Designing the Perfect You with Digital Smile Design
While any top rated cosmetic dentist is qualified to design a Hollywood smile, understanding the patient’s desires and expectations and coupling that information with those clinical skills is an art.
Recent developments in technology have greatly advanced the science and process of smile design. When performed by an experienced, highly-trained cosmetic dentist, a smile makeover can have a revolutionizing effect on both dental health, appearance and self-confidence. Sometimes, it can even make you look years younger with no plastic surgery. Patients with a variety of dental problems, from chipped, cracked, stained, or missing teeth to improper dental alignment, can obtain the radiant, beautiful smile they have long dreamed of and the confidence to show it to the world.
Smile design can correct most common dental problems, including restoration of discolored, chipped, cracked, or missing teeth and misalignment of the bite or jaw. Below is a comprehensive examination of the type of dental problems that a smile makeover can resolve.
- Discoloration and Sheen – Teeth can become stained or discolored for numerous reasons, including diet, smoking, caffeine, and aging. Smile design can fix tooth discoloration in targeted spots or can make your entire smile whiter, eliminating discoloration, and yellowing. Having your teeth polished can also make them sparkle.
- Missing Teeth – If you’re missing one or more teeth, a dental implant can fill any gaps in your smile. Implants work as follows: a titanium implant is surgically inserted into an opening the dentist creates in the jawbone. After the implant attaches itself to the bone, an “abutment” is attached to the implant that will hold a crown, made to match the shape and shade that the natural tooth would have been. Once the crown is attached to the abutment, the completed implant should fill perfectly what used to be a gap in your teeth left by the missing tooth.
- Uneven Teeth – Teeth that are disproportionately uneven can be fixed using a variety of methods, depending on the severity of the unevenness, including bridges, veneers, or bonding.
- Damaged Teeth – As with uneven teeth, bridges, veneers, and bonding can all be used to repair teeth damaged by chipping or cracking. In rare circumstances, the damage to a tooth is so extensive that the tooth is not salvageable, and will have to be removed. In those circumstances, an implant is the only choice for restoration.
- Spacing – If your teeth have mildly uneven spacing (gaps) between them, these areas can generally be repaired with dental bonding, a process that essentially mildly enlarges your tooth using synthetic “bonding” material.
- Alignment – If your teeth are misaligned, cosmetic dentistry can straighten them no matter how bad the severity of the misalignment.
- Overly-large gums – If you have what is sometimes called a “gummy” smile, where there is very little tooth exposed owed to overly-large gums, smile design can remedy irregular gum contours to make your smile look more natural.
The Golden Proportion in Dentistry
Cosmetic dental makeovers proceed using a few select criteria to fashion an aesthetically pleasing smile. The golden proportion is simply a mathematical means of comparing the ratio between a smaller and larger length.
- Symmetry – Symmetry is the most important factor for a beautiful smile. The smile should be equally proportionate on both sides of the face so that the midline of the face falls directly between the two upper front teeth. Special software will help the cosmetic dentist visualize your facial structure to identify the midline and ensure that any veneers, crowns, and implants are proportioned correctly to retain or create a precise midline.
- Shape – A beautiful smile generally follows a “smile line,” or the curved line created by the curve of the lower lip. Smile design aims to align the edges of the upper teeth with the smile line.
- Tooth Characterization – The individual teeth should be proportionate and properly shaped. Teeth that are too large or too small, either holistically or in comparison with other teeth, will be remedied during the smile design process.
- Proportion – A properly-designed smile will ensure that teeth are proportional to each other and by comparison to the two front teeth, which are the most prominent teeth featured in a smile.
- Color – Teeth that are yellow or have patchy discoloration should be whitened during the smile design process. Your dentist should be careful to ensure that the teeth aren’t overly-whitened when compared to your skin tone, as excessive whitening tends to look artificial.
- Occlusion – A beautiful smile isn’t very useful if your teeth are not functional for chewing and eating. The upper and lower teeth should touch each other when the mouth is closed in order to effectively chew food. After all, a properly aligned jaw will be functional aside from creating a beautiful smile.
Before beginning the smile makeover process, your teeth and overall oral health should be comprehensively evaluated by your dentist. A thorough cleaning must be performed, and any outstanding oral health problems must be resolved before cosmetic dental procedures can be undertaken.
The dentist will then discuss your expectations, the options available to you, and recommendations based on your goals. You and your dentist will determine the best course of action for the design of your smile together, as a team. Depending on the outcomes desired; the dentist may be able to provide you with an approximation of what your new smile will look like using special imaging software.
Next, imaging (x-rays), photographs, and molds of your teeth are necessary to finalize preparations for your new smile. The design of a smile is unique to each individual; needs, desires, and requirements are different and vary with the issues that each patient is facing. Your smile makeover can include any of a number of cosmetic dental procedures, including whitening, crowns, veneers, bonding, gum shaping, or re-contouring, dentures, and implants.
A new smile is an investment, and one that, if properly maintained with regular dental visits and a regular oral health routine, will last you the rest of your life. For more information on how we can help you design the smile you’ve always wanted, contact us today!