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When you think of what strikes you first about anybody, majority of people would say the smile. There is nothing more endearing than a warm, friendly smile. When you think more about it, the smile has a huge emotional component to it. This is in addition to the esthetic and artistic value that a smile carries. There are some people who are renowned for their smiles, which is said to be so bright, which led to the term '1000-watt smile', good enough to light up a big room!
Dentistry has evolved over the last few decades to play a major role in a person's appearance. From the shape and size of the teeth to the contour of the jaws and lips to the angle of the smile, there is something dentists can help with. There are specific proportions that are believed to produce a perfect smile, width of the eyes, distance between the eyes, width of the mouth, etc. With more and people realizing that their smiles can be improved, the demand for these is also increasing.
The new development in improving smile is the Digital Smile Design (DSD) that was developed by a ceramician (technician involved in making ceramic crowns) in Brazil in 2007, Mr. Christian Coachman. This basically involves taking a series of digital photographs and videos of the patient. These are then transferred to the computer and analyzed for the various proportions mentioned above. These images are then manipulated to achieve the correct proportions and reproduce a smile with the correct dimensions. To be doubly sure, these images are also shared with a larger group of dentists and then approval sought.
Detailed discussions are held with the patient on how this will reflect once the change is done. Once changes suggested by the dentist are accepted by the patient and incorporated, then the patient's smile is reconstructed using the calculated analysis and post that the smile correction is done. A successful digital smile design is a great example of teamwork as multidisciplinary teams from dentistry are involved.
The result is an enhanced smile that improves the patient's perception of beauty and also improves their confidence levels and feelings of self-worth and self-esteem. It is to be noted that what a person wants to express with his smile can be taken into account when designing a smile.
The major advantage of DSD is that there is no need for any special equipment and the digital equipment that is part of most dental setups is sufficient to design a smile. Smile designing is only poised to grow more popular in the coming years, with the greater focus on appearance and beauty.