Everyone who considers having a cosmetic dentistry procedure done has concerns, but there are special concerns for wind musicians, such as trumpet players and clarinet players. In some cases, a cosmetic dental procedure, such as having veneers or crowns applied to their teeth, can affect their ability to play their instrument. The following article examines this intriguing issue.
A key concept regarding wind musicians and dental work is known as embouchure. This term refers to how a musicians teeth, mouth, lips and tongue all work together to produce a unique sound when they blow into their instrument. A musician's embouchure is a delicate interaction of various components. It can be upset by small changes in the mouth, such as cosmetic dental work like veneers. For example, if a trumpet player elects to have veneers applied to their teeth, the result might be that the quality and range of their playing is negatively impacted if steps are not taken to minimize this risk.
Because small dental changes can have a big impact on wind musicians, it's a good idea to make impressions of a musician's existing teeth. That way, if any changes are going to be made, the cosmetic dentist has a model to go by. For example, if a musician has good embouchure at the current time, making an impression will guide the dentist later during any cosmetic procedures.
Another good idea is for the wind musician to keep the impressions at home. That way they have them readily available if they need to see a new dentist. Also the impressions should be updated regularly, at least once a year.
In order to avoid having any negative effect on a wind musician's embouchure, any cosmetic dental changes made to their teeth should be gradual and reversible. Having dental word done gradually gives the musician time to determine if the changes have harmed their sound and reverse the changes if necessary. This means that a wind musician having cosmetic crowns applied may need many more visits to the dental clinic than the average person. Reversibility is especially important if the changes are to the anterior, or front teeth, as these teeth have the most impact on a wind musician's sound.
Every wind musician considering cosmetic dentistry must consider whether the dental work might affect their playing. This does not mean that the work should not be done, but that it's done in a way that will not harm their embouchure.