Cosmetic dentists are like a lot of professionals in other cosmetic areas. We put a lot of emphasis on “before and after” pictures. These images are vital because they give you the opportunity to evaluate a cosmetic dentist’s ability to deliver the kind of results you want. But they also have a tendency to create a misconception that can be damaging.
The “After Myth”
As one weight loss blogger points out, before and after pictures create a false impression. They give you the idea that your progress is made up of two disparate moments in time, designated “before” and “after.”
In reality, though, life is made up of little separate moments that add together, each one building from the before image and contributing to the achievement of your goal. And those moments continue beyond the after image. Failing to be aware of and pay attention to those “after” moments is why many diets fail and many people who lose weight end up gaining it all — or more — back again.
After Your Cosmetic Dentistry
It’s not as true as it is for weight loss, but cosmetic dentistry can definitely be impacted by what happens after your “after.” It’s important to remember that all the forces that made the smile you were unhappy with in your “before” picture are still in play after your treatment is complete, and, if you’re not careful, they can undo what you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
This isn’t the same for all procedures. With porcelain veneers, for example, if your teeth developed poorly or were chipped because of an accident, you can count on your “after” smile to last for a decade or more. But even here you have to be aware that things like using your teeth inappropriately or not taking proper care of your teeth can lead to loss of your veneers.
One of the ways you can try to avoid negative consequences after the “after” is to cultivate a long-term relationship with your cosmetic dentist. If your cosmetic dentist becomes your regular dentist, you can be sure that you will be reminded that your smile is still at stake. You have to take care of it if you want to keep it.