One of the first things that come to mind while discussing esthetic dentistry is smile design. Smile Design is the process of providing a natural and pleasant appearance from an esthetic angle for individuals with teeth and gums that have undergone deformation due to various reasons. Facial features and needs of the patient are considered throughout the treatment process. Smile design, being a multidisciplinary approach, requires the combination of several practices of dentistry to be realized.
What steps are involved within the planning process for a Smile Design treatment?
The steps required will vary, since esthetic needs of each individual differ. While deciding on the necessary steps, the facial features, age, gender and esthetic expectations (form of the tooth, the color of the tooth) of the patients are considered.
It is essential to identify and understand the esthetic expectations and needs of the patient. Problems are identified and esthetic plans are made based on the models prepared via measurements taken from the patient. Afterwards, measurements are calculated digitally using oral and facial photographs of the patient, in order to prepare an end-product that is cohesive to the patient’s facial features. Prior to the treatment, a mock-up is presented to the patient, which reveals the closest possible representation of expected esthetic results and the impact of permanent restorations. This allows for direct feedback from the patient.
Orthodontic procedures are performed in the case of irregularity and crookedness throughout the patient’s teeth before the initiation of the smile design treatment. In the case of there being no need for any orthodontic procedures, the gums should still be examined thoroughly. The gums are adjusted by performing what is known as gingivectomy in the case of gummy smile or varying levels of visibility among the patients gums. The levels of the gums can be adjusted through means of laser or surgical methods, restoring gum health and resulting in what is known as pink esthetic. Implants are placed should the patient have any missing teeth. The patient’s teeth may be bleached if discoloration exists in high-levels.
How are Smile Design and Porcelain Veneers practiced?
The most preferred choice in smile design and the restorations that provide results closest to the form of natural teeth are Porcelain Laminate Veneers. Porcelain laminate veneers are also known as laminate teeth or porcelain leaf tooth. It is a name given to the process of pasting a thin layer of porcelain after removing 0.3mm – 0.7mm of substance from the frontal surface of the teeth, which results in the desired color and form.
They are highly permeable to light since they do not contain any metals and composed entirely of ceramic; for this reason, they highly resemble one’s natural teeth.
After removing 0.3 – 0.7mm of substance from the tooth enamel and taking necessary measurements, porcelain laminate veneers are made digitally, while considering the facial features, lip shape and expectations of the patient. On average, it requires only 2 to 3 sessions and the entire process is completed within 1 week; providing the patient with their newly formed smile.
Advantages of Laminate Veneers
Without a doubt, the biggest advantage of laminate veneers is the fact that it is a conservative treatment method that can be done by removing only 0.3-0.7mm of substance.
Since a minimal amount of substance will be removed, the sensitivity towards hot or cold will also be kept at low levels.
Porcelain is a sturdy material that is effective against discoloration or wear. It does not lose its color due to factors such as cigarettes, coffee or tea consumption. For this reason, laminate veneers can be used without witnessing a change in color or form.
Since the natural structure of the tooth is not disturbed, the adaptation period is kept short. The patient’s teeth does not lose their natural sensitivity.
Another advantage of laminate veneers is the fact that via mock-up models made prior to the treatment, expected treatment results can be examined by the patient before performing any treatment at all.