In today’s society, people desire having naturally beautiful smiles that are in harmony with their physical characteristics and expressive of their personalities. As a doctor that utilizes Digital Smile Design, we must be acutely aware of the many factors associated with developing a smile that goes beyond traditional dentistry. It takes an artistic vision and the ability to harness new technology to become a great designer of digital smiles.
Digital Smile Design is a systematic approach to consistently achieve functional and esthetic dentistry. It allows for diagnosis, communication, treatment planning and execution in a proven predictable way.
The concept is based on analysis of the patient’s facial and dental proportions. By using a series of high resolution digital photos and videos we are able to develop a deep understanding of the relationship of the teeth, gums, and lip with the rest of the face. Facial features that express emotion are analyzed to design the smile. Drawings are made on the digital photos to record measurements that translate to the desired characteristics of the smile. These photos are then used to communicate with the laboratory to fabricate a mold that is used to show the patient their new smile in their mouth.
The DSD concept is customized for each individual patient. No two patient’s smiles are alike. The beauty of Digital Smile Design is the emotional response people have from the process of trying on their new smile. The patient becomes the co-author of their smile, allowing them to have input in their desires, expectations, color, shape and ultimately the end result.
The initial appointment for a Digital Smile Design takes about 45 minutes to an hour. The appointment consists of taking high resolution digital photos and videos, as well as impressions for study models. A week later at the follow up appointment the patient will see almost exactly what the end result will look like through the use of a “trial smile”. This is a direct replica of the smile design that temporarily goes over the existing teeth in order to test drive the new smile. At the end of the appointment the smile design is removed from the mouth before the patient leaves the office.
This “trial smile” is unique in that before committing to treatment the patient is able to see before and after photos. It allows for the doctor and patient to analyze the smile and make any improvements if necessary before beginning with treatment. The patient can then accept the case and make appointments to start work on their new smile.