Cosmetic dental treatments are used when a patient wants to improve the appearance of their smile. Today, our North Vancouver dentists explain some of the factors that go into planning for cosmetic treatment.
A lot more work goes into planning cosmetic dental treatments than just deciding to place a veneer on a tooth or use some whitening gel. Before you begin any cosmetic treatments, your dentist will have a consultation with you to assess your smile and discuss your dental goals.
How Do Patients Expectations Factor In?
The most important thing a dentist will consider before any treatments are the patient's goals and expectations. This is an important step so that you and your dentist are both on the same page in regards to realistic expectations of your treatment. For example, dental implants cannot be moved so any treatment that involves straightening your smile will have to take that into account.
We try to understand our patient's primary complaints and concerns so that we can direct our treatment plan toward a final outcome that our patients will appreciate.
After a thorough assessment, your dentist will highlight treatment options and expected outcomes with you in order for you to make an informed decision about treatment. This allows you to give input and ask any questions that you may have.
With the help of dental technology such as the iTero scanner, our North Vancouver dentists can create digital renditions of our patient's smiles and even show them how their treatment will progress. This allows our patients to feel more confident in their treatment plans.
What are the factors dentists consider?
There are a number of things that your dentist will need to consider when mapping out your treatment plan and visualizing the end result. Some of these factors include:
Facial Aesthetics - The overall assessment of the smile must begin from a visual standpoint. Facial features and proportions are key factors in how your smile is going to look. Your dentist will look for asymmetries in the facial features. Notable concerns with symmetry can be an indication of skeletal or growth and development issues that may or may not have an impact on the patient's smiles.
Tooth Position - Current tooth position is an incredibly important aspect that needs to be assessed. Without proper evaluation, this can lead to the dentist attempting to obtain ideal results unsuccessfully when the tooth or root is improperly angled or is in the wrong position.
Upper Lip Length, Lip Position, Mobility, and Symmetry - Your lips play an important role when it comes to the look of your smile because they create the boundary for your smile. Overall lip mobility is simply the movement of the lips at rest to the farthest position that occurs when the patient smiles spontaneously and is directly related to the upper lip length. The overall symmetry of the patient’s lip mobility must be assessed since there is a significant portion of the patient population that has asymmetry of movement of upper and lower lips. This can lead to more teeth and/ or gum displayed on one side versus the other, creating disharmony in the overall smile of the patient.
Incisal Edge Position - The incisal (front teeth) edge position must also be evaluated in relation to the surrounding tissues as well. Generally, your front teeth should be parallel to your pupils.
Midline - The position of the teeth, and the dental midline in regard to the facial midline have to be assessed during the smile evaluation. It is important to evaluate the relationship of the dental midline to the facial midline in addition to the overall angle of the midline. If there are slight differences in the midline angle, it can be quite noticeable to many people.
Tooth Proportions - Overall tooth proportions are another key and critically important assessment that must be made by your dentist during the initial examination.
Microesthetics - Your dentist needs to assess and discuss the final color or shade you desire. Ideally, they will select a shade that is naturally pleasing but aesthetically enhancing. The dentist should also communicate to the lab technician about desired facial surface texture, overall incisal translucency, additional tooth characteristics including incisal effects, embrasures, tooth shape, and variations in value and hue.
Previous Dental Work - Your dentist will consider any previous dental work and how this will affect your outcome before making recommendations.