Recognize the Difference between Cosmetic and Functional Dental Work
Admit it, there’s been at least one time in your life when you have sat in the dental chair listening to the dentist rattle off a list of recommended treatments, only to find yourself wondering, “Do I really need to have this done?” It’s okay, that’s a very reasonable questions. In a perfect world, you would do all of the treatment that your dentist recommends. But, like anyone else in Scottsbluff, your choices in the dental office must be balanced with all of the other priorities in your life.
If you are unsure about the timing or the urgency of a dental procedure that has been recommended for you, start by asking you dentist if your dental condition is functional or cosmetic.
A functional dental problem will have a direct impact on your oral health. It may affect the way that you chew or speak. It may be contributing to inflammation, gum disease, or TMJ problems. As the name indicates, a functional dental problem prevents you from functioning in a healthy manner. To address these issues and for the sake of your health, the dentist might recommend the following procedures:
- Root canal therapy
- Crowns, bridges, dentures, or dental implants
- Braces or bite adjustments
- Periodontal therapy
In comparison, a cosmetic issue is more directly related to your appearance and may not pose a health risk. This classification does not minimize the importance of a cosmetic procedure because we know that feeling positive about the appearance of your smile can have a great impact on the quality of your daily life. Additionally, many cosmetic procedures can offer functional benefits, just as some functional procedures can offer cosmetic benefits. Some commonly recommended cosmetic procedures are teeth whitening, replacement fillings, porcelain crowns, and porcelain veneers.
Have a frank discussion with your dentist about the primary purpose of the treatment that has been recommended, and you’ll find that it is easier to decide what should be addressed now and what can wait until later. For a detailed explanation of your treatment plan, contact your dentist today for an appointment.