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Orthodontics: Aesthetic Choice or Medical Necessity

Orthodontic Care

When considering the cost to benefit ratio of orthodontics, aesthetics frequently come up. There’s a misguided concern that orthodontic care is primarily an aesthetic choice rather than a medical one. The truth of this perception is far more complex. It’s undeniable that the end result of orthodontic treatment is a much-improved smile. However, the long-term medical and dental benefits of orthodontic care are of far more significance. We’re going to explore both aspects of this topic.

Orthodontics: Aesthetic Choice or Medical Necessity

While it’s true that there are cases where orthodontics is purely an aesthetic choice, this is fairly rare. The time and expense involved in getting orthodontic work done is a huge factor in this. It takes more than an aesthetic improvement to make them worthwhile to many patients. There are often easier ways to improve the appearance of your smile. These methods also tend to be far less expensive overall.

For some people, the mere suggestion that orthodontic care is purely aesthetic can put them off. They consider it purely a vanity treatment and are concerned if wanting it makes them vain as well. However, this view can come with dangerous implications. There are consequences to having orthodontic concerns that are left untreated. Some of them are merely social; others can cause lasting damage to our oral health. However, even the aesthetic elements can have a meaningful positive impact on our lives.

Aesthetic improvement of our smile can:

  • Boost Self-Esteem – Our appearance can have an undeniable effect on how we see ourselves. We may smile less, feel insecure more, and generally avoid interacting with people because of it.
  • Perception By Others – The effects on our self-esteem can have additional impacts on our social lives and career. Being less confident can make interacting with others difficult. We may not let our whole selves show as we avoid smiling and speaking.
  • Career Implications – For better or worse, our appearance has an impact on our ability to succeed. Those without orthodontic concerns frequently show greater mobility in their careers. This is due to how poor oral health is perceived, as well as the factors mentioned above.

Medical Benefits of Orthodontics

There are definite benefits to aesthetic improvements. However, they aren’t the most important result of orthodontic care. Far more important is the impact it has on our oral health. Our gums, teeth, jawbone, and joints can all be impacted by an imperfect bite. Orthodontic concerns can change how we speak, limit our ability to eat a balanced diet, and even influence our posture. The aesthetic concerns are just the tip of the iceberg. 

Speak To Your Orthodontist For Further Guidance

If you are seeking to discover more about how orthodontic care affects your oral health, speak to your orthodontist. They’ll be able to provide an in-depth explanation of what it can do for you. Most importantly, they can set your mind at ease about the necessity for orthodontic care. They may inform you that your orthodontic concerns are primarily cosmetic. On the other hand, you may discover that your long-term oral health is at risk without it!

Dr. Karmen Massih Inspired by orthodontics at the age of 10, Dr. Karmen Massih earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine at UCLA's School of Dentistry. After earning her certificates in orthodontics at the University of Pittsburgh, she returned to her hometown of Glendale, CA, to begin Massih Orthodontics, a practice dedicated to transforming smiles for people of all ages.