MERGING BEAUTY AND FUNCTION
MERGING BEAUTY AND FUNCTION
Cosmetic dentistry is all about the classical sense of beauty.
So, what is beauty? The answer is -1.6180339887, the golden ratio as described by Pythagorean mathematicians. With this ratio, we expect to find balance and symmetry.
As described by the ancient Greeks, beauty is all about three aspects:
The Greeks relied on mathematics to analyze ‘beauty’ because it aligned all the three aspects listed above. In the 18th Century, the emergence of esthetics became the central intellectual question, above all art. Today, cosmetic dentistry follows the Greek view of beauty: symmetry and harmony.
Over years of training, dentists acquire skills in art form - any work that improves the appearance of teeth, gums, and/or bite. The esthetic aspect of cosmetic dentistry focuses on color, position, shape, size and alignment of a smile. Although there is no specialty offered by the ADA for cosmetic dentistry, the two specialties that predominantly focus on dental esthetics includes Prosthodontics and Orthodontics. A few procedures that are common in cosmetic dentistry include composite bonding, veneers, whitening, and implants.
But what is beauty.. Without function?
Cosmetic dentistry does more than just beautify: it serves the purpose of improving both health + function of your teeth as well.
Good design is not about beauty or function, it’s about both aspects in sync with one another.
Functional medicine is the practice of determining the root of problems. For instance, solely treating tooth decay does not address factors outside of the mouth that may have caused the decay, such as nutrition or parafunctional habits.
As a dental student, I have already witnessed how form follows function. It is important to prioritize function as the driving force for beauty. I have learned to capture the idea that will allow me to create my own canvas, and then lay the foundation for a design derived from beauty but supported by function. Just as artists do, a good dentist will design with care. If designing with care, function will naturally be considered - including both detail and symmetry.
Humans are attracted to beauty, and beauty is subjective as the standards of beauty differ across cultures. So how is beauty considered standard when it comes to the universal field of dentistry? Standard height and width proportions, and color with considerable modifications in regards to gender and facial shape. The beauty of dentistry is that no patient is the same: while standard ratios are considered for esthetics and function, the proportions change relative to the patient. Beauty and function are two essential aspects of dentistry and two aspects that hold great weight in my everyday life to improve my physical, functional and emotional well-being.
"Beauty does not stand alone; it is a property that depends on other properties."
The Metaphysics of Beauty