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Evaluating and Establishing Ideal Smile Esthetics : Beauty is More than Skin Deep

Course Number: 649

Components of An Ideal Smile

Smile esthetics involve oral tissues--teeth, lips, and gingivae—in harmony with one another.2 Individuals who report dissatisfaction with their smiles noted issues with all these individual tissues.6 Overall, the most common complaint amongst those who did not like their smile was tooth color (27.9 %). Other components reported by individuals were tooth size (19.2 %), tooth position (16.2 %), tooth shape (15.0 %), and lip shape (11.2 %).7

Because each patient is unique and myriad complaints have been associated with compromised esthetics, approaching smile esthetics from an interdisciplinary standpoint is often required to achieve optimal results. Multidisciplinary assessment and care allow for a combinatorial approach to rehabilitation of poor esthetics, which often have multiple underlying causes. Employing a diverse armamentarium, including restorative dental care, orthodontic tooth movement, periodontal plastic surgical procedures, and/or facial esthetic procedures can often produce ideal results and address the multifactorial causes of less than ideal smile esthetics. As dental healthcare professionals, understanding the individual components that make a smile esthetic and the potential treatments available to improve smile esthetics.

Figure 1.

As show in Figure 1, a comprehensive patient assessment is necessary to identify all underlying causes for esthetic concerns. Clinical, photographic, videography, and radiographic analysis tools can be used to determine the etiologies that can be addressed during multidisciplinary care.