In this podcast, Dr. Nammy Patel talks with John Maher about cosmetic dentistry. She explains the health benefits of cosmetic dentistry and talks about how feeling good about yourself can help you fight disease.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Dr. Nammy Patel, founder of Green Dentistry in San Francisco, California. Helping patients recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole body health. And author of the best selling books, Age with Style: Guide to a Youthful Smile and Healthy Living and Total Wellness: Understanding the Link Between Your Teeth and Your Health. Today, our topic is Why Consider Cosmetic Dentistry? Welcome, Dr. Nammy.
Nammy Patel: Hi, John. Thank you for having me here.
Who Should Consider Cosmetic Dentistry?
John: Sure. So Dr. Nammy, is cosmetic dentistry only for the vain or those who are really focused on the way they look?
Dr. Nammy: Absolutely not, John. Absolutely not. Cosmetic dentistry is really vital to who we are as individuals. Our smiles portray our character, it portrays our self-confidence and it portrays our personalities. So cosmetic dentistry is vital and a necessity to our wellbeing and to who we are. I highly recommend cosmetic dentistry.
The main reason is when we look at our smiles, we feel good. When we look in the mirror, we see our teeth whites shining, straight. It makes us feel really good about ourselves and when we feel really good about ourselves, our mental wellbeing is in a really good state. Believe it or not, the way we look at ourselves or the way we think about ourselves actually activates certain parts of our genes to be healthy and to live long and to feel good. And so I am a big proponent of cosmetic dentistry.
How Does Cosmetic Dentistry Compliment Dental Health?
John: So let’s talk a little bit about your overall dental health first and tell me how cosmetic dentistry really compliments your overall dental health.
Dr. Nammy: So cosmetic dentistry is a vital part of dental health, mainly being that sometimes there are crowns in the mouth that have a black lining on it and that is an oxide reaction. When there’s metal in the mouth, what happens is that the bacteria and the saliva interact and create an oxide, which causes gum recession, and that’s very unpleasant, that’s not attractive, especially when you’re smiling. And so we’re able to do cosmetic work with porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns to redesign the smile, make it very aesthetic, make it very beautiful, and use materials like a milled porcelain that actually resists bacteria. And so it’s a vital part of overall health and dental health.
How Does Looking Good Affect Your Health?
John: Yeah. So talk a little bit more about how looking better can have an effect on your health. I know that you said it’s great to get up in the morning and look in the mirror and see that you have that nice bright smile and maybe it makes you feel good about yourself, but can it really affect your health?
Dr. Nammy: Absolutely. Absolutely. So there is now more science and research done. There’s a great book called The MindBody Code, and it actually talks about how we feel about ourselves, actually activate certain genes in our genome, in our DNA. And what it does is activate certain… if we feel good about ourselves or if we’re feeling young and healthy and we have a love for ourselves and a good self-esteem, what we actually do is activate certain parts of our DNA that are going to help fight disease and dysfunction. For example, let’s say I had the gene for breast cancer, and I also have a … because we both have both, right? We have a gene for breast cancer, but we also have the ability to prevent breast cancer.
So there’s certain parts of our DNA that coexist and live in the same space. So when we’re healthier, feeling good about ourselves and we’re not stressed or have any anxiety or any negative thoughts or feelings, any cortisol present, because anytime we have negative thoughts, feelings, we create that hormone cortisol and that cortisol inflammation is what activates a breast cancer gene versus when we’re feeling good, we have the adrenaline, which is we’re feeling really good about ourselves, we’re really happy, we’re fighting cancer, we’re fighting disease. So it actually activates the correct genes to prevent disease.
Do Dental Implants Have Health Benefits?
John: One of the types of cosmetic dentistry would be getting dental implants. Are dental implants only cosmetic or do they have a health effect as well?
Dr. Nammy: Dental implants are really vital to overall health, and they are purely functional. The main reason for having dental implants is replacing a tooth, especially in the back. And our chewing molars, the teeth that do more of the biting action… we need to be able to have implants or some shape or form of teeth to be able to chew and grind our food. When we’re able to chew and grind our food, we’re able to get the nutrients that we actually need in order to live a long, healthy life. And so it’s very important to our overall health.
The second reason is dental implants actually keep the bone around. So when we have teeth, the teeth have bone around it that houses the teeth, and if you extract a tooth, the bone starts dying on its own. So if we place a dental implant, we’re actually able to keep that bone around, which is really important because that bone is needed for our facial muscles to be intact, also keeps us looking younger. We’re able to look good, we’re able to chew, we’re able to feel good about ourselves, and it has that overall health function. Form and function follow one another. So it’s really important to have dental implants to make sure that we can chew properly, we can live a long healthy life, we can be comfortable, and also we can look good.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry That Benefit Your Health
John: What are some other types of cosmetic dentistry that you feel like could have a benefit for people’s health?
Dr. Nammy: Other forms of cosmetic dentistry are also bringing gum tissue back. As we age, the gum tissue recedes over time. So what we can actually do is put collagen into our gums and actually it’s like a gum lift, so we can actually bring that gum tissue back down to give us a beautiful, nice, youthful smile. It helps prevent disease, it helps prevent decay, and it’s a vital part of our dental health.
Contact Green Dentistry About Cosmetic Dentistry
John: All right. Well, that’s really great information, Dr. Nammy. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Dr. Nammy: You’re welcome.
John: And for more information about Green Dentistry, visit the website at sfgreendentist.com or call 415-433-0119.