How many of you feel like this every day? How many of you would want to remove one word from this statement? Could it be the word ’to’?!!
Last year I received the following text from a dental colleague. It said, and I quote, “Brian read below – quite horrendous: I’ve just read a study report in the BDA. Basically 22% of UK Dentists are thinking of suicide today!!! Apparently 22% of UK dentists are now alcoholics. Most have poor health, most have poor mental health and most are suicidal. Maybe this is why we are short of dentists.”
My work as an expert witness over the past 23 years, has given me first-hand experience of the increasing number of litigation cases brought against dentists. Some of these have been proved to be unfounded, nevertheless, the stress and anxiety while the case is investigated would be immense for the dentist.
Having worked as a dentist in the NHS, private and corporate sectors, I have been privileged to have had a unique insight into the world of dentistry, and I can sincerely empathise with dentists who have received official complaints against them.
Finding the Joy!
Around 14 years ago, when it was evident that more and more of the ‘fluoride’ generation were requiring minimal, if any, restorative dental treatments, and because of the increasing shift towards the cosmetic aspects of dentistry, such as orthodontics and tooth whitening, I could see a symbiotic relationship between dentistry and non-surgical facial aesthetics (NSFA) to provide a total “facial aesthetic” outcome. In my mind, NSFA was a natural progression from dentistry and dentists with their sound knowledge of head and neck anatomy and honed manual dexterity are the ideal clinicians to provide NSFA treatments.
Why Facial Aesthetics in the Dental Setting?
Facial aesthetics compliments aesthetic dentistry perfectly. You create the perfect smile so why wouldn’t your patients want a beautiful frame to enhance it? And, of course, dentists understand the effects of the ageing dentition on the facial morphology.
Unlike mainline restorative dentistry, NSFA treatments are reversible. It is well documented that as soon as you put a bur to a tooth it is downhill from then on! The most common materials used in NSFA treatments provide effects which are non-permanent and therefore reversible over time.
Also, gone are the days when having facial aesthetic treatments were so secretive for the recipients, it being taboo to let anyone know that you were having these treatments. Now people are more open to discussing their aesthetic treatments and sharing their experiences therefore providing potential referral business for you in the future.
Furthermore, the GDC has been involved in, and supportive of the HEE (Health Education England) non-surgical aesthetic interventions guidelines and regulations.
Non-surgical cosmetic procedures (aesthetic interventions) involve products or techniques that affect the muscles and skin of the face producing a more relaxed, refreshed and youthful appearance. They also have a dental functional aspect for example, in helping with bruxism and reducing a gummy smile.
Bruxism, affects more than six million people in the UK. However, the severity of the symptoms and the frequency of grinding varies. It can occur in both children and adults, although it is most common in adults between the ages of 25 and 44.
The optimal smile line appearance should reveal the least amount of gum tissue possible. Gum tissue visible in the smile line should have balanced, even contours that are in harmony with the upper lip. It is for this reason that many people with a gummy smile or excessive gingival display feel their smile to be unattractive, often feeling reluctant to smile at all.
On a purely professional satisfaction and ‘sanity’ standpoint, when provided by appropriately trained practitioners in an appropriate medical setting, facial aesthetics should be relatively stress free (when compared to traditional dentistry!) and enjoyable. Facial aesthetics is a ‘well person’ treatment. Patients choose to come to you. They are not going to be at death’s door or in pain! You won’t have to contend with restricted opening and access, tongues like elephant trunks and saliva like the Niagara Falls!
Adding facial aesthetics to your practice will be rewarding both professionally and commercially. Actually, one of the important skills of the aesthetics practitioner, is when to say no to providing treatments!
Oh the Joy!