Digital Smile Design: Transhumanism in the Cyber-Dental Sector
What Is Transhumanism & The Digital Smile?
“Transhumanism is the position that human beings should be permitted to use technology to modify and enhance human cognition and bodily function, expanding abilities and capacities beyond current biological constraints. Transhumanism is characterized by a set of core values emphasising positive experience and recognizing the limitations of human cognition and embodiment in achieving maximally positive experience. A set of nonnecessary but common secondary values and positions associated with transhumanism include individualism, libertarianism, pragmatism, and physicalism.”
We love technology, we Homo Sapiens, there is no getting away from this fact. Early technology, like metal swords and tools, have separated us from the pack of other animals to go to the top of the primate class. Our swords turned into guns and our spades into IPhones. Our use of horses morphed into the horse power of motorised engines set on wheels. We worked the land and fed our millions and billions of brothers and sisters. In-between murdering them with bombs, bullets, and chemical weapons. Technology has been a very sharp and bloody two edged sword. Now, we stand on a precipice of delving into our very own DNA. Enhancing the human body is on the verge of happening via a myriad of means. Transhumanism and the digital smile may be the icing on a very strange cake, indeed.
What is the digital smile? For dentists it is the culmination of much work done to deliver brighter smiles for many not naturally born this way. Did our maker want those born with birth abnormalities to suffer through a life of ostracism and suffering? I don’t think so. Dentists do their level best to restore smiles to those who have been mis-shapen by accident or some such defective means. The digital smile orchestrates all the technological instruments available to analyse and design the most perfect smile for each unique individual. Software algorithms devise the blue print and a host of other dentistry specialities come together to make digital smile design come to fruition in the mouth of the patient.
“Facial features that are key in planning for aesthetic smile redesign include facial symmetry, facial profile, and proportion of the facial structures. According to literature, an ideal facial feature should have the distance between two superciliary arches equal to the total width of the face (from one zygomatic prominence to the other). The intercanthal line or the pupillary line should be perpendicular to the Frankfurt’s horizontal occlusal plane. Considering the normal verticalis part of the face, three imaginary lines drawn should divide the face into three parts: the glabella to the superciliary arch, from the arch to the tip of the nose, and from the subnasale to the mention of the chin] An ideal smile should have the foundation of an ideal lip. When smiling, around 2 mm of the maxillary incisors along with the interdental papilla should be visible too much exposure reveals the gingiva, resulting in a gummy smile, while too little exposure flattens the philtrum of the upper lip and produces a frowned appearance.”
Much more goes into a smile than most people would realise. Designing the digital smile holistically brings together all the necessary elements to evolve the very best outcome.
Mayan Teeth Jewellery
Did you know that the Mayan people used to insert jewellery into their teeth? Yes, gemstones like lapis lazuli would be inserted into teeth as a fashion statement and likely cultural status indicator for the wearer. A research project by scientists has looked into the extant dental remains to analyse how and possibly why it was done. The cement used to fix the teeth in the drilled out spots was shown to have antibacterial and anti-fungal qualities. Indeed, it was found that the cement compounds used may have offered some protection against dental cavities. They also found that the practice was not limited to the elite members of the community but more widespread. The study’s finding conclusions showed the practice was popular in what is now Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras around a thousand years ago. Could the scientific information garnered from this study herald a new transhuman trend for display in teeth?
“The analyses conducted on dental sealings from the Maya lowlands demonstrate the rich blend of organic components in the production of ancient dental cements. Our study confirms that these were not merely agglutinants. Rather, as anticipated by Fastlicht, the Maya developed complex recipes for their dental cements to produce adhesives that not only preserved for over a millennium but likely provided hygienic and therapeutic properties.”
Futurists like Yuval Noah Harari have written and spoken about the next frontier in human development and transhumanism is that Rubicon. It seems, as if young people are more open to biomedical hacking and the installation of high tech devices within the human body. Modifying form and function are definitely on the cards for Homo sapiens in the 21C. Perhaps, it will not be gemstones shining in teeth but flickering digital chips and sensors. The digital smile may well become much more than is currently imagined.
A New Level Of Dental Awareness & Digital Application
Via the innocuous and appealing-sounding digital smile design, may we see the formative emergence of transhumanism evolving into a larger cyber-dental sector of industries as humans, perhaps, soon start reaching for ever-new levels of enhancement? Imagine teeth with sensors capable of detecting toxic foods and dentally damaging substances. These sensors would immediately warn and alert the wearer with data pertaining to the dangers currently in one’s mouth. One could argue that we already have such bio-capabilities but have lost the ability to detect and read the signals our bodies are currently sending. Most human beings are switched off to their own bodies and we are culturally attuned to living theoretically inside our heads. We outsource the responsibility for our health status to specialists in the health sector. This is why we, probably, need to reinvent the wheel by creating digitised external platforms with in-built sensors. We are in rapture to devices that flash lights and process information for us, rather than focusing on improving the biological software already naturally part of us. Capitalism, our economic system, will always back externally manufactured goods and services as these provide more tangible units of production and greater profitability. Human society develops according to the economic infrastructure in place.
Will we soon see digitised braces speeding up the process of teeth and bite realignment? Could we soon witness a flashing consent green or no consent red light appearing in the mouths of sexually appealing human beings? The teeth would make a great location for this kind of thing. Wired for warnings. Digital smile design may just be the forerunner to a multitude of human enhancing technologies.
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