The mouth and the lower third of the face are primarily responsible for the perception that others have of our facial expression. Not even the eyes can express as many emotions and moods as the mouth. With the passage of time, the expressive potential of our mouth and, by extension, of the face, deteriorates. Loss of teeth or degradation of bone mass in the oral cavity also leads to aging of the lips, loss of firmness of the chin, and modification of the chin or nose. We attend changes that are partly unavoidable, but that some measure can be delayed or mitigated. It depends on the care and attention we give them.
There are still many people today who intend to ignore the importance of the health of the mouth in the general maintenance of health and in the psychological variables that mark the life of each individual: self-esteem, the image we project in front of others, and our own capacity for expression and communication.
Psychological dimension of smile design
In the evolution in health care we have already passed the stages in which the relevant thing was palliative treatment and functionality. Thanks to scientific advances, the rise of preventive mentality and technology, we have discovered that a healthy mouth not only involves minimal maintenance of teeth, but an integral approach in which psychological and aesthetic aspects also play a relevant role. And always based on the physiognomy of each individual, which is unrepeatable. We don’t consider one aspect and abandon the others. For example, it is a mistake to focus excessively on the search for aesthetics without evaluating the limits to which one can reach without compromising the authenticity of a person’s face.
Or, just limit yourself to applying treatments that provide a temporary improvement of oral-dental health or the basic recovery of certain functionality without thinking about the long-term consequences. Fortunately, dentistry increasingly has more sophisticated instruments to make accurate diagnoses and simulate the possible evolution of each type of treatment. In fact, the key to the success of any technique today is the ability to plan the result according to the objectives we have set. It is not about applying various therapies successively or randomly without knowing very well where we are going. When working in this way, unexpected surprises arise. It can increase the chances of frustration of the patient before a series of treatments that finally does not meet their expectations and does not return them to the previous state of a healthy and fully functional mouth.
How should we address it? First, we make a good diagnosis and listen to our patients. Then, we use the digital tools at our disposal to have a detailed knowledge of the problem and establish the treatment strategy, which we will put in common with the patient to obtain their agreement and clear all doubts that may arise about the process.