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Emotional Dentistry: Dentistry With A Mental Health Focus

Pediatric Dentist with Child Patient

People have always been concerned about the way they look, especially when it comes to their teeth. We usually pay special attention to our teeth when smiling. We may observe a misaligned tooth or that our gums are more noticeable than our teeth and desire to change it. This desire is further amplified by the perfect appearances of others on social media platforms. The insecurities this has caused it has led to the development of a new specialty called emotional dentistry. 

Introducing Emotional Dentistry Into Dental Care

While patients typically won’t use the term emotional dentistry, they know it when they receive it. Emotional dentistry involves your dentist’s awareness of how our smiles affect our self-esteem. They understand our aesthetic concerns and consider them when considering how to proceed with treatment. An unhealthy relationship with our smiles can have multiple influences on our lives, including:

  • Our Self-Esteem: Smiles are one of the founding actions of our social interactions. Hiding our smiles may make people assume that we’re unhappy or depressed. Smiling is one of the essential factors in being social, as it permits people to see that we’re having fun, bright, and enjoying their company. Having a healthy smile that we can be happy with can help with our self-worth and our ability to be social.
  • Our Mental Health: Smiling can impact our mental health by producing serotonin. We create serotonin when we smile, even when that smile is false or involuntary. When seeing people smiling, those who witness it are inclined to respond with a smile and experience a boost in serotonin whether they do or don’t. Because of this, it has been shown that smiling can increase our moods. Regular avoidance of smiling can signify anxiety, depression, etc.

Digital Smile Design is a process used when it comes to emotional dentistry. This process aims to provide patients with hope. DSD shows the possible outcomes of dental procedures before the procedure. They can show how restoring our teeth can make our smiles look healthier or the potential effect of dental whitening on our smiles.

DSD allows dentists and patients to discuss their concerns and show how specific treatments to aid in resolving them. Trouble communicating these concepts has been a staggering core point in treatment planning. DSD has assisted in bridging the gap between understanding the patient’s needs and the steps the dentist can take to ensure those needs are met.

Setting Goals For Creating Beautiful Smiles

Many elements go into what makes a smile stand out. One of the most crucial is confidence in our smiles. This confidence can be a struggle to achieve if we have noticeable flaws in our smiles that we’re concerned about. We’re ingrained to recognize symmetry as an essential part of what makes something attractive. This recognition means gaps, misalignments, discoloration, and missing teeth all impact the perceived attractiveness of our smiles. Contact your dentist today so they can provide a detailed treatment plan to address your concerns.

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