Is an attractive smile important? A survey was carried out and the overall results perhaps answered this question – 76% of people do not feel confident enough to smile in a photograph; 48% of people make judgments about other people by the look of their smile; 77% of people think it helps psychologically; 67% of people think it helps romantically. This suggests the answer is yes to the question, and that is certainly the case in my experience.
I have been carrying out “cosmetic dentistry” for over 12 years, first in London and now in Guernsey. The procedures have changed little, but the materials and technical skills have evolved giving far more predictable results. Oh yes, some of the terminology has also changed, like “smile design”.
There are many aspects to a persons smile that a dentists needs to take on board when planning cosmetic treatment. The most important aspects are the issues the patient has, usually the patient states that they are unhappy with elements of their smile, and the dentist should discuss these issues, options of treatment, achieving the goals and ultimately what is realistic.
A great smile is subjective and must suit the individual; otherwise everyone leaving my practice would have the same teeth! Some patients wish to have “defects” in their teeth such as small discreet fracture lines or even mild staining remedied but they do not wish to have a dramatic alteration. Others wish to have a complete change and a “Hollywood” smile. This all needs to be discussed in detail with the patient so that expectations can be met.
The elements a dentist needs to consider are numerous- symmetry, horizontal alignment, smile line, gum line smile width, tooth proportions, embrasures (small triangular spaces between the tooth tips), lips and something called “Golden Proportions”(related to the six front teeth).
Added therapies such as Botox and dermal fillers to enhance the lips or face also allow the complete “Smile Design” to be achieved, and with these additional treatments at our disposal the options allow for other minor changes to achieve the intended result.
Smile Design and Smile Makeovers take time and planning and with experienced and trained hands the results for each individual can and should be achieved.