Cosmetic Dentistry- What You Should Know

Cosmetic dentistry has become increasingly popular, largely as a result of social trends and increased media coverage. This understandable desire for the alleged ‘perfect smile’ needs to be tempered with an appropriate awareness of the significant risks associated with invasive cosmetic procedures such as veneers and crowns. Patients need to be properly informed that elective removal of healthy enamel and dentine can result in pulpal injury and poorer periodontal health in the longer term, particularly if they are young. The duty of candour means that they ought to be informed that aggressive reduction of sound tooth tissue is not biologically neutral and results in structural weakening of their teeth. Less invasive procedures such as bleaching on its own or for example, combined with direct resin composite bonding, can satisfy many patient’s demands, while still being kinder to teeth and having much better fall-back positions for their future requirements. It is the opinion of the British Endodontic Society, British Society for Restorative Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry UK, Dental Trauma UK, British Society of Prosthodontics and the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry that elective invasive cosmetic dental treatments can result in great benefit to patients, but that some aggressive treatments used to achieve them can produce significant morbidities in teeth which were previously healthy. This is a worrying and growing problem with many ethical, legal and biologic aspects, but many adverse outcomes for patients who request cosmetic dental improvements are preventable by using biologically safer initial approaches to treatment planning and its provision.

Mouth Cancer Awareness Month

Most people have heard of cancer affecting parts of the body such as the lungs or breasts. However, cancer can also occur in the mouth, where the disease can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat.

Anyone can be affected by mouth cancer, whether they have their own teeth or not. Mouth cancers are more common in people over 40, particularly men. However, research has shown that mouth cancer is becoming more common in younger patients and in women. In the last year more than 7,000 have been diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK – an increase of more than a third compared to a decade ago.

Sadly, more than 1,800 people in the UK lose their life to mouth cancer every year. Many of these deaths could be prevented if the cancer was caught early enough. As it is, people with mouth cancer are more likely to die than those having cervical cancer or melanoma skin cancer.

Find out more at http://www.mouthcancer.org

BDA Good Practice Gold Award; celebrating 16 years of continuing membership as a tangible evidence of our commitment towards specialist dental care of the highest standard.