Most people don't know that there are actually very precise specifications for an “optimum smile.” There are specific physiological and dental principles that guide a cosmetic dentist in creating the smile you've always wanted. The model against which teeth are measured for size and shape is generally referred to as the “golden proportion.” In seeking this aesthetic balance, a skilled cosmetic dentist will actually change the size and shape of a patient's teeth to better fit his or her face. In many cases, the change in the patient's appearance is so dramatic that it is described as “life changing.”
It is the objective of the cosmetic dentist to deliver to the patient an aesthetically pleasing smile, while at the same time, restoring optimal dental form and function. In other words, to provide a total solution to the patient's problem. The first step is the process is the initial “records” exam in which the dentist gathers information about the patient's personal objectives and makes precise measurements of the patient's face, jaw and teeth.
From this important first exam, the dentist determines:
The next step in the cosmetic process is to custom design the smile that is just right for you. The materials and techniques to be used are based on the existing conditions in your mouth and the cosmetic dentist's determination of what will be required to restore form, function and aesthetics. The advanced materials employed by today's cosmetic dentists are so technique sensitive that your teeth have to be prepared specifically for the material chosen. Customization is therefore the rule rather than the exception.
Reasons to improve your smile
The reasons people come to a cosmetic dentist are as varied as people themselves. The following are some of the more frequently stated reasons that patients give for wanting to enhance their smiles:
The most obvious reason, of course, is to improve your appearance. In this era of marvelous advances in dentistry, there's no longer a valid reason for anyone to live with ugly metal crowns, irregular gums, aching jaws, broken teeth, stained teeth or teeth with huge gaps. Nearly everyone can have a beautiful smile.
Another not-so-obvious reason is so you can gain relief from chronic pain. A surprising number of people suffer from pain caused by strain on the muscles of the jaw. When your teeth and your jaw structure don't compliment each other, your jaw muscles become strained, often resulting in earaches, headaches and pain in your cheeks or under your jaw. Sometimes something as small as a poorly placed crown can change the relationship of your teeth, preventing them from coming together as they should. The unpleasant result is not something you must learn to live with.
Whatever your reason for wanting to improve your smile, help is available right now. Whether you inherited your dental problems from your parents or suffered a trauma in a car accident or sports related activity. Whether you were exposed to a high fever in your childhood or had too many minerals in the water you drank. Whether you have unsightly gaps between your teeth, broken teeth or “old” dentistry that looks unnatural and metallic. Today's cosmetic dentistry can correct all of these imperfections.
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