Steps of Smile Design
Our patients must be involved in the decision-making process. Needless to say that in dentistry, there are maybe tens, maybe hundreds of different treatment approaches for a single case. We, as dentists, have to show the outcome of our aesthetic dentistry treatments in advance.
Would you buy a car without seeing, driving and feeling it? You need the test-drive experience to decide between buying or rejecting. In Dentistry, nothing is different. Patients have every right to see the outcome of their treatment before they decide to start the treatment process before anyone touches their teeth.
In the first appointment of the Smile Design process, we acquire necessary documentation from the patient, such as pictures, videos and impressions. After obtaining them, we analyze every information thoroughly. With the guidance of this analysis, we design the new facially-driven smile either on an iPad or a computer.
After having a design for the new smile, we share this new design with the team involved in our possible treatment plan to discuss and manufacture a prototype for every individual patient. If our prototype treatment can be supported by a solid treatment plan and satisfy the patients' needs, we decide to show our project to our patients.
In the second appointment, we apply this prototype to patients' mouth using provisional materials, and we call this "test-drive experience." In this session, patients can see the change in their faces before they begin. They can "test-drive" their new smiles in front of cameras, and perceive the difference on their faces, which can be achieved by our treatment on a before-after setup.
If I were the patient who is willing to have a healthy and confident smile, I would personally want to experience everything before I decide anything. Wouldn't you?
our patients must be involved in decision-making process
The initial examination is the most crucial part of the Smile Design process. In this appointment, we focus on patients' needs and desires about their smiles. Having a perfect understanding between patients and orofacial experts is essential to achieve the goal of constructing confident and healthy smiles. Diagnostic conversations and listening to the patients prevent us from approaching from an incorrect perspective to any treatment. At the end of the first appointment, we need to look in the same direction as our patients.
Digital Smile Design Photo-Video Protocol
In the documentation session, we try to obtain every relevant information about patients' occlusion and the way they smile. Since the smile is a compelling action, working to have distinct information with a static picture has always been an unnecessary hustle. To capture the smile, we need dynamic documentation such as video. Additionally, we take impressions of the patients to record jaw relations to prevent any functional conflict, and to construct the prototype Smile Design for the patient. That's how we can transfer our design to patients' mouths.
Digital Smile Design Process
In the Digital Smile Design (DSD) process, we are applying specific protocols on either computers or iPads to design the new smiles of the patients with the pictures and videos obtained in previous sessions. We are spending quality time focusing on one individual patient's smile rather than dealing with an entire treatment plan in a limited time-frame in a dental office setup. This way, we try to prevent any possible diagnostic mistakes with potential distractions.
By conventional buccal wax-up technique, we have the opportunity to transfer our aesthetic dentistry designs to our patients' faces. This way, we have the luxury of seeing the result of our possible treatment plan before we start the treatment. So our initial design acts as a lighthouse in the sea, which leads us through the treatment process. With our design in hand, we always follow the initial plan regardless of the longevity of some treatments.
But the worst thing about a conventional wax-up is that it is dependent on a skillful dental technician to be flawless. To become a "Skillful" Dental Technician, they need to practice around ten years, and an experienced Dental Ceramist usually doesn't want to spend their valuable time on wax-up.
Digital 3D Wax-Up - 3D Printing
With the advancements in technology, it becomes super easy and convenient to produce the Smile Design Prototype (Wax Up) digitally and printing it using a 3D printer.
This way, success in every case has been an easy thing to achieve regardless of a Dental Technician's talent.
With "Mock-Up" we have the opportunity to transfer our prototype smile to our patient's mouth and face using provisional materials.
After that, patients have the luxury to see, assess and "test-drive" their new smile without even starting their treatment, without any commitment.
No strings attached... Just a test drive...