Nowadays, countless dental procedures are performed on patients the world over. Most people find themselves needing restorative dental procedures as a result of illness, injury, congenital defects and other issues that affect the appearance of their smile and their oral health.

However, not all restorative procedures will yield the same results. There is something that offers a more predictable outcome and better results for patients: digital smile design. No wonder it has taken the dental world by storm!

Digital Smile Design in a Nutshell

Digital Smile Design (DSD) is a special dental treatment planning protocol that is designed to help strengthen a dental provider’s diagnostic vision and boost predictability. Digital Smile Design can also help improve the communication between patients and their dental providers.

A treatment plan is made based on a comprehensive analysis of the patient’s facial and dental proportions. By using photographs, videos, and temporary mock-ups, DSD providers are able to get a better insight into the relationship between the gums, lips, and teeth.

They can also clearly see how all the components work together to create the patient’s smile. When embarking on a DSD journey, patients will work closely with dentists that have artistic vision. This is required as they will be working on creating beautiful smiles.

How to Start the Digital Smile Design Process

If you are considering DSD, the first thing you need to do is find a provider near you. The provider will go through all the benefits of the procedure with you. If you opt to move forward, your provider will take photos of every angle of your mouth.

The digital scan is carried out using an intraoral scanner. The data will then be imported into the DSD software. Intraoral scanners are highly effective because they offer more views of the mouth. During the scan, the images pop up on the screen in real time.

Alternatively, traditional silicone moulds may also be taken to capture the form of the teeth and the mouth.

The Digital Smile Design Process

Once the data has been successfully imported into the software, the dental providers will check the digital library for different shapes and forms that can be placed over the top of the teeth in the images to create the ideal smile.

This process will then create a physical 3D printed model. The videos and images can also help the dental lab create a more realistic model which includes the patient’s facial aesthetics alongside other crucial elements.

The patient can get heavily involved in the process from start to finish. It is also important that patients communicate their needs and wants to their dental smile designer. Patients will also approve the three-dimensional mock-up images of what the final result will be once the treatment is completed.

In other words, patients are in the driving seat when they choose Digital Smile Design. It is also possible for the provider to transfer the smile design to the mouth to give patients a better idea of what their teeth will look like when they smile and speak.

Once approved, the provider will start the restoration process. This can involve keeping the mock-up model in the mouth to serve as preparation guide. Any damaged teeth or fragments of damaged teeth will be removed. The restorative plan depends on the pre-existing condition and the ideal smile design.

Fabrication of the final crowns or veneers, even surgery is guided by the initial ideal smile design, so the final result should mirror the initial plan very closely.

Robert Desauza

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