An introduction to smile aesthetics

Smile evaluation—between objectivity and subjectivity

We obviously consider the way people smile to be an important issue; when talking to someone, we have the tendency to make a quick evaluation of the person’s smile. Some of the attractive features of one’s smile can be evaluated somewhat objectively, while most of them remain subject to the eye of the beholder.

The curve and volume of the lips, the color, shape, shade, transparency and alignment of the teeth, the gum line, and the shape and size of the jaws are probably the most important factors in determining the expressivity of one’s smile; other relatively important factors are symmetry, the horizontal alignment, and the parallelism between the lower edge of the upper teeth and the curve of the lower lip when smiling.

Theoretically, a wide smile is considered more alluring compared to a narrow smile, with shaded lateral teeth. The golden rule applied on a person’s six front teeth refers to the width of the teeth. Many specialists consider that the ideal height-width ratio is 100:75. The small triangular openings in the lower part of the upper teeth are compulsory in order to achieve a natural aspect.

Cosmetic dentistry: an approach, a philosophy, or a whole new department of dentistry?

There are some quantifiable/measurable features we tend consider responsible for smile aesthetics, the issue is reduced to a matter of design, and the modern cosmetic procedures sometimes require an entire team of specialists from distinct departments, who master specific techniques and have distinct jobs.

An orthodontist can straighten the teeth by means of micro-maneuvers. Micro-rotation of front teeth is also possible. Contouring the surface and shape of the teeth comes as an alternative or complementary technique to standard orthodontic procedures; there are specialized professionals who perform these kinds of treatments as well. An important number of dental cosmetic procedures are performed by the maxillofacial surgeon. Strictly aesthetic issues are simply corrected with dental veneers and/or soft gum veneers.

Cosmetic dentistry can refer to an approach in restorative and general dentistry with a special stress on aesthetics. The evaluation of a patient’s smile is highly important in diagnosis, treatment planning, and prognosis for any dental treatment with an aesthetic target.

The advantages of modern cosmetic dental treatments

There are a couple of rules and conventions followed by all professionals:

  • Dental treatment must be non-invasive or minimally invasive.
  • The result need to be inconspicuous.

Aesthetic dentistry poll

By checking in the list below you can determine if you have any dissatisfaction/problem regarding the dental aesthetics of your smile:

  • I’ve got missing teeth;
  • I’ve got wide spaces between my teeth/ crowded teeth;
  • I’m not happy with the shape of my teeth;
  • I’ve got enamel stains/discolorations I’m worried about;
  • My teeth are unusually short/long;
  • Too much of my gums is visible when I smile;
  • My gums don’t look healthy;
  • I don’t like the shape of my jaw.

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