By Dr. Patrick Madar
What are the methods available in aesthetic dentistry today? Is it always best to want a perfect smile, even if it looks a little photoshopped?
The lower third of the face is a deciding factor in facial attraction.
People’s teeth are highly symbolic: sexual, animal, social, they are at the heart of our identity. Nowadays, a radiant smile – wide, even and symmetrical – is typically considered a symbol of health, vitality, wealth and success. Society sees a flawless smile displaying straight, white teeth as a benchmark for beauty and an aesthetic standard to which people should conform.
But as we age, our teeth become yellower and the enamel is worn away, which can make the teeth look discoloured. As teeth age, yellow cracks can also appear, caused by the repeated consumption of certain foods or by smoking.
What are the reasons for taking action?
Around age forty is when a lot of people see a dentist to change how their teeth look, sometimes even to correct crookedness that has been there since their teenage years. They often pin a lot of hope on this treatment, as they see it as a way of bringing some kind of balance back to their lives. It is important not to give in to any unreasonable demands from patients, which might be a sign of body dysmorphic disorder, in which case the patient should be referred to a suitable specialist.
The shape of the teeth needs to tie in with the face shape, the volume of the teeth with the plumpness of the lips, the colour of the teeth with the whites of the eyes. The size and shape of the incisors convey the person’s personality, strength and femininity. The canines, meanwhile, represent strength and aggressiveness. The role of the dental surgeon is to decide the position of these different teeth in order to increase or reduce how feminine, masculine, soft, shy, aggressive or sensual the patient looks. You can completely change a person’s face, alter their expression, by opting for a square or more rounded tooth. The size of the teeth is very important, and the height of the central upper incisor should be proportional to the height of the face and the width of the base of the nose.
What are the aesthetic dentistry techniques?
To increase the size of the teeth, the dentist performs a gingivoplasty – gum surgery – with the aim of altering their height and shape. Ceramic veneers and crowns, meanwhile, provide the patient with a new set of teeth. These materials give an outstanding aesthetic result that is very natural-looking. These radical changes (repositioning the teeth and covering them with ceramic veneers) can be paired with complementary techniques such as mini-lifts, hyaluronic acid lip fillers or dermabrasion.
With regard to aesthetic dentistry carried out on the lower third of the face after age forty, sometimes dental work alone does not fulfill the patient’s expectations. Dental surgery has its limits if the face’s soft tissues are gradually collapsing. If the morphology of the lower face is altered, then it will still look strange. Making the expressions look exactly as they were would involve altering the shape, volume and also the layout of the superficial facial structures.
When you are in your prime and full of health, you want to boast a sensual smile full of pristine, straight, white teeth!
Doctor Patrick Madar
Dental surgeon, trained at the Garancière dental faculty in Paris. Set up the AOD project (hearing, optical, dental). Has his own dental practice, Racines, in Dreux.