Smile design is the commercial, and most appealing, term for the common and usual procedures intended to achieve proper smile aesthetics. With smile design, the professional attempts to achieve an improvement in all those factors that contribute to a beautiful smile. This term amounts to what we have always been doing in our treatments. It is NOT a new procedure. It consists of combining several branches of dentistry to achieve a more beautiful, perfect smile.
Smile design tends to start with orthodontic and periodontal treatment. Orthodontic treatment is followed by aesthetic rehabilitation of the teeth with composite resins or porcelain. Prior teeth whitening can be done if the professional feels it is necessary. As can be seen, smile design is no more than a combination of several branches of dentistry.
A nice smile is subjective. It is related to physical factors such as the aesthetics of the face and the lips, not just the teeth. It is also related to the person’s emotional behaviour.
Aesthetic professionals tried for a long time (and continue to try) to find a way to measure the beauty of a smile. Nowadays, it is well known that there is only one way to “measure a smile” and that a nice smile has to meet multiple criteria. The smile that meets all criteria will be the nicest. The fewer criteria a smile meets, the further away it will be from the desired beauty.
The study of a smile using a static image is the most common and easiest study to conduct. The patient smiles for a photo, and then this smile is studied. The smile and the movements made with the mouth are dynamic. Currently, it is known that these things must be studied not only using a static image, but also dynamically by making a video for the study.
In orthodontic terms, the study includes the following fields (you can click on each term to see how it is studied):
The main dental factors studied are:
- Incisal Edges
- Incline of the teeth
- Spaces on either side of the smile
- Midline of the teeth
- Occlusal Plane
The main gingival (gum-related) factors studied are:
- Gum lines
- Exposure of the gums in a smile
- Presence or absence of incisal papillae
- Receding gums
The main lip-related factors studied are:
- Outline of the lips
- Corners of the mouth
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