For most, the concept of dentistry is sharply aligned with medical procedures and yearly checkups. To Dr. Damion Cooper, dentistry is much more than a medical practice, but rather and avenue for him to improve his patient’s health while also making positive cosmetic changes to their smile that gives them more self-confidence.
Despite a proven track record of satisfied patients, Cooper still fights an uphill battle with the stigma that surrounds both class dentistry as well as the cosmetic side. Nonetheless, Cooper remains persistent that cosmetic and medical dentistry should be one and the same.
“I think that there are definitely some antiquate practices among dentists and some very dogmatic ideas that are inhibiting the progression of the profession,” Cooper said. “At the same time, a lot more people are coming around to the idea that cosmetic dentistry is just as important as general dentistry.”
According to Cooper, a lot of the work that has to be done surrounds educating people about what dentistry has to offer instead of letting them think of dentistry as what it stereotypically has been in the decades before this one.
“The stigma is associated with the perception that dentistry is uncomfortable, painful and costly. However, the reality is that there are a lot of new techniques and technologies that make the procedure much more comfortable and much quicker,” Cooper said.
Despite everything, Cooper remains optimistic of what the future of his profession holds.
“In order to bridge the gap, we need to highlight and showcase the benefit of cosmetic dentistry in the hope that we get the emotional draw to get a certain result, which can really help people to take the first step,” Cooper said. “We need people not to worry about the stigma of dentistry and be focused on what the results can be. If we can do that, people will be willing to move forward.”
Another realm in which Cooper sees room for growth is in who is willing to experience with cosmetic dentistry.
“Our client base is predominantly women, but we are definitely starting to see an uptick in the number of men requesting our services,” Cooper said. “Beyond the cosmetic side, if we improve the function of someone’s teeth it is bound to look better naturally.”
To Cooper, things are just getting started in the industry.
“There are so many new and cool technologies that are helping people achieve a nice smile relatively quickly and fairly painlessly,” Cooper said. “ I’m excited to see where future technologies take us.”
Dr. Damion Cooper