Normally any discussion about cosmetic dentistry is focused on restorative dentistry; namely, what procedures could be performed to the teeth themselves to create a more pleasing smile? Invariably such conversation focuses on bonding, porcelain veneers, and ceramic crowns.
Having created thousands if not tens of thousands of such restorations, I can attest to their beauty. But, as I mentioned in my previous blog about cosmetic dentistry, there is more to a beautiful smile than a row of pretty teeth.
“… There is so much that influences the beauty of a smile. Balance and harmony (not withstanding color and shape) are the most important qualities to consider. How teeth present themselves in the context of a person’s face and mouth is critical…” So what to do when someone presents beautiful teeth but a not so beautiful smile? Can the disharmony between the size of one’s teeth and the size of one’s mouth be resolved? And can the discrepancy between one’s dental display (smile) and facial features be improved without necessarily committing to the extensive and expensive cosmetic dental procedures?
Asked more simply, can a person have their smile beautified without having their teeth drilled and either crowned or veneered? In a word, yes!
Many unattractive smiles have less to do with the teeth themselves and more to do with how they appear in the milieu of one’s face. Take the situation in which a person has what I light-heartedly refer to as “prairie teeth” – that is, teeth with wide spaces between them. The teeth are nice looking, but too small relative to the size of the mouth; hence a gap-tooth smile. The reverse situation can be equally unappealing in which there seems to be an overabundance of teeth in a relatively small mouth yielding a crowded almost “shark-like” display of crowded crooked teeth.
So, what can be done to aesthetically enhance the appearance of such imperfect smiles without resorting to more traditional dental techniques? Invisalign!
Invisalign is a conservative and cosmetic approach to orthodontic care that takes advantage of the great advances in bonding and CAD/CAM (computer assisted design/computer assisted manufacturing technology). Invisalign enables the dentist to:
- Design a custom cosmetic and functional treatment plan on the computer
- Share the custom treatment plan with the patient using actual images of their teeth before, during, and after treatment
- Implement the plan to re-position teeth for a beautiful outcome
Gone are the unsightly wires and brackets associated with conventional orthodontics. Gone is the difficulty maintaining good dental hygiene with all that “hardware’ in place. Gone is the trepidation of wearing “braces” again. Invisalign utilizes virtually invisible clear retainers called aligners that are ideally worn 22 hours per day (thus allowing for their removal while eating, brushing and flossing and of course, those important occasions like job interviews or exchanging wedding vows.)
As a cosmetic dentist, Invisalign is a very exciting technique to have at my disposal. It has enabled me to utilize my knowledge of aesthetic dentistry and facial harmony to design and choreograph the creation of beautiful smiles in a truly conservative and elegant manner.
As a side note, I am seeing my patient Corrinne this week to remove her Invisalign attachments and to whiten her teeth for her big wedding day later this month. Congrats, Corinne!