We all know when we approach cases, there are some cases that are a little more straightforward than others. When we think about esthetics, we have to appreciate those cases that may be more challenging or difficult than others.
One of the most valuable tools that I have in my office that I absolutely could not work with if I were to have a problem with that piece of instrument that day is my camera. If you would have told me the day I got out of dental school that I would need a camera to do dentistry, I would wonder why?
As we come along this curve in understanding dental esthetics, we have been very focused on the white esthetics. We think about global, macro, micro elements, shades, contours, translucencies, textures, and all of the things that really are all about teeth.
I would like to share with you my observations and experiences with utilizing a tool that helps me to select shades for my direct and indirect restorations. As restorative dentists, we are given the task of either replacing or enhancing what is absent or deficient in nature. Innately, that solution is essentially simple.
In our mission as restorative dentists, we often come across the same series of questions.
When reconstructing, what is either deficient or absent in our patients smiles? Is the restoration of teeth with either direct or indirect materials?
We have a lot of tools at our disposal to help us to be able to communicate. And one of those pieces of communication that is existential in getting treatment plan acceptance is photography.
A common question we get from new dentists is how do I select the best materials for my patients? As a new dentist in those first few years out of dental school, I think we're often relying upon resources to help us make decisions.
I think one of those essential issues in life for efficiency is communication and communication involves speaking the same language.
When we're dealing with our colleagues on the lab bench for our indirect solutions for our patients, it's obviously essential that we're using the same terminology or nomenclature when we're trying to communicate either revisions in current restorations or anticipations for what we're trying to create for our patients. A nomenclature that has been defined for us by literature that exists and there is a great resource, I think, that we can reach out to, both the clinician and the laboratory technician is the the Criteria Guide produced by the AACD.
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.
Fibonacci 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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So creating beautiful smiles is really about creating beautiful health.
Our vision when we're trying to create a great looking smile is to design something that's going to be a mirror of the relative health of the system. And I think, as we begin to consider enhancements or changes to someone's smile, we need to think of it in a perspective as a smile designer first, before we're beginning the treatment plan, what the results will be.
And when we begin to consider what components we're going to manipulate in order to try to optimize someone's smiles, we need to consider that with the end in mind, but obviously with an omnipresent understanding of the system at large and how the engineering will be.
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