What Is a “Smile Makeover”?

A bright, attractive smile creates a winning first impression. Without saying a word, your smile can convey a confident, optimistic and friendly personality. An esthetically pleasing smile is an attractive quality that lures people to you, making them respond positively.
Aside from the physical effects of your smile, it also can have major psychological and emotional influences on your personality. If you are self-conscious and unhappy about your smile, it can seriously affect how others perceive you, making you appear timid, hesitant, withdrawn, sad and/or angry. You may feel unattractive, inadequate and insecure.
Fortunately, recent advances in cosmetic dentistry have allowed dental patient to benefit from smile makeovers, resulting in dramatic and positive changes in their lives!
Smile Design Principles
The principles involved in a smile makeover are known as “smile design.” Combined, they influence the overall esthetic impact of an individual’s smile. The principles of smile design are divided into four parts:
1. Facial Esthetics: This involves such considerations as the movement of your facial muscles and how your lips frame your smile.
2. Gingival (Gum) Esthetics: This involves such considerations as the health and coloration of your gum tissue.
3. Microesthetics: This involves more subtle characteristics, such as how your teeth reflect light and their unique marks or colorations.
4. Macroesthetics: This involves analyzing the proportions of your teeth and their relationship to your facial features.
Components of a Smile
The four most important components of a “pleasing” smile include:
1. Lips: Your lips frame your smile! For a youthful appearance, your upper front teeth should fill between 75 to 100 percent of the space between your upper and lower lips in a “full smile” pose.
2. Midline: This is the imaginary vertical line between your two front teeth, and it ideally should be in the middle of your face, lining up to the “cupid’s bow” of your upper lip and the midpoint between your eyebrows. When it is not possible to create a midline this way, your dentist can also locate your midline as a perpendicular to the line connecting the corners of your mouth.
3. Smile Line: Ideally, the edges of your upper teeth run parallel to the top of your lower lip when you smile.
4. Teeth: The most attractive smiles tend to have white, unstained, straight, evenly-spaced teeth.
Other significant considerations for teeth that influence a person’s smile include:
Incisal (Biting) Embrasures: The “silhouette patterns” created by the edges and separations of your teeth against the darker background of your mouth. Some people prefer rounder tooth edges, while others prefer more squared-off teeth.
Color: When evaluating the color of your teeth, your dentist examines how closely matched your upper and lower teeth appear. Both sets of teeth should look similar and complement your hair, skin and eye color.
Tooth Proportion: The most pleasing smiles tend to have teeth which follow the “golden proportions” rule. The two front teeth have a width-to-length ration of 75 to 80 percent, and the length of these teeth influences the length of the rest of your teeth.
Tooth Texture and Characterization: Using both artistic skill and clinical experience, your dentist can help you to choose the most appropriate size, shape, texture, and color for your teeth, resulting in your desired smile.
Teeth Angulation: Ideally, your teeth should appear balanced and symmetrical in relation to each other, with no teeth jutting out or set too far in, and should be straight rather than crooked or uneven. Also taken into consideration is the emergence profile of the teeth, which is the angle of the teeth when viewed from the side.
Proper Occlusion: The relationship between your upper (maxillary) and lower (mandibular) teeth when they come into contact (when you bite, chew, or bring your jaws together) is critical. In addition to affecting your looks, the way your teeth’s chewing surfaces come together also impacts your other teeth, gums, neck and head, jaw muscles and joints and your overall oral health.
Buccal Corridor: This is the darker space that is seen between the corners of your mouth and your upper teeth in a full smile. Typically, smaller buccal corridors (broader smiles) are thought to be more attractive.
All of these concepts provide only guidelines and reference points for beginning esthetic evaluation, planning and treatment. With today’s modern technology, such as digital photography, lasers, and whitening procedures, your dentist can create your smile design makeover with minimally invasive procedures, all delivered with your final desires and comfort in mind.

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