Improving someone’s smile is more than a physical, superficial treatment. It is an emotional journey. A journey of self improvement and self identity.
Beauty is something internal. However sometimes the internal is not reflected by the external.
Sometimes we need a boost so that we can believe in ourselves.
I will never forget my first cosmetic case that I did. I was in fourth year university. My patient was so self-conscious of her smile that she would cover her mouth every time she spoke. I thought she had a beautiful smile when she finally allowed me to look at her teeth. But I noticed she had a gap between her front teeth. The gap was crooked. When I looked at her teeth, I noticed one of her front teeth was tilted to the side, while the front tooth next to it was straight. I asked her, ‘what don’t you like about your smile?’ She said that every night she looks at herself in the mirror, she is reminded of the time her ex-husband hit her and caused permanent damage to the her front tooth, leaving it crooked. She was wondering if there was anything I could do to fix this.
In the public sector, students were not allowed to do any cosmetic treatment. I had to go through four demonstrators and plead my patient’s case to them and six weeks of persistence before I was finally allowed to do the case and make veneers for the patient. It took three hours but I managed to make her 4 beautiful veneers. The patient was overwhelmed with joy.
The following day was my last day at the dental hospital before our exams would start. My patient surprised me with a bouquet of flowers and a heart-felt hand written card, ‘You’ve changed my life’. A year later, I had the privilege of seeing her again at the clinic, and this time she brought her daughter in as well. She introduced me to her daughter as, ‘This is the dentist that mummy always talks about. ’
Cosmetic dentistry is not a shallow, superficial treatment. It is an emotional journey. How can you not feel passionate about it?