The Quest for Beauty

Beauty is that which gives the highest degree of pleasure to the senses or to the mind and suggests that the object of delight approximates one's conception of an ideal. Ever since primitive people first smeared their faces and bodies with pigments from the earth and admired the result, the quest for beauty has been expressed by every human culture.

Standards of Beauty

The human brain works much like a computer, storing information and recalling it at a later time. Standards for measuring beauty are actually a compilation and comparison of everything you have seen or experienced. When you look at a flower and think, That's beautiful, in your mind's eye you are comparing your response to this flower in relative terms to every other flower you have seen. The same is true when you look at a smile.

While the various cultures of the world, past and present, may differ widely in their standards of beauty, the response to beauty is universal and spans all time.

The Response to Beauty

Psychologists have amassed considerable evidence that society places a great amount of importance on appearance. Various studies show that attractive people have more success in obtaining everything from dates to jobs to favorable jury verdicts. Research also demonstrates that attractive men and women tend to have higher paying and more prestigious jobs. Teachers lend to be less harsh when disciplining attractive children, while both students and teachers perceive good-looking children to be smarted and more likely to succeed. Thus, there should be no question that it is advantageous in our society for individuals to make every effort to optimize their appearance.

Proportions of Beauty

Many factors influence the perception of beauty including makeup, clothing, jewelry, and facial expressions. However, it is the relational proportion of our physical features that is the primary factor in determining the perception - conscious or subconscious - of beauty. In an esthetic study it was concluded that:

1. The width of an eye should be 3/10 that of the face as measured at eye level.

2. The chin length should be 1/5 the total height of the face.

3. The vertical distance from the center of the eye to the bottom of the eyebrow should be 1/10 the height of the face.

4. The height of the visible eyeball should be 1/14 the height of the face.

5. The total area of the nose should be less than five percent of the total area of the face.

6. The ideal mouth is fifty percent of the width of the face measured at mouth level.

Enhancing Beauty

We have many options available to alter and enhance our appearance, including cosmetic illusion through makeup and hairstyle, plastic and orthognathic surgery, as well as esthetic dentistry. When actual anatomical features cannot be changed, illusions can camouflage the lack of harmony.

Women, for example, may use makeup to contour the cheeks and nose. Eyebrows can be arched to create the illusion of height, lips can be outlined to appear larger or smaller, and the area around the eyes can be shadowed to appear larger and well-spaced.

In men, facial hair can be shaved or grown in various patterns. A beard can disguise a receding chin, and a mustache can conceal a long or unbalanced upper lip. False hair can be attached to the scalp lo conceal baldness, and sideburns can be grown in various lengths to create the illusion of better facial form. These methods can play a major role in increasing one's self-confidence and promote self-esteem.

Exercise and diet can often improve the shape of the body and, if that fails to produce the desired results, plastic surgery offers a variety of options. Liposuction can reduce fatty deposits in specific areas. Breasts can be augmented, reduced, or repositioned to improve esthetics. Plastic surgery can improve the relative proportions of the face, and therefore facial harmony, through procedures such as nasal reduction, chin and cheekbone augmentation, or elevation of eyebrows. Smiles can also be dramatically improved through orthodontics, bleaching, bonding, laminating, crowning, and other esthetic procedures.

Alterations to improve appearance can result in positive changes in personality and self-esteem. Naturally, any cosmetic procedure should be undertaken with careful planning, realistic expectations, and a thorough understanding of the inherent risks and complications that can occur.

The quest for beauty is never ending and ever changing. Those who once had it want to restore it. Those who may never have experienced it may want to achieve it. And while relative standards may change, human nature ensures that people will continue to strive for the harmonious physical attributes that are so pleasing to the senses.

Smile designs can be accomplished through a combination of cosmetic dental procedures with veneers, implants, crowns, bridges and gum surgeries. After a thorough consultation to elicit your needs, we would custom design a set-up in wax through imaging and provide a cosmetic preview without actually having the work done. This will enable one to visualize the final results.

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