If you read our page on Smile Analysis, you know that a lot goes into analyzing your smile in order to create the best possible functional and esthetic result for you. Besides analyzing your smile, however, a Cosmetic Dentist works similarly to a plastic surgeon, analyzing the full structure of your face in order to create symmetry and harmony between your smile and the rest of your facial features.
It is more than just your lips that frame your teeth and your smile. Everything from the width of your jawbones, the width and height of your cheeks, the shape of your face, the proportions of your face, the size and position of your eyes, the width and height of your forehead (and its slope), your hairline, your profile, your chin line, and even your nose will affect how your smile looks. If a Cosmetic Dentist fails to take all of these elements into account, you could end up with a less than satisfactory outcome.
At DC Smiles, Drs. Singer or Tami takes a holistic approach. This refers not just to looking at how the health of your body affects your oral health and vice versa, but also in terms of the esthetics of dentistry. Your best smile cannot be created without taking the rest of you into account from both medical and artistic perspectives.
The Golden Proportion
The Golden Proportion or Golden Ratio is a mathematical relationship that is considered to create the most appealing symmetry. This mathematical formula is 1 to 1.618. Many sculptors and architects have used it over the centuries, and even credit cards were created in this proportion. Today, plastic surgeons and Cosmetic Dentists use it to achieve the most attractive results for their patients.
Blindly applying the Golden Proportion to your smile, however, may not necessarily give you the most beautiful result. This is because our faces rarely meet the standards of the Golden Proportion. Our slight imperfections and asymmetries are also beautiful and are what make each of us unique. Many faces that are considered beautiful do not fulfill the mathematical definition of ideal proportions. So, the proportions of your teeth and your smile must match the actual proportions of your face.
The Golden Proportion can be applied to the length of your teeth, for example, but it may not look right on you. The Golden Proportion is a helpful tool, but adjustments must be made for the individual features of your face. If you have a narrow smile, for example, larger teeth will not look balanced.
The shape of your face also makes a difference, as well as the differences between the sexes. For example, women with more angular faces often find that teeth with slightly rounded, rather than sharp, edges create a more feminine look. Round faces can actually look more oval with ever so slightly elongated (but still natural-looking) teeth. In contrast, longer teeth would not work on someone with a thinner face. Male facial muscles and frontal sinuses tend to be larger than those in women, so those variations must be considered.
The state-of-the-art 3D imaging that we use at DC Smiles will help Drs. Singer or Tami design your smile for you and you alone, taking all of the elements of your face into account. A large number of complex calculations are made in order to determine the most attractive components of your smile. On the 3D images, lines are drawn vertically, horizontally, and diagonally in order to make the calculations. The vertical lines allow Drs. Singer or Tami to locate the vertical midline of your face. From there, he can determine the best symmetrical proportions for your smile. Similarly, horizontal lines are drawn across the eyebrows, the center of the eyes, the tip of the nose, the center of the lips where they part, and the bottom edge of the chin.
Diagonal lines are drawn from the ear opening to the center of the eye, tip of the nose, center of the upper lip, and tip of the chin. In profile, diagonal lines are drawn from the forehead to the lips to the chin to obtain precise calculations of the angles of your face. Many more angles are evaluated in order to create a very detailed analysis of your facial structure. These calculations do not just evaluate the skeleton, but also the soft tissue and its interactive relationship with the rest of the face when at rest and in movement.
Every small detail can make a difference in how your smile is designed. Only dentists who do this kind of meticulous analysis can assure you of a truly esthetic result.