look of them.
“The best cosmetic procedures improve both the look and function of the teeth,” says Dr. Lalani. “That’s always our goal.”