A lot goes in to the planning of a new smile. Maybe there are spaces that need to be closed. Oftentimes there are broken, misshapen, missing, worn or discolored teeth.

No matter what the correction desired, the overall bite has to be in harmony or else it will work to destroy the enhancements over time.

The tools available to make these transformations are porcelain veneers and crowns. Both are made of porcelain. The distinction has to do with the amount of the tooth that is covered.

A crown covers the whole tooth and a veneer is less than that, typically the front, top and sides of the tooth. Sometimes resin bonding or teeth whitening is more appropriate to get the desired result.

It is the planning stage that is most crucial to success. There are specific measurements and commonly accepted protocols when looking at the size, shape, proportion and placement of the teeth.

Remember, the bite has to be in harmony with the proposed changes, otherwise the result might not be long lasting.

Studying photos is invaluable to evaluate most all the information needed to plan a successful case. Utilizing digital photography of a patient and teeth is quick, painless, and also helps to educate the patient as to the reasons for the planned treatment.

Often times, this is an emotional decision that requires the patient to visualize a realistic “before” and “after” to make sure there is understanding of the possible limitations and the projected outcome of the case.

Did you know that the number one facial feature most remembered by anyone is the smile? Everyone fondly remembers someone they have seen who has a great smile.

It is well worth the time, effort and investment for anyone desiring to be more approachable and seemingly likeable. It has to look good, feel good, function and last a long, long time.

Doesn’t it make sense to utilize all the planning available to get the best result?

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