Through every screen, we are bombarded with the image of perfection. From head to heels, the standards of Hollywood have become our own markers for beauty without question. But sometimes, those impossible standards can cause average people to take extraordinary measures when it comes to altering their appearance.
Your favorite actress might have glowing white and perfectly straight teeth thanks to a film editing crew and Photoshop, but when we try to achieve the same polished look the results can be disastrous. How far will people go to have the beauty of a Hollywood smile? We’ve discovered some of the more horrific methods in use today. From surgery to broken bones, what won’t we do for a brilliant smile?
Aesthetic Mouth Surgery
A large percentage of us can probably remember the teenage frustrations of braces, retainers, spacers, rubber bands, or even Invisalign. These average orthodontic measures are nothing compared to the surgical options adults are now taking to achieve perfection in their smiles. Common mouth and teeth procedures go beyond basic whitening and flossing and can involve total mouth reconstruction. Spreading the palate, creating space, and correcting symmetry errors are all common goals for mouth and teeth surgeries. These can include operations on the cheeks, tongue, tonsils, lips, and gums in an effort to create a mouth that flatters facial structure.
Gum Reduction and Shaping Surgery
We’ve all been warned of the dangers of gum disease sine our first trip to the dentist. Having diseased gums used to be reserved as torture only those with poor dental hygiene would face. Nowadays, people with perfectly healthy gums are going under the knife for purely aesthetic reasons. Having overly visible or large gums is considered undesirable and causes people to seek surgical fixes to their biological lottery. A Gum Lift or Gum Contouring is offered to those who find their own gummy smiles too unpleasant to bear. The ideal gum line, according to the Hollywood standard, is one that is barely seen. Slicing away at perfectly healthy gums is seen as a valid way to achieve the glamour and ease of a starlet’s smile.
Jaw Formation Surgery
Some people are willing to go so far as the change the shape of their jaw entirely to allow for a completely artificial replacement. Going under the knife to have a dentist surgically break your jaw to allow it to be shaped into something more “acceptable” is one option. Breaking the jaw is an extremely painful process that requires extensive healing time. People who pursue this option will sit for weeks with their mouths screwed and pinned shut to allow their new bone structure to heal properly. This is typically an option used on those with jawlines they believe to be abnormally shaped, too big, or too small.
Like a DIY gone wrong, people choosing to forsake their natural smile for a set of dentures is one way people completely overhaul their smiles in pursuit of perfection. The demolition of a healthy set of teeth and gums in favor of an architecturally “picture-perfect” smile is one not generally encouraged for people under the age of 50. However, in the pursuit of a flawless smile, these are the lengths some are willing to go. The process to having dentures made and inserted is a fairly violent procedure. Not only the teeth, but also significant portions of the gums are cut away to make room for the implants. The result is a textbook smile with unstoppable brilliance. This is an extreme option that only those truly obsessed with the thought of the perfect smile tend to pursue.
For those with a fear of normal dental work, the idea of pulling even one perfectly good tooth might make you cringe. But for those with their eye of having a flawless smile, sometimes it’s necessary to lose the teeth that don’t match up. Cosmetic dentist cite porcelain veneers as one of their most requested procedures. Patients can decide to simply replace a tooth that doesn’t fit their idea of perfect with an artificial implant. The horror comes later when their natural teeth begin to age and stain at a different rate than the porcelain veneers. Thus, leaving them with a two-toned row of straight but discolored teeth.
Laser Teeth Whitening
Generally, laser teeth whitening is seen as safe, yet intense, form of whitening your smile. As mentioned above, it might be the only way to make your natural teeth match the artificial whiteness of your veneers. But even this high tech practice comes with its faults. Patients have reported 3rd degree burns, destroyed teeth, and even holes in their throats as a result of botched laser whitening treatments. It’s a high price to pay for beauty.