Most people do not realize that overall facial appearance is profoundly affected by what the teeth look like more than any other facial feature.

That is why patients almost always report that friends and family know they look better and have made some changes but cannot tell what it is that changed.

I guess this is a testament to how cosmetically beautiful and life-like modern esthetic dentistry can be to provide a great smile. Most people seem to focus primarily on how white the teeth can be. In reality, the shape of the teeth makes a bigger difference than the shade of the teeth. Combine the shape and brightness of the teeth and the result can be quite stunning.

There are certain proportions in nature that apply to esthetic beauty. Following these “golden rules” as much as possible makes for a great result.

Usually, the layout of the final smile is planned in wax. From this, molds are made to guide the dentist as to how the teeth need to be prepped and aids in the making of provisional restorations.

These temporary teeth act as the prototype to the final smile. This “test drive” allows the patient to make sure the teeth will work together and are pleasing in appearance.

If any changes need to be made, it is easy to reshape the provisional restorations in the mouth directly before the finals are constructed. This gives instant feedback and makes sure that the doctor and patient will like the final result.

The dental lab then copies the provisional restorations.

Speaking of the lab, it takes true artistry to make sure each tooth has the appropriate shape, anatomy, and gradient of shading in order to yield that spectacular result.

People always remember somebody with a fantastic smile, even if they don’t know that is why they remember them.

James G. Jenkins, D.M.D. is the owner of Bluffton Dental Care in Bluffton.