If you haven’t already noticed through many of my dentistry insights, I am passionate about cosmetic dentistry. I love seeing people with rejuvenated smiles. My practice, Wellington Aurora Dental, offers extensive cosmetic dentistry services, and runs a Whitening Clinic, providing in-office or at-home teeth whitening. I’m proud of our work, but a big problem we run into is the syndrome of unrealistic expectation.
During consultations I’ll meet patients who will bring in a picture of an actress, in search of “the whitest possible colour” for their teeth. Or they’ve already had work done and have veneers that you can see from a mile away, and wonder why they look strange. Somewhere along the line we’ve developed unrealistic expectations for cosmetic dentistry. The truth is that the perfect smile isn’t always what we think. A healthy, natural-looking smile is beautiful because it isn’t noticeable- it fits with your age, skin tones, and the shape of your face. And that’s a good thing.
1. Tooth Shape and Size
The shape and size of your teeth should match your age and your face shape. This doesn’t mean that round faces need round teeth (or that old faces need yellow teeth); it means that we need harmony. Things like the size of the lip and the amount of lip movement influence how big or small we shape the new teeth. Getting the proportions right is the key to more natural results.
2. Tooth Colour
As we mentioned here natural teeth have a yellowish gray hue to them, often with translucent edges. Each tooth also has multiple colours that change from top to bottom. Teeth also have naturally occurring stains, chips, craze lines, slight rotations or white spots. I call these the perfect imperfections; they’re why crowns, veneers and dentures that are a single shade tend to stand out as a fake.
If your speech changes after your procedure and you can’t pronounce certain words, the work will stand out, even if your new smile looks great. This is why it’s important to fit prosthetics fit properly. In some cases it may involve shaving down adjacent teeth, or returning the prosthetic to the ceramicist for adjustment.
After your procedure you should be able to return to chewing and other normal functions of the mouth and teeth. If you can’t, there’s a problem. Size and shape are very important. Veneers Case Study In Example A our patient wanted straighter teeth with improved colour and shape, but didn’t want the changes to be obvious. Her instructions were simple: a natural look with improved aesthetics. Hover over Example A to see our patient’s smile transformation.
We made impressions, and took a complete set of records. Using these as guides we made mockups to ensure that the end result was desirable. After the mockups we placed temporary veneers (shown in Example C) that mimicked the shape and feel of the final veneers. The patient wore these for six weeks to make sure everything was comfortable.
EXAMPLE B. BEFORE PROCEDURE
EXAMPLE C. TEMPORARY VENEERS
Next, we placed thin, contact lens-style veneers made out of feldspathic porcelain. With patient approval we cemented the veneers into place. Example D showcases the final restorations that mimic natural teeth, with a natural shape and shade of the teeth that match the patient’s smile. Imperfectly perfect! Hover over Example A to see the smile transformation.
EXAMPLE D. AFTER PROCEDURE
In the end, we do our best to design your smile to be as natural, functional and healthy as possible, to meet and even exceed your expectations. Take a look at some of our before and after images, check out our smile stories, or learn more about our smile makeovers. I am also happy to discuss your cosmetic dentistry needs. Book your consultation here.