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The Golden Rule of Proportion

So as we begin to consider design as it relates to nature, it would be nice if there were some rules or formulas that would allow us to harness the power of what esthetics are all about. That would give us some predictability or a roadmap for our final design. I think it's been the Holy Grail, through mankind, to try to understand what those rules would be.

Vitruvian ManFibonacci was a 13th-century mathematician, and he began to observe repeated patterns in nature. And what he tried to create were a series of mathematical logarithms that would give us a mathematical understanding of what esthetics was all about. The Fibonacci sequence was one of those formulas that look specifically at golden proportions.

It was a couple of centuries later that a guy by the name of Leonardo da Vinci came along. And he popularized a sketch called the Vitruvian Man. And it was based upon some work by another Italian engineer and architect, and his name was Vitruvius. And he felt as if the divine proportions seen in man ought to be what is replicated in architecture and design.

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The thorough review of literature, however, would tell you that there really is no absolute rule, that the statistical deviation of what happens relative to proportions has no real bearing or merit. But it does provide us a guideline.

And very often, we're left with those challenges of trying to create symmetry and balance in someone's smile but somehow pigeonholed by the amount of space that we have to work with. When those kinds of elements come along, what we try to do is push those visual discrepancies as far back in the smile as possible.

So if we can make central incisors twins and maybe lateral incisors cousins, that removes that visual distraction so that we can create balance and symmetry that would give us an esthetic looking appearance.

Why Porcelain Breaks

Photo Credit: Steven Yu via Flickr

Dr. Finlay graduated with honors from University of Maryland, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery and a GPR program at a Washington DC Area Trauma Hospital. He was Accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in 2007 and received his Fellowship in 2010. He currently serves as an Examiner and was a past elected board member for the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry as well as a Contributing Editor for the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry presenting the Examiner’s Perspective.  Dr. Finlay is a Senior Faculty Member for the Dawson Academy. He teaches contemporary functional concepts related to esthetics and restoring anterior teeth in a “hands on” format. Scott has contributed articles that have appeared in professional journals such as the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, Inside Dentistry and Vistas. He began his practice in Annapolis, Maryland in 1987 with a special emphasis on esthetic and restorative dentistry. He is also the author of the recently revised American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s “Contemporary Concepts in Smile Design” which serves as a basis for the criteria in evaluation and examination in the credentialing process.  Accreditation through the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry has become recognized as the gold standard of dental esthetics. Dr. Finlay is a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry, Past President of the Anne Arundel County Dental Society and a founding member of the local Pankey/Dawson Study Club. Dr. Finlay has been presented with 4 gold metals in the AACD annual Smile Gallery. He is perennially voted the Best Cosmetic/Restorative Dentist in both the Greater Annapolis and Baltimore areas by a jury of his peers. He has appeared on Baltimore FOX 45 Morning News and two other health television programs as an expert in dental esthetics. Dr. Finlay also the founder the Cosmetic Dream Team, LLC that locally serves as a community resource in all aspects of esthetics as well as hosting philanthropic events to benefit local charities. Dr. Finlay and his wife, Linda, have one daughter and live in Annapolis, Maryland. He enjoys golfing, skiing and competitive sailing.