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Quick Tip - Creating Beautiful Esthetics

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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But there are criteria that are available that'll help us to create a measurable metric so that we can come up with a predictable result.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry is one of the largest aesthetic dental organizations in the world. And although they didn't create smile design, what they provided for us is a reference that's based on a compilation of the literature that's available that gives us some gold standards in how we may evaluate smiles, how we make determinations about what we're going to change in someone's smile.

And I think the way we compartmentalize and organize our thinking helps us to make decisions in this process. So when this book was written, the way it was designed, we want to first create the broadest perspective relative to aesthetics and progressively narrow our focus until we get to the point of measuring shade and contours and those kinds of criteria.

We're first going to begin with global aesthetics.

Global aesthetics have to do with the orientation of the teeth to the face and the lips that encircle them. We want to look at how these players sit in the face and how they should be composed.

We're then going to narrow our focus to macro aesthetics.

Macro aesthetics have to do with the orientation of the teeth to each other, line angles, incisal embrasures, those kinds of contours that relate teeth to the contralateral balance in the smile.

And finally, we'll narrow our focus to micro aesthetics.

Micro aesthetics have to do with shade, color, textures, translucencies, those little idiosyncracies that truly make teeth look like teeth.

Now, these are guidelines, they're not rules.

And I think it's important for us to understand that because we always can't create perfection. I think Pablo Picasso said it best when he said, "We need to understand the rules like a pro before we can begin to break them as an artist." So as we begin to consider changes in our patients' smiles, I think it's important for us to understand these foundational building blocks before we compose our final result.

Why Porcelain Breaks

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.