A good dentist looks at the face first and then at the teeth
Dr Mark Bowes from South Africa recently toured several countries in Europe. On this trip he paid a visit to Ivoclar Vivadent AG in the picturesque Principality of Liechtenstein. We took this opportunity to ask him a few questions. Read what Dr Bowes has to say about minimally invasive dentistry, precise planning and the emotional benefits of dentistry. Find out what trends he predicts in dentistry in the following interview.
Six questions for Dr Mark Bowes, owner of a private dental practice in Cape Town, South Africa
Dr Bowes, what does minimally invasive dentistry mean to you?
Dr Mark Bowes: Minimally invasive dentistry shows respect for the existing tooth structure.
How important is precise planning?
Dr Mark Bowes: Precise planning is the key to success in dentistry. The best dentists are those who carefully plan their cases in minute detail. They never make the same mistake twice.
What characterizes a good dentist?
Dr Mark Bowes: A good dentist does not concentrate his attention on the teeth. He or she always looks at the relationship of the teeth to the lips and the entire face. The teeth should not be viewed in isolation. They should be in harmony with the overall facial features and they should suit the personality of the patient. That’s why I always look at the patient’s face first and then at the teeth.
Is it important to address the feelings and emotions of patients in dentistry?
Dr Mark Bowes: Most definitely. Dentistry must address feelings and emotions. Patients are human beings and human beings have feelings. The quality of a person’s life can be negatively affected by poor dental esthetics, resulting in low self-esteem and self-confidence. Receiving a beautiful smile is a life changing experience. The emotional benefits of dentistry are enormous.
How would you describe the relationship of esthetic procedures and medical treatments in the dental practice?
Dr Mark Bowes: Undoubtedly, we focus on esthetic dentistry in our dental clinic. Nonetheless, our main aim in every case is to treat damaged teeth.
What kind of changes do you anticipate seeing in dentistry in the next five to ten years?
Dr Mark Bowes: I believe that we will all become fully digital in the future. Dental CAD/CAM technology is gaining popularity. Clearly, in my practice today we follow a full digital workflow. It allows us to be more precise and efficient, which means predictable and bespoke results. Guided dentistry is the future. However, we need to remember that some human intervention will always be necessary, despite all the sophisticated software and technology. Computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) allows us to provide our patients with restorations that look very natural. This is exactly the solution our patients expect!
Dr Mark Bowes runs a private dental practice in Cape Town, South Africa. He focuses on esthetic and complex restorative dentistry.