Your Best Feature: This Innovative Dental Treatment Improves Your Whole Look
Context is king. Whether it’s on TV, at the movies, or on billboards, you can see surreally straight white teeth every day. While that may work for celebrities and models on a movie set or a photoshoot, many people worry, for good reason, that in real life, perfectly straight veneers–sometimes called “chiclet teeth”–might look artificially perfect, especially in an age when unique and natural looking is the trend. But thanks to an approach known as digital smile design, veneers have adapted to the 21st century. Here, local cosmetic dental expert Dr. Ejaz Ali of Wellesley Dental Group explains how digital smile design creates a look that not only looks natural, but can actually improve your whole appearance, make you look younger, and even fit your personality.
A Custom Smile, Just for You
Digital smile design is an array of tools and techniques that have revolutionized cosmetic dentistry with an exacting process shaped around producing the patient’s ideal appearance, instead of a one-style-fits-all approach.
“It starts with a conversation about what the patient wants to look like–not just in terms of their teeth, but their entire look,” says Dr. Ali. Patients are asked about issues they’d like to correct (including crooked teeth, uneven spacing, chips and wear, and the appearance of their gums), but beyond that, they’re asked what kind of smile they’d prefer: If they’d like to look like their younger selves, or if they have an example of a different kind of smile they admire. From there, they move into aspects as specific as whether the patient prefers a softer, rounder look, which can be perceived as more feminine, or a sharper, more masculine smile.
“Beyond any defects, the unique shape and look of your smile affects people’s impression of you,” says Ali. “With digital smile design, we now have the ability to help you make the impression you want.”
The Tricks of the Trade
The cosmetic dentist then takes this information and factors in the patient’s facial features to design the improvement in appearance the patient is looking for.
“Facially-generated smile design ensures a precise (to a fraction of a millimeter) design that fits perfectly and harmoniously within a patient’s face,” says Ali. The cosmetic dentist uses pictures, videos, teeth and facial scans, along with software that stitches it together, to make sure the design is perfect from all dimensions.
The design is then followed out using innovative ceramic materials that maintain strength while adding in an adjustable element of translucency, for teeth that look and work naturally.
More Than a Nicer Smile
This fine-tuned approach from start to finish allows the cosmetic dentist to create the individual patient’s dream look. If the patient’s focus is on looking younger, the cosmetic dentist will create longer, more translucent, whiter veneers. If the patient wants to adjust the appearance of their facial structure or proportions, the cosmetic dentist will adjust the shape of the veneers.
“Custom veneers can help create ideal facial proportions by increasing or decreasing the proportions of the lower third of the face, or widening a narrow smile,” says Ali. “For example, a patient with a prominent chin where the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth can have their bite alignment corrected–without surgical intervention–which will decrease the prominence of the chin.” What’s more, an improved smile also has benefits for the whole face over time, as it can limit wrinkles and asymmetries that have resulted from an imbalanced smile.
“By controlling factors like texture, translucency, brightness, shade, and shape,” says Ali, “we can help the patient finally achieve a smile that not only looks and functions better, but truly feels right to them. The happy tears we see when we have finished a smile makeover is a testament to that.”
Ready for your smile makeover? Make an appointment with Wellesley Dental Group today to find the treatment plan that’s right for you.This is a paid partnership between Wellesley Dental Group and Boston Magazine's City/Studio