All I want for Christmas… Phillip Silver Solvay 360

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  Posted by: Dental Design      1st December 2019

As we gear up for the festive season, lots of people are feeling the strain. Expectations can come from every direction and there is a certain amount of pressure to have the perfect Christmas. Decorating the tree, preparing the dinner and choosing gifts can ramp up the pressure but the financial burden, having relatives to visit, and ensuring that everyone is happy can cause additional stress. Some people feel that they are in competition to arrange the perfect event, booking entertainment, thinking about what to wear weeks in advance, even trying to shed a few pounds. Ultimately, they want to make the ‘right’ impression.

It is human nature to compare ourselves with others and perhaps even judge our abilities on the approval of other people. Many individuals put themselves under pressure to appear, act in a certain way or conform in order to “fit in”. Indeed, most of us have an inherent desire to belong and gain acceptance, whether it is from family, friends, co-workers or even people that we don’t know. Humans have a basic need to form personal connections and create harmony with others, so that they feel accepted and supported. Being part of a social network gives individuals meaningful roles which provide self-esteem.[1] This in turn, gives them the confidence to voice their honest opinions, talk about their interests and feel more relaxed in social situations. In fact, research reveals that people that are socially connected are happier and healthier and tend to live longer than isolated individuals. [2] Furthermore, having a wide support network to turn to for assistance, means that they are better able to cope with stressful events.[3]During the festive season attending social events and interacting with others can be a challenge for a surprising number of people. They might feel shy or self-conscious around others, anxious about speaking to people they don’t know or worried that they don’t look as if they are enjoying themselves. All of which, can be compounded if they are unhappy with the way they look.

The condition of the teeth can have a considerable impact on both how a person feels about themselves and, the perceptions and assumptions that others draw. For example, if an individual feels embarrassed to speak, eat or smile in front of others because they have missing teeth, it can have a negative impact on their ability to socialise and communicate. As we know, first impressions can be made in milliseconds[4] and people routinely make judgements based on facial appearances.[5] We tend to stereotype people based on this, and people that are considered unattractive, may be perceived as less healthy, capable, friendly or intelligent than those that are considered attractive.[6] Furthermore, if a negative emotion is shown in the face such as sadness or anxiety, a negative impression is made – whereas a smiling face increases rates of attraction and is attributed to greater degrees of sincerity, sociability and competence.[7]

Most people don’t want to display unsightly gaps at the front of their mouth. However, a poorly fitting denture or one that moves, slides or becomes displaced, can be equally problematic. As well as the embarrassment of a denture that slips when smiling, speaking or eating, there may also be discomfort from sores, blisters or infections, accompanied by bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Certainly, ill-fitting dentures can cause difficulties with speaking and eating, but they can also exacerbate social withdrawal, isolation, and low self-esteem.[8] However, significant advancements have been made in prosthodontics recently, enabling dentists to restore oral function, comfort and aesthetics with precisely fitting, digitally designed solutions.

Removable partial dentures (RPDs) can be designed using CAD/CAM technology and milled with extreme accuracy to achieve a superior fit. Correspondingly, there have been significant developments in material science, and patients can now opt for a thin, lightweight RPD frame made from Ultaire® AKP. This is a new generation, polymer-based material that has been custom developed by Solvay Dental 360® to offer patients an alternative to metal RPD frameworks that is strong, durable and biocompatible. Ultaire® AKP is extremely versatile due to the accuracy and design possibilities that can be achieved but also, it has bone like qualities that feel natural and comfortable in the mouth. RPDs fabricated from Ultaire® AKP also feature discreet clasp designs, which engage with undercuts and produce a snap-in fit to maintain excellent retention and outstanding aesthetic results.

Christmas is about having fun, socialising and enjoying the festivities. Patients no longer have to hold back because they are embarrassed by their smile – there are modern solutions and materials that can help them to feel confident and comfortable, all year round.


To book a Solvay Dental 360® Professional Lunch and Learn or to find more information Ultaire® AKP and Dentivera® milling discs,
please visit




[1] Holt-Lunstad J. et al. Social relationships and mortality risk: A meta-analytic review. Research article. July 2010; PLoS Med. 7(7) e1000316. [Accessed 25th September 2019]

[2] Umerson D. et al. Social relationships and health: A flashpoint for health policy. J Health Soc Behav. 2010; 51(Suppl): S54–S66. [Accessed 25th September 2019]

[3] Dunbar R.I.M Breaking Bread: the functions of social eating. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology (2017): 3(3) 198-211. [Accessed 25th September 2019]

[4] Willis J et al. First impressions: making up your mind after a 100-ms exposure to a face. Psychol Sci. 2006 Jul;17(7):592-8. [Accessed 25th September 2019]

[5] Todorov A. Evaluating faces on trustworthiness: an extension of systems for recognition of emotions signalling approach/avoidance behaviours. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008 Mar;1124:208-24. doi: 10.1196/annals.1440.012. [Accessed 25th September 2019]

[6] Langlois J.H. et al. Maxims or myths of beauty. Psychol Bull. 2000 May;126(3):390-423. [Accessed 25th September 2019]

[7] Reis H et al. What is smiling is beautiful and good. European Journal of Social Psychology. Volume 20, Issue 3 1990 259–267 [Accessed 25th September 2019]

[8] Kisely S. No mental health without oral health. Can J Psychiatry. 2016 May; 61(5): 277–282. [Accessed 25th September 2019]



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