There may be a lot of confusion when people hear integrated aesthetic dentistry. The term is being thrown around not only by dentists and other dental specialists but also by patients who have had ‘integrative cosmetic dentistry’ procedures. Is this just a play on words to make cosmetic dentistry sound more appealing? What does this phrase mean?
Integrated aesthetic dentistry: A brief overview
Let us break down the phrase so we can understand it better. When we say the word ‘integrated’, it means putting different things together to make a connection or link. Aesthetic dentistry is cosmetic dentistry or the field of dental medicine that focuses on procedures that improve or enhance the look and appearance of the teeth.
Integrated aesthetic dentistry: Two meanings
Integrated to the body. Now, putting these two together would mean two things. One, integrated aesthetic dentistry is a principle that dentists and patients follow where the mouth is considered a part of our holistic health. They understand that the dental health of a person should be treated the same way we do our whole body because its function also affects every part of the body. For instance, the food we eat, where we get our body’s nutrients from, is introduced to the body from the mouth. If something bad happens to our teeth or gums, it may restrict us from eating a proper meal, right? If that happens, the body will also suffer due to the lack of nutrition. Another example that clearly tackles integrated cosmetic dentistry is having unappealing teeth that affect our confidence and self-esteem. Having bad teeth can affect your emotionally and psychologically, which in turn can affect your overall health.
Using integrated methods. Another meaning that can be derived from the phrase integrated aesthetic dentistry is applying cosmetic dentistry and combining it with alternative or holistic methods. Dentists believe that undergoing common cosmetic dentistry can be combined with holistic methods that can be safer for the patients. For instance, it is usual for dentists to veneers and crowns to improve the appearance of your teeth, with the additional help of teeth whitening to complete the look. However, for holistic dentists, they would rather look at the overall health of the teeth first so they can address the problem. For instance, if there is a chip or crack on your tooth that can easily be covered by veneers, holistic dentists can look at that and recommend using dental bonding using BPA and mercury-free fillings, and then use inlays or onlays to improve its look and make the tooth actually stronger.
Benefits of integrative cosmetic dentistry
Many dentists who practice integrated aesthetic dentistry claim that their practice is more beneficial to patients when it comes to the overall health of their teeth as well as the cost. They believe that the materials used in common dental procedures may actually harm the body. They also believe that using their alternative or holistic procedures can save you some decent amount of money. Just as an example, for a damaged tooth, dentists may recommend using implants and say that these are the best restorative dental procedure today, but it will cost you at least $3000 a tooth. With integrated aesthetic dentistry, they can perform dental bonding and inlays or onlays for only an estimated amount of $700 to $900 a tooth.
Getting interested? Go and consult your dentist about this new information and see if he is willing or is already practicing this dentistry principle. He can explain them clearly to you and you can understand better what other procedures can be offered using this method.