When we think about smile design, we often think of the teeth or white esthetics. But what we can't miss is the gingiva or the pink esthetics. The gingiva are what's draping over our teeth or creating the scallop to showcase our beautiful porcelain work. So let's try to simplify this into three components.
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.
Papillas can make us or break us in esthetic dentistry. We all have those cases out there where that papilla didn't fill in all the way, and now we're staring at a black triangle.
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?
We use the evaluation of the "F" and "V" position to determine the ideal position of the upper incisal edge. Listening to the patients say their "F's" and "V's" can determine if we have the vertical just right.
The Golden Proportion of dentistry is a mathematical analysis tool for assessing the widths and the dominance of the maxillary anterior teeth. It is done from a frontal photographic view of the patient.
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.
Form follows function.
We've all heard the old adage everywhere, in all facets of life. And when it comes to anterior teeth we have to think of it as if we can get the function dialed in and honed in really well, the esthetics effortlessly fall into place.
How can the position of teeth affect function? I almost want to approach that backwards and say, "How can the position of teeth NOT affect function?"
The position of teeth is important for speaking and for enunciating sounds like our S sounds or F sounds.
The incisal edge determines how we enunciate. The incisal edge position dictates where the teeth hit on the lower lip so we can enunciate an F sound properly. If the teeth are too far apart or bumping into each other, you cannot make the F or S sounds properly, like the little kid who's lost his front teeth and wants them for Christmas. The position of the teeth affect not only our speaking, but it affects how we chew.
The position of teeth affects how we swallow and breathe.
The position of the teeth erupt into the mouth in the neutral zone, in the corridor that is dictated by the inward and outward functions of the muscles and the tongue.