A smile is composed of muscle reflexes, curved lips, and for most, two rows of teeth. This universal gesture does more than you might think in your life. In addition to offering you de-stress hormones and joyful stimulation of the brain, a well-balanced smile can make you perceived as a confident, successful, friendly, and organized person. Many studies have been done over the years to determine exactly what a perfect smile looks like.
In nature, the golden ratio tends to appear often as a sign of beauty and symmetry. Also commonly known as phi, 1.6180339 (rounded to 1.62) is this ratio. This significant number is directly correlated to what most humans perceive as beautiful, from the planes of the face to the perfect produce, and yes, even each other’s smiles.
When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, the golden ratio can help the dentist determine the alignment of your front teeth into a rectangle with the golden ratio measurement; that is the height to width of the center 2 teeth of 1.62. Another way this ratio is utilized when designing smiles is the width of a front tooth to its corresponding second tooth.
Even if a dentist isn’t aware that he or she is using the golden ratio, our brains naturally seek out this comfortable proportion as the smile is designed. Now let’s take a look at what exactly goes into creating your uniquely perfect smile and some options to help you get it if your current oral situation is less than ideal.
Cosmetic Dentistry Defined
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry proclaims that “Cosmetic dentistry is comprehensive oral care that combines art and science to optimally improve dental health, esthetics, and function.” What a spot-on description! When dentists consult with their patients, there are many things to consider. Cosmetic dentistry is not simply to make a person’s smile look good, but also to increase the functionality of the teeth for speaking and mastication, as well as making oral hygiene easier to accomplish daily.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures and Their Purposes
There are many facets to creating the perfect smile, and no one uses everything option. Each patient has different oral issues. A wonderful dentist will be able to address these problems with a solution (or two) that both fit the patient’s budget and accomplish their desired results. These options can include:
Orthodontic Treatment repositions any misaligned teeth. This is the best way to keep natural, unaffected teeth and is the most permanent procedure available. Orthodontic treatment can include jaw widening, retainers, or braces (see below), and these devices require regular checkups with your dentist to ensure they are moving the teeth as planned.
Metallic/Ceramic/ Invisible Braces specifically straighten teeth in order to close dental gaps, space out tooth crowding, and turn teeth that came up tilted or twisted. Braces improve smiles with various materials: steel wires, ceramic, or metal brackets, or a series of invisible, plastic fitted aligners.
Scaling and polishing is the process of eliminating tartar (calculus) from teeth exteriors and applying a micro abrasive paste to refine them. In doing so, stains from food, drinks, and tobacco use are removed and the tooth surfaces are smoothed.
Bleaching simply whitens the teeth with a strong oxidizing agent.
Direct or Indirect laminates bonds materials to the front of the teeth to lighten teeth, fill in gaps, and cover up persistent stains. Direct laminates use composite applied and shaped chairside in your dentist’s office, while indirect laminates are made of composite or porcelain and are made in a laboratory with your mouths mold and then fitted to your teeth.
Cosmetic contouring reshapes and smooths crooked teeth to give the impression that they are aligned and similarly sized. If you’re looking for a more youthful, cost-effective solution and your dentition positioning will allow for it, then this is a great option.
Full crowning is when a tooth is ground down to a stud and an artificial porcelain tooth is placed over it. This can be done to close gaps between front teeth, realigning a protruding tooth to its counter dentation, or covering up fractures that can’t be treated with bonding or veneers.
The Perfect Smile Starts with a Great Dentist
No matter how your dentist goes about helping you get the perfect smile, you can rest assured that if he or she is listening to your needs and offering the best options out there you’re sure to be properly taken care of. Using one or a combination of the above can make all the difference in your confidence, career, and how people respond to it. As John Bay, an English Botanist and Naturalist stated, “Beauty is power; A smile is its sword.”