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Is your Smile the Real Problem

Put ‘smile analysis’ in the search line of Bing.com and there are over 6,000,000 results. Very quickly, one realizes smile analysis is a step in cosmetic dentistry that ventures beyond tooth beauty and includes the entire face. Smile analysis involves an individual really assessing the physical appearance of his or her smile and face to determine if he or she is happy with that appearance.

Particularly, in smile analysis, the focus in on the smile. In more detail, the teeth. One must determine if he or she is happy with the appearance of their teeth. Perhaps the color of the teeth is not as white as one would like, or there are gaps between the teeth that lend to the teeth looking abnormal. In addition, crowding can cause teeth to overlap and not have what society accepts as pretty teeth; straight, aligned and white. There are other conditions such as chipped, cracked or even missing teeth that may lend to the feeling of smile deficit.

The good news is, through smile analysis, these perceived problems with teeth can be fixed. There are several procedures to make the corrections; teeth whitening, cosmetic bonding, crowns, bridges, fillings to match tooth color, invisible braces, etc. Most of these procedures are relatively inexpensive and can even be financed.

In addition to tooth procedures, the dental industry is beginning to include the ‘entire package’ in smile correction. Botox is well known for its use on wrinkles around the eyes and the forehead. For some, these treatments are necessary to lend the appearance of smooth skin. There are fillers that can be used to make the cheeks appear rounder and fuller. These fillers (Radiesse is a popular one) are harmless as they are made of a substance called calcium hydroxyapatite which appears naturally in humans.

Smile analysis is a solution for individuals who feel they will be better accepted by society, thus possibly increasing their self-esteem. However, self-esteem issues can run deeper than appearance and all should be explored before making radical changes to one’s appearance and regretting it later. Although most injectable cosmetic procedures are temporary, changes to the teeth and jaws generally are not. Smile analysis may actually contribute to feelings of unattractiveness by pointing out differences that society deems not normal.

“Adolescent and teenage girls are at particular risk of developing low self-esteem because of the many forms of media-television, magazines, advertising and websites-that emphasize impossible standards of beauty and appearance” (Susan McQuillan ). With this said, is the solution through smile analysis, or do we, as a society, need to recognize people are individuals. Individuals have different traits that make them attractive, and not all physical qualities make up the attraction.

Fortunately, big corporations are recognizing women are not Barbie dolls and men are not Ken dolls. More and more we are seeing commercials geared toward real people and impossibly beautiful people. Ironically, remove the make up, the hair dos and the clothing and most of these beautiful people are not at all what they appear to be on camera.

Smile analysis is the first step in making change to appearance, but may not be a solution one is really looking for.