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Gingival architecture & symmetry

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.

For great esthetics, focus on the soft tissue.

But if we really want to go from good to great, if we really want to make a good-looking smile look absolutely fabulous, we need to make sure we're paying attention to the soft tissue drape. If the players on the stage are the teeth, the drape to that stage or the understanding of the limits of the design of that are the soft tissues. It is our responsibility as a small designer to remove as much of that visual friction when someone looks at a smile.

Envision what each component will look like when you are finished.

We want to balance proportion from one side of the smile to the other, and that has a lot to do with the drape. We need to have:

  • A thorough understanding of tissue architecture
  • A vision of what the scallop and gingival zenith should be like
  • An understanding of the structural components of the periodontal architecture
  • An idea of where would it be best for us to inflict changes or augment efficiencies

All of these considerations are certainly something in our wheelhouse that we need to understand to be able to provide for our patients to make great-looking smiles.

How to get higher dental treatment acceptance rates

Scott Finlay, D.D.S., FAGD, FAACD is the Resident Expert in Dental Esthetics and Senior Faculty member at the Dawson Academy. Dr. Finlay is one of the world’s most recognized dentists in the area of esthetic dentistry, winning several awards from the AACD. He is also a full-time practicing dentist at his practice in Annapolis, MD.