Smile Design Makeovers Are Becoming Commonplace
Cosmetic dentistry is becoming more and more common as patients seek solutions to fix misaligned teeth, discoloured teeth, deterioration of old dental restorations and a general desire to improve the look of their smile. Teeth whitening, bonding, and porcelain veneers are services being provided more frequently by most dentists. Let’s face it, we, as dentists, love providing these kinds of cosmetic dentistry services because of the impact a smile makeover can have on the patient. A beautiful, healthier smile can give the patient increased confidence, and result in a greater appreciation for what dentists do. All of these are very rewarding for dentists. However, not all smile makeovers are successful in that the final result is sometimes less impressive than what the patient was expecting. In many of these cases, cosmetic dentistry mistakes were made that could have been avoided.
What Can Go Wrong with Cosmetic Dentistry
In this and in the following blogs, I will address 6 of the most common cosmetic dentistry mistakes, explain why they are likely to occur, and how patients and dentists can avoid them. This six-part blog series is about educating patients and dentists to help ensure that the cosmetic outcome of a smile makeover is always better than expected.
Mistake #1 – Not Following the Principles of Smile Design
Smile Design is a cosmetic dentistry ‘bible’ consisting of a set of parameters to consider in order to achieve predictable aesthetic results. It’s an organized and systematic approach to cosmetic dentistry treatments that aims for a natural smile. Using generally accepted ideas of what we consider to be beautiful or attractive, smile design includes criteria to evaluate, diagnose and resolve issues affecting a person’s smile such as misaligned teeth, yellow teeth, a gummy smile, and other issues. The final result takes into account not only the appearance of teeth and gums but also the function. An experienced cosmetic dentist will use the rules of Smile Design to create a beautiful and natural-looking arrangement of the various aesthetic and functional elements of their patient’s smile.
Learning From the Research On Healthy Smiles
Smile Design considers the extensive research available on several key aspects of a person’s face, and how they contribute to what we consider to be an attractive smile. Ignore some of these structural aspects and the result could be a smile that does not ‘fit’ the patient’s face, or looks otherwise unnatural.
The Interpupillary Line
The interpupillary is an imaginary line drawn horizontally between the pupils of the eyes. In order to achieve a natural-looking smile, this line should be perpendicular to the midline of the face and parallel to the occlusal plane (the imaginary plane formed by the natural curvature of the teeth)
Lips are important because they create the boundaries of your smile and while it seems obvious to state it, the teeth and gums have to fit well within these boundaries for a natural and attractive smile.
The Shape of Your Face
Matching the overall shape of the face to the tooth design and final shape of the tooth restorations helps to ensure that the resulting smile looks natural and fits the patient’s face.
The lateral profile is the view from the side of the face. It can impact how veneers should be built out and ideally positioned for the most attractive smile.
Condition of the Gum Tissue
Gum health, gum levels (i.e., ‘gummy’ smiles), harmony and symmetry, can all impact the final outcome of smile design. Ensuring gums are healthy and symmetrical prior to doing a smile makeover can make a big difference in the final outcome of a cosmetic case.
Other components of teeth
Special attention needs to be paid to all of the components of teeth, such as dental midline, length of teeth, size or dimension of teeth, the inclination of teeth, the contact areas between teeth, and overall symmetry. All of these factors will greatly affect how teeth are prepared for veneers and how we ultimately shape and position the veneers for ideal results.
All This and More Goes Into Designing a Better Smile
Much more consideration and thought should go into proper Smile Design, however, the list above is a good starting point for what to look for when considering a smile makeover or looking for a dentist to perform cosmetic dentistry treatments.
Watch for more blogs in this series about the 6 most common mistakes made in cosmetic dentistry. If you’re considering a smile makeover or cosmetic dentistry, or have a question about your specific situation, get in touch with Oakville Dentist, Dr. Agatha Bis and her team by calling 905.338.6684 or by completing the form below. We are here to answer your questions about cosmetic dentistry treatments and improving your smile.