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All You Need to Know About Smile Makeovers

Smile Design Cosmetic Dentistry in Columbus Ohio

Patients who dismiss the importance of regular dental check-ups tend to accumulate more serious health concerns over time. When this happens, they may find that they need a full smile makeover and start looking for qualified cosmetic dentistry in Columbus, Ohio. 

Cosmetic dentistry helps patients feel confident and happy with their smile while restoring the functionalities of a healthy mouth. Among these procedures, full-smile makeovers can be a game-changer for patients, so here’s everything you need to know about this procedure. 

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What Is Smile Design?

Smile makeovers combine cosmetic and orthodontic dentistry methods to give patients an attractive and functional smile. To do so, professionals consider the patient’s mouth aesthetics, as well as their current health condition and design a series of natural-looking prosthetics, with a detailed plan on how to implement them. 

A patient’s face, tooth shape, color, alignment, lips, and more are taken into consideration to develop a tailored treatment plan. The goal is to design a smile that harmonizes perfectly with the patient’s facial features. 

Despite being mainly cosmetic, a smile design offers many added benefits, like restoring teeth to their normal functions, fortifying the enamel with dental veneers, or covering damaged areas with crowns.

What Factors Do Dentists Consider for a Smile Design?

The most important step consists of the previous preparations to ensure that the end-result prosthetic matches the overall appearance of the patient. In this process, various principles of smile design are considered. 

We can divide them into two categories:  

  • Facial features that contribute to the smile, like bone structure, lips, gumline, and others. 
  • Dental features, including size, color, shape, and their relation to the soft tissue in the oral cavity, such as the gums.

1. Facial Composition

Your facial composition is made of your face’s features (that is, nose, lips, eyes and eyebrows, basically), and how they play together to give you your unique appearance. This includes symmetry, alignments, and proportions, among other elements. 

These dimensions can be measured, and they help professionals consider how a change in a certain aspect—that is, your mouth—will affect your complete appearance. The easiest way to do that is by dividing your face into horizontal and vertical planes. 

Horizontal dimensions to take consideration are: 

  • The relationship between your face width and the length of your eye, which tends to be five times bigger.  
  • The relation between your nose width and the distance between the inner corners of the eyelids, that tends to be equal. 
  • Your mouth width, which should match with the center of your eyes. 

Moreover, your face can be divided vertically in three equal segments: from the chin to the bottom of the nose (Bottom Third), from the nose to the eyebrows (Middle Third), and from then to the hairline between the eyebrows to the brow line (Upper Third). 

All these measures allow dentists to understand your face proportions better and ensure that your new denture matches your face composition. 

  • Example: The inter-pupillary line is an imaginary line drawn by dentists from the centers of your eyes’ pupils to your smiles. According to smile design principles, the inter-pupillary line should be parallel to the occlusal plane, which is an imaginary surface containing the four front teeth and the biting surface of the back teeth. 

2. Face Shape

Most people can be classified under six common facial shapes, identifiable by observing them front-to-front:  

  • Heart 
  • Long 
  • Oval 
  • Triangle 
  • Square 
  • Round 

From the side, profiles can be divided into  

  • Convex 
  • Straight 
  • Concave 

One smile or another will look much more natural depending on the patient’s face shape. 

3. Lips 

Because they border the teeth, lips play an important role in smile design. A dentist will consider 

  • Lip shape 
  • Lip length from below the nose to the lower border of the upper lip in its resting position. 
  • Lip mobility, that is, the difference between the top lip in the resting position to when the patient is smiling. 

4. Dental Composition

Now, we’re entering the terrain of dental features. When your dentist designs your smile, they will take the following dental factors into consideration: 

  • Number of existing teeth, size, color and dimensions. 
  • Midline between two upper and two lower front teeth 
  • The length of your four front teeth, also known as incisal length. 
  • The highest points of the gumline arch on teeth, known as zenith points. 
  • Axial inclination, that is, the angle formed between the axis of the tooth and the bone where it stems. 
  • Interproximal contact area, where two neighboring teeth make contact. 
  • Incisal embrasure, the space between two endings of adjacent front teeth. 

5. Soft Tissue

Your dentist will also consider the following soft tissue aspects, such as your gum’s color, health, dimensions, and other aspects. 

6. Dental Golden Ratio

As in every artistic field, dentistry also has its golden ratio. According to it, the width of each front tooth, beginning from the center, should be 60% of the width of the adjacent tooth, following a ratio of 1.6 to 1, to 0.6, and so on.  

Oftentimes, a patient’s specific lip anatomy and facial proportions makes it impossible to follow this ratio perfectly, but it works as a useful guide. 

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What’s the Process for a Smile Design?

A full smile makeover can involve various procedures, such as implants, crowns, veneers, dental whitening, or gum alterations. 

Here’s what the entire process looks like: 

1. Evaluation and Planning

The procedure begins with a thorough examination of the patient’s dental health, facial features, and personal preferences. This includes analyzing the state of each existing teeth, the patient’s bone structure, gum health, and facial symmetry.  

Then, a personalized treatment plan is developed, considering the next steps that will need to take place. For it, numerous specialists are needed, including oral surgeons, prosthodontists, and orthodontists. 

2. Digital Imaging and Mock-Ups

To make an accurate design, images of the patient’s mouth are captured in extreme detail using advanced technology. These images are then used to generate digital mock-ups so the patient can see the proposed changes before starting treatment. 

3. Tooth Extraction

During this stage, any damaged or decayed tooth is. Depending on the state of the jawbone, additional procedures, such as bone grafting, may be required to ensure a stable foundation for the dental implants. 

4. Dental Implant Placement

Dental implants are a type of restorative dentistry made of titanium posts acting as a prosthetic tooth’s roots. They are surgically implanted into the jawbone and ensure that any crown or denture is fully cemented to the patient’s mouth. 

Because of that, implants are a crucial part in smile makeovers. The number and position of the implants will vary depending on the specific case. 

5. Final Restoration Placement 

To ensure their strength and durability, implants need to fuse with the patient’s jawbone. This process can last up to six months, and once it’s finished, the final restorations can be attached. These can be dental crowns, bridges, or full dentures, depending on the number of missing teeth. 

The restorations are carefully adjusted to ensure proper fit, functionality, and aesthetics. This may involve shaping the artificial teeth, or even conducting a laser whitening to achieve the desired smile design.  

Smile Makeover Cosmetic Dentistry in Columbus Ohio

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Full-smile makeovers put multiple dentistry procedures together to give patients the smile of their dreams. The process can involve whitening, veneers, crowns, lip lifts, and more, but each case depends. Technology has come a long way, allowing patients to see digitally created previews of their smile preview before they begin the procedure. 

If you’re interested in seeing how that looks like for you, give us a call!