What is Aesthetic Dentistry?

This entry was posted on Monday, November 12th, 2018 is filed under News.

‘Aesthetic’ is a term commonly used in dentistry and often interchanged with the word ‘cosmetic’. However, my opinion has always been to differentiate the word ‘aesthetic’ and to define ‘aesthetic dentistry’ in terms of its importance in interdisciplinary dentistry.

The most complete definition in the literature that I am in agreement with is as follows:

‘Aesthetic dentistry incorporates biological considerations to achieve the ideal function and emulate the pristine natural dentition, with a view to long- term performance and survival.’ (Touyz et al 1999).

The explanation above clearly demonstrates that ‘aesthetic dentistry’ requires all the dental disciplines (orthodontics, restorative, periodontics) to facilitate an optimal result. The ortho-restorative interface being the most powerful and accessible tool available to the general dentist in aesthetic dentistry.

So why do we need an ortho- restorative approach in many of our adult cases? I have two considerations that I place emphasis on when teaching or discussing adult orthodontics with patients.

Consideration 1: Adults come with dental baggage. Adult patients that could possibly benefit from orthodontics commonly present to us with many other issues. A tip-toe and bespoke approach is required when treatment planning for adult patients.
Consideration 2: Orthodontics makes teeth straight not pretty Understanding the patient’s presenting complaint and meeting their expectations requires a holistic approach. Orthodontics focused to improve the smile needs to take many other important considerations to achieve an ideal result: Tooth position = orthodontics Tooth colour = whitening Tooth shape/size = restorative Gingival symmetry = periodontics/orthodontics

The Aesthetic Edition Invisalign supplement aims to showcase aesthetic dentistry and in particular the ortho- restorative interface. The cases that it includes demonstrate the Invisalign system, the ClinCheck software and iTero integration. This allows for meticulous treatment planning and control to achieve amazing results when combined with restorative dentistry. This fits in perfectly with the digital workflow process allowing GPs to evolve with the times and meet the demands of their patients.

I have invited many ‘aesthetic dentists’ who are Invisalign users to collaborate in writing the Aesthetic Edition supplement and the result and response has been amazing. You  all rock, I am humbled and I thank you!

I hope all the readers enjoy this publication which aims to inspire and educate as well as advance GP orthodontics involved with aesthetic dentistry. The next edition will be released in early 2019. Keep your eyes out for it.

Dr Raman Aulakh is a specialist orthodontist and co-founder of Aligner Consulting and course director of SAFE Orthodontics. Raman has written for numerous

international publications in orthodontic literature. He is in demand as a lecturer both nationally and internationally. He is also a visiting postgraduate tutor at King’s Dental Institute teaching on the MSc Aesthetic Dentistry.