Everyone wants to have a beautiful smile. After all, your smile is often the first thing people notice about you. And conversely, if you aren’t smiling because you are self-conscious about tooth damage or dental issues, it can hamper your mood and your confidence.
Now, we aren’t all born with perfect teeth, but in today’s world of dental advancement, we can certainly all find our perfect smile. Today, we’ll explore what we aim for as we work with you to revitalize your natural smile.
What Do We Call a Perfect Smile?
So what makes a perfect smile? That’s actually a more complex answer than you might think. Why? Because everyone has their own opinion on the matter, and everyone is different. What would look amazing and perfectly natural on you might look completely out of place and unnatural on someone else.
We are all one-of-a-kind, and so are our teeth. That’s why being a dentist who specializes in cosmetic dentistry requires an extremely high level of experience, skill, and artistry. Creating a smile that is not only pain-free and functional but also perfectly suited to your face shape and bone structure is a highly specialized skill. One that we have been perfecting since 2015 when Dr. Meza became the first Costa Rican dentist accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).
There is a school of thought that believes the ‘perfect’ smile must be sparkling white, and if you are a Hollywood star or a politician, that type of artificially white smile could be your ideal. But that’s just one opinion, and for many people, the ideal smile they’re searching for can be very different!
And that’s okay! Here, we believe that your smile should reflect who you are, it should be uniquely you, you should feel comfortable and happy with it, and it should be created in a way that best compliments your own natural appearance.
So let’s talk about how our staff use artistry, experience, and technical know-how to do just that.
How Your Unique Facial Structure Informs our Process
As we touched on earlier, each person has a different look, which is in part because of your underlying bone structure. That bone structure is what determines the height of your cheekbones, the distance between the base of your nose and the top of your lip, the height of your gums, and the line of your jaw.
All of this must be measured, not only to provide a perfect fit but because it will help us determine the necessary proportions so that elements of your new smile fit seamlessly into your existing smile.
In the case of all-on-x procedures, when we are creating a completely new smile, this also allows us to tweak your prosthesis so that it has the best proportional ratio (which is accomplished using a mathematical equation). Here is a simple example; if you have a rather long face shape, or your gums are long, then short teeth would look out of place. In order to look more pleasing, we would lengthen the teeth and provide a more pleasing ratio.
Conversely, if you have a short upper lip that allows quite a lot of gum to show, we would adjust the length of the gum in the prosthesis so that your smile shows more teeth and less gum. We believe that a naturally beautiful smile is more about balance and proportion than about perfectly straight white teeth of some “golden standard” size.
How the Muscles and Tendons in Your Face Affect Your Smile
As you can already see, knowing how to create the perfect smile for you is a complex process that has to take a lot of different things into consideration. Where your underlying bone structure governs the shape of your face, the muscles and tendons of your face determine the way that you smile.
The way in which they move, and the amount of tension that your muscles and tendons create will decide quite a lot: if you have dimples, how much your cheeks lift, how wide your mouth draws back, and many of the other minute details that shape your individual smile.
Knowing this, our team measures in exact detail the way that your mouth moves when you smile, as well as the way that your smile sits when at rest. They then use those measurements as a guideline, so that when you light up the room with your dazzling new smile, it fits you and your features naturally.
Another consideration that comes into play with patients above the age of 40 is that our bodies tend to lose bone density as we age, which can affect the size of our jawbone.
As your jawbone shrinks, it creates the look of loose, sagging skin, and enhances any wrinkles that may be around your mouth. This is especially noticeable in people who have missing teeth, but it’s another area where careful work can make a difference.
For example, during the All-on-X procedure, a prosthesis is made for each arch of your teeth. When done correctly, this prosthesis creates a look of fullness, mimicking a more youthful bone structure and reducing the look of loose skin and wrinkles.
Aging is a natural process, and by no means lessens your beauty, but if you’re not prepared for the challenges of aging, it can certainly affect your level of self-confidence. Returning facial structure to a more youthful shape can go a long way!.
What Sets Meza Dental Apart
Knowledge, experience, and technical expertise combine with artistic abilities in every step of the design process, from understanding your unique issues to assessing the proper solution, and finally to creating physical solutions: veneers, crowns, partial bridges, and prostheses.
Without this combination of knowledge and artistry, even the most perfectly measured artificial teeth can come across as unnatural (a bad fit for you).
So let’s talk a little bit about the processes behind designing your new smile. If there is one thing that Dr. Meza and our team understand, it is that “function comes first.” The goal when creating a beautiful, natural-looking smile is to mimic nature at its best. In other words, our teeth look their best when they are lined up properly so they can provide a good bite.
There are many ways in which the team can adjust your existing teeth, or design artificial teeth to correct issues with bite, and when that happens, it automatically improves the look of your smile. But that’s not the only thing that makes a smile look better.
Our teeth will naturally have certain characteristics based on factors like:
- Gender (female teeth tend to be more oval, male teeth more square)
- Age (as you age your soft tissue tends to droop, so your smile shows less tooth- this can be adjusted)
- Ethnicity (different races have evolved unique dental traits)
- Personal and Cultural Preferences (beauty ideals change from place to place)
It is important when designing a beautiful smile to take all of these considerations into effect. After all, one of the most important aspects of a dazzling smile is that it shines with confidence, and confidence comes from knowing you’re at your best!
So, how do we take all of these factors — from facial and muscle structure to personal preferences — and combine them to create a smile that is uniquely you?
The design process is divided up into two areas. Macro esthetics, and micro esthetics.
Macro esthetics are the considerations dealing with what other people can see. It is the visible areas that show when your lips pull back into a smile. But ensuring that your macro esthetics are natural includes a wide number of measurements and factors.
Much of the design revolves around getting as close as possible to certain ideal proportions. For instance:
Midline: if the center line of your teeth doesn’t line up properly, it stands out like a sore thumb. Picture a line that starts where your forehead meets the bridge of your nose and runs down to the dip in your top lip. The line between your front teeth should meet that line.
Macro esthetics also deals with things like achieving the perfect “reveal”. In other words, making sure that you show the ideal amount of tooth surface. Too much reveal can show a lot of gum, and too little can make you look a little older.
Another factor is the incisal display, which is the cutting edge of your teeth. Ideally, it will be a nice straight curve with indents where each of the teeth touch. Believe it or not, there is actually a mathematical ratio that is used to achieve the ideal incisal display.
As the name suggests, micro esthetics deal with minute details that the rest of us never even notice, at least consciously. It is these details, however, that create the illusion of reality when it comes to artificial teeth. To look completely realistic and natural, our amazing lab techs painstakingly create details like these:
- In natural teeth, as you go from the central teeth to the outer teeth, the shade of your enamel darkens slightly. With artificial teeth, this must be recreated using very subtle shading.
- Your center teeth will always be more dominant and have the brightest color. This is achieved by carefully crafting their shape/size and shade.
- Natural teeth have irregular shapes and surfaces, which must be recreated with shaping tools and shading
- The cutting edge and the outside edge of each tooth are more translucent than the center (because the center is filled with pulp). This too is recreated using subtle shading.
A Work of Artistry and Science!
So many tiny details go into the process of creating your most beautiful, natural-looking smile, but that’s the joy of this process! It’s fascinating to learn how it all comes together in the lab, and it makes you wonder at the fact that Dr. Meza and his team do such amazing work that they do every day.
And the end result is a smile that gives you confidence, looks natural and beautiful, and is so comfortable you might forget they weren’t your natural teeth in the first place!
We will be talking with the team of amazing lab techs in a future post, so be sure to check back soon.
In the meantime, if you want to take the first step to perfect your smile, all you need to do is click this link. We provide a free estimate for your care, and our friendly English-speaking staff is happy to answer all of your questions.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us toll-free from Canada and the US at 1-(877)-337-6392.