Dental Clinicians Need to Redefine Beauty
Dental clinicians often play instrumental roles in restoring the integrity of a patient’s face; they also are in a unique position to help their patients appreciate the internal beauty as well. This is what I plan to address during my keynote presentation, titled “Beauty Reconsidered,” at AO’s 2017 Annual Meeting.
Neuroscientists tell us that our brains are hard-wired to recognize and respond to beauty. There is a region of the brain where neurons specifically fire when we gaze upon a face. Within months of birth, infants use this brain region to recognize and discriminate among faces and the emotions portrayed by these faces. So, when something disrupts our facial appearance—whether it is caused by disease, deformity or trauma—it can have a profound impact on how others see us—and how we see ourselves. Facial changes affect our sense of well-being.
That’s why it is critical for dental clinicians to treat the whole person. You aren’t just restoring a part of the patient’s anatomy; you are restoring their sense of completeness. There may be surgical limitations to the repair, but as you approach a patient’s restorative plan, I urge to you to consider how you can assist them in redefining what is beautiful.
Join me at AO’s 2017 Annual Meeting, being held March 15-18 in Orlando, Fla. Let’s do this together: Let’s teach ourselves and your patients that beauty is not be determined by a surgical outcome alone. Beauty is defined by authenticity, compassion, and perseverance in the face of adversity. I hope this talk helps to guide you on a journey that goes beyond a validation of external beauty, and gets to the deeper business of appreciating the beauty that exists inside each of us.