Every profession must do its part to try to protect the environment. The dentistry profession is no exception. More dentists are facing pressure to lower their carbon footprints.
A growing number of dentists have started utilizing eco-friendly practices to help lower their carbon footprint and minimize the use of environmentally hazardous chemicals and materials. A 2018 study published in the International Journal of Dentistry discussed some of the ways that dentists can be eco-friendlier.
Dentists can follow a number of practices to embrace sustainability. This includes practicing procedures to make people smile better without harming the planet.
How Dentists Help Patients Enjoy Beautiful Smiles without Harming the Environment
Many people want a perfect Hollywood smile with all teeth brilliantly white, perfectly shaped, and balanced. But, unfortunately, tooth chips, discolorations, and misaligned teeth affect the smile.
Fortunately, smile design consists of several cosmetic treatments that treat problems with your smile, boosting your self-confidence. Furthermore, because there is no one-size-fits-all solution for your smile, it is best to visit a dentist for a consultation.
The problem is that many of these smile design practices are not known for being the best for the planet. They often use harmful chemicals that can bleach into the ground and harm wildlife. Of course, dentists are expected to follow proper disposal practices, but even the most careful dentist is not able to fully minimize the problem. The good news is that dentists can take proper steps to help the planet.
We will get into some details on some eco-friendly tips, but first will talk about the general practice of smile design.
What Is Smile Design?
Dentists use smile design to customize dental treatments that give you a perfect smile. Smile design results in a natural-looking smile with whiter and straighter teeth.
Smile design suits anyone with discolored teeth or crooked or missing teeth. You can also visit dentists at Dentakay for smile design if you have a gumdemy smile, misaligned teeth, or tooth gaps.
What Do Dentists Consider In Smile Design?
Smile design is not just the pearly white, perfectly aligned teeth. Instead, it considers the appearance of your teeth relating to your face. Therefore, you will undergo a comprehensive oral examination for a smile design when you visit your dentist.
If you have oral health issues, you must undergo appropriate treatment before proceeding with smile design. Afterwards, your dentist will consider the following to create a customized treatment plan.
- Current Smile
Before commencing treatment, your dentist will evaluate your current smile and discuss your expectations. During this stage, your dentist diagnoses the shape, color, and size of your teeth by taking photos using a digital camera.
Your dentist may take photos of your whole face, your lip at rest, anterior and lateral photos, and when you are smiling naturally. You may also have to smile exaggeratedly.
Furthermore, your dentist will evaluate your smile by digitally taking impressions of your teeth or on a mold. Smile impressions help your dentist assess your bite and review your customized treatment plan.
- Facial Aesthetics
In smile design, your dentist considers your smile’s appearance to your face. Therefore, before creating a treatment plan, your dentist will evaluate your facial proportions and the horizontal and vertical planes of your facial aesthetics. A perfect smile should match your face without looking out of place.
- Gums And Gingival Contour
Your gums also affect your smile. People with gummy smiles have too much visible gum tissue when they smile. Ideally, a balanced smile should not have more than 3mm of visible gum tissue. Furthermore, the length of your teeth should complement your gums. Short teeth may make your smile appear gummy even if it falls below the less than 3mm range.
- Lip Position And Symmetry
The lips create boundaries around your smile. When you smile spontaneously, your dentist will consider how far your lips move to the farthest position. The number of apparent teeth when your lips are resting and moving to the farthest place is also considered.
Your dentist will also evaluate your lip shape and appearance when you talk. In a perfect smile, the upper front teeth should take at least three-fourths of the space between your lips. The upper front teeth should also be parallel to your lower lip.
- Incisal Edge Position
When you smile, the incisal edge position is where the top two front teeth end compared to your bottom lip. This position not only affects your smile. It also affects your speech. People with too long incisal edge positions have trouble pronouncing certain words.
In smile design, dentists usually focus on the incisal edge and work outwards due to its prominence.
- Buccal Corridor
When you smile, the buccal corridor is the dark space between the corner of the mouth and the posterior teeth. People with narrow smiles usually have more extensive buccal corridors than those with wider smiles. Generally, smaller buccal corridors are considered to be more attractive and youthful.
Common Smile Design Treatment
Smile design treatment may be a stand-alone or a combination of several cosmetic dental procedures to improve your smile. Your dentist will use the best procedure that corrects your oral imperfections to give you your expected smile. Common smile design procedures include;
Veneers are thin tooth shells bonded to the front of a tooth to alter its shape, size, and color. This cosmetic treatment is customized and can give you your desired Hollywood smile. Porcelain veneers provide you a long-lasting smile that can be maintained just like your natural teeth.
- Dental Implants
People with missing teeth may get dental implants for a perfect smile. Dental implants mimic tooth roots to give you a permanent solution to missing teeth.
- Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening produces better and faster results than at-home treatments. Dentists use whitening agents and activators to give you a brighter smile in minutes.
- Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are like caps covering your tooth to protect your bite. Dentists customize the shape and color of crowns to match your facial aesthetics, giving you a beautiful smile.
- Gum Contouring
Gum contouring reshapes the gums to improve your smile. Dentists use this procedure to cut away excessive gum tissue that causes a gummy smile. This procedure is also suitable for patients with receding gums.
Orthodontics focus on improving the alignment and appearance of your teeth. Dentists include orthodontics in smile design for patients with crooked teeth, improper bites, and wide tooth gaps. Braces, aligners, and space maintainers are common orthodontic treatments.
How Long Does It Take To Recover After Smile Design?
Recovery after a customized smile design treatment differs for all patients. It depends on the type of treatment you undergo. For instance, people who undergo a dental implant procedure take longer to recover than those who undergo a dental veneer procedure.
What Steps Can Dentists Take to Make the Smile Design Process Better for the Planet?
There are a number of things that dentists can do to make the smile design process eco-friendlier. Here are some important environmental considerations.
Use silver reclamation companies to recover x-ray film
X-ray films use silver, which can be hazardous to the planet. Dentists should use silver reclamation companies to minimize this risk.
Recycle lead foils from protective shields
Protective shields are made with lead, which is obviously terrible for the planet. These materials should be recycled to avoid these problems.
Use mail-back systems to get rid of chemicals
Pharmaceuticals including pain management medications are very bad for the environment. Therefore, it is important for dentists to practice eco-friendly ways to dispose of them. One of the best is to use mail-back systems to send them back to the pharmaceutical companies.
Eco-Friendly Dentists Can Help You Enjoy a Great Smile Without Harming the Planet
A perfect smile is excellent for making pleasant first impressions and appearing beautiful in photos. However, you should visit your dentist if you are not pleased with your smile. Dentists consider many factors, including your facial aesthetics and the number of teeth that show when you smile, to create a customized smile design.
Unfortunately, many common smile design practices are not good for the environment. The good news is that dentists are finding better ways to do their jobs without harming the planet in the process. Therefore, it is a good idea to see an eco-friendly dentist. If you are a dentist, you may also want to follow these ADA guidelines to help make your practice green.