A smile is something that bridges the large gap between any two individuals. In fact a pretty smile can disarm the strongest of opponents in any argument. The teeth play a very important role in creating a perfect smile. It is necessary to have good set of teeth and to be in harmony with the face, the lip line, the curvature of the mouth, etc. The same size and shape of teeth in one smile would look very aesthetic, while in another, they would not. Dentistry is able to alter, reorganize and reposition teeth and the tooth structure can be altered in terms of color, position size and texture without any harmful effects and make it look, feel and behave in the same fashion as natural teeth.
The human body is given a set of 32 teeth of which 28 are the most important working teeth. The four third molars, more commonly known as the wisdom teeth can be discounted. When a person smiles, the teeth are seen in what is called as a “Smile Window”. These are the front 6 to 10 teeth which are also known as the anterior teeth. These comprise of one pair of central incisors, lateral incisors, canines and two pairs of premolars. The smile window displays these teeth with the upper teeth generally covering about 2/3rd of the lower teeth. In order for your smile to be appealing and aesthetic, the teeth have to be in the right proportion and correctly aligned. They need to be of the right shape and color in harmony with the rest of the face.
The factors that mainly influence smile design are
Along with the teeth, the gums, technically known as the gingiva also play a significant role. There is certain proportion of pink to white, which has to be maintained for the smile to be pleasing and beautiful. At times, the only difference between an excellent smile and a run of the mill smile can be heavily pigmented gums. If there is discrepancy in any of the above listed factors, the smile tends to get unaesthetic. It is not that if any one of the above conditions is not met, the looks will be totally hampered. Many a time, totally out of position teeth or disproportionate teeth may still exhibit a very pleasing smile. When the smile does get unaesthetic, the dentist can play a large role in correcting these discrepancies.
Aesthetic dentistry usually requires a lot of teamwork. Teeth which are not in the proper position, are generally corrected by moving the teeth into the correct position. Such movements may be very minor or gross shifting around of teeth. A dental specialist, known as an "Orthodontist" does shifting of teeth. If the shifting is minor, it may take only a couple of months, but gross shifting may take upto two years and involve full fledged wiring of the teeth. In case time is not available or movement of teeth with wires is not feasible, certain malpositions of teeth can be rectified by reshaping teeth by grinding and adding special materials which have the look and texture of natural teeth. Such a job can be achieved within a matter of days. Another specialist, the “Periodontist” plays a role when a discrepancy of the gums to the teeth is to be corrected. Such corrections usually require a minor surgical procedure. A Periodontist also surgically removes pigments or stains in the gums.
The Cosmetic Dentist:
The cosmetic dentist looks into and rectifies other situations once the tooth movement and gum correction are done. These corrections are done by a variety of techniques. It is possible to directly bond “composite”, a tooth colored restorative material, over the teeth to reshape, rectify size and color of the teeth. If the problem is severe, the cosmetic dentist uses veneers made of ceramic based materials to rectify the problem. There are many aids and tools available to be able to re-design a smile as perfectly as possible. Computer aided graphics, mock ups with special materials, etc., are some techniques which give both, the patient as well as the dentist, a good idea of what will look good and what will not.
Smile re-designing is more like a painting than just a dental procedure. The ultimate result depends on the artistic skills of the dentist, just as the artistic skills of a painter dictate the end result of a painting. The small delicate touch is what distinguishes a class work of art from just a technically correct job.