Fashion, perhaps the influence of many famous who have decided to shine also for the gold in their smiles, the need to stand out, who knows how many reasons lead Cubans women and men to put on "gold teeth."
Does it look good? That is a very personal approach that falls into each person’s aesthetic ideas; one man’s meat is another man’s poison even for the denture. Those of us who prefer the traditional impeccably white smile and there is also those who like a smile tinged with golden gleams.
But health certainly doesn’t have middle grounds, Cubasí talked with René Rodríguez Sarduy, Specialist in Stomatologic prosthetics to know the effects of these decorations. The Doctor René's first explanation refers to the kind of material most Cubans use which is not exactly the one we see in the mouths of Katy Perry, Lady Gaga or Johnny Deep:
"Dental gold is classified as the best dental material to exist, but it’s not really a pure gold, it contains certain components that in the end make up what’s best known as alloy of dental gold, that gold is indeed authorized worldwide to use it in patients, because those same elements are already scientifically proven to be not noxious to the patient's health, but generally right now the services with that material cannot be given because it’s very expensive".
However, on the opinion of the Master in Community Oral Medicine, the fact that people, outside of our health system, use unsuitable material for therapeutic stomatology is not the biggest threat:
"What happens is that when a fully crown of the tooth is done, the external morphology of the tooth is oversized that brings about the slipping of food through the surface of the patient's normal morphology, is no longer executed and then food take another direction which is not physiologically the best and that results in the irritation of gums.
"Besides, once the crown is oversized, you will create between the tooth surface and the restoration of gold, a step we call space or fissure of possible filtration of food remains, bacteria which ultimately generates predisposition to the formation of cavities in patients that is another of the disadvantages of a golden crown on top of a healthy tooth".
Let me tell you that more than a website dedicated to the show business has published similar criteria from world specialists, still referring to the gold and diamonds decorations paid by famous of the "show business", for example, from Chile, the odontologist Daniel Pupkin, internationally qualified and member of a private clinic, offered similar statement to a Chilean website and he sentenced that it’s "the mutilation of a healthy piece".
Pupkin’s statement has a quite clear explanation in the words of Doctor Sarduy: "Sometimes the tooth is worn down and they place a case that will serve them as a grill of gold, but here comes the great disadvantage when the person takes the grill off, because the tissues under the grill, as the tooth enamel was worn down are sensitive and the patient is forced to have another retainer made, because it’s impossible to withstand the sensibility, since the dentine is exposed which is the tissue that holds the nervous terminals and they are forced to undergo another type of restoration".
Well, well and now without teeth?
A true example is seated on the doctor’s chair of Graduated Lilián Ledón, getting ready for the last chance after many restorations, he agrees to tell his story:
"I was very young when I started to use gold grills in the two upper canine teeth, but later I met a girl who was religious and in order to marry her by the church I had to remove them and get a normal reconstruction, but life after that was impossible, because they ended up very weak and they are constantly breaking, now I’m being prep to put on a post, because I ran out of options."
The young doctor tells us that the number of people coming to have these decorations remove for different reasons and she adds: "that is each person’s decision, but it’s our duty to alert that these practices generally cause swollen gums, bad breath due to rotten food residuals and when pulled off greater complications arise like in the case of my patient. ''
Lastly, Doctor René Sarduy comments a topic that neither is a problem solely of Cuba and it’s a fact that many times the restoration procedure is not carried out by an odontologist:
"For example, when a preparation is made, one of the basic principles, is to preserve the teeth tissue as best one can, how to achieve this is something that a specialist knows, another basic principle is the structural care of the elements surrounding the tooth: the periodontal ligament, the marginal gum, that is, the restoration must have a scientifically studied making so that it’s related with those tissues, he who is unfamiliar to this can cause an irritation in those tissues."
It’s not gold all that glitters, neither it’s pretty, not forever, not even healthy, but of course, we go back to the beginning: one man’s meat…