The term “work of art” is vague and subjective, but has found common usage even in exact sciences like dentistry – particularly in orthodontics. Dentists often brag about a smile they helped bring about by calling it a work of art, which is a nice way to praise their own work. There is, however, a question that’s been popping up regarding this issue recently, namely – can orthodontics be considered a work of art?
Science = Art?
There aren’t any limits or rules on what can and can’t be considered as art, which has taken the field through some interesting phases in recent years. Technically, there are no boundaries between the arts and sciences except those that people imagine there to be. If an orthodontics laboratory like Orthodenco.com wants to recognize one of their appliances as an art piece, there’s nothing stopping them.
This all sounds good in theory, but until someone with actual authority actually judges a piece, this is all just hubris. Many even in the artist community may be surprised to learn that there are orthodontic pieces recognized by leading institutions as works of art.
These appliances got attention not only because they did their job well, but also because they looked really good while doing it. Some examples of such devices are on display in museums around the world, and are prized for both their beauty and novelty. It’s not every day that people can say they have a work of art in their mouths and not mean anything naughty.
These devices represent a meeting of two worlds that doesn’t occur regularly, but should happen more often. Beautiful design can come from a pragmatic approach, and aesthetic simplicity can improve a tool’s utility.
The great thing about these pieces doesn’t lie solely in their ability to balance functionality and aesthetics, though that is an amazing for any art piece to have. The exciting attribute these pieces have is that it’s a real possibility for them to improve their design. It’s not a question of if more dental appliances become recognized works of art, it’s when.