Cosmetics Problems - Enhancing your smile
C. Cosmetics Problems - I don’t like my smile
Composite mock-ups are a valuable tool in a cosmetic dentist’s arsenal of tools. They are a simple way to preview proposed changes for a patients smile and allow both the dentist and the patient to see how the changes look in relation to the patients lips and face. Cosmetic Wax-ups done in the laboratory are often beautiful, but do not show the relationship between proposed changes to a patient’s lips and face. If I am interested in showing a patient proposed changes, I can carefully place realistic composite material directly onto a patients teeth and sculpt it to change the way they look in as little as five to ten minutes. Since the material hasn’t really been ‘bonded’ to their teeth is easily removed. I use these mock-ups not only to show the patient proposed changes, but often it allows me to quickly try out different looks so I can work out what look is best for the patient. Often, I like to see how long I need to make a patient’s teeth to crate an optimal look against their lips and to determining how that length looks when they actually smile and talk. Once I create a look I like I can photograph the mock-up and take a study impression of the mock-up prior to removing it. If I am planning to have my laboratory make a cosmetic wax-up for the patient, the information that I obtain from my mock-up can be valuable to me when I am writing the Rx to the lab. I can relay information about the desired length, shape and edge position of the teeth. I can even send the lab my study model and photos to review.
Another benefit of the mock-ups are that they allow a patient to better understand what changes are possible and allow them to make a better decision about how much and what sort of cosmetic dentistry they are interested in. Often after viewing a mock-up the patient responds that they had no idea how much difference some ‘little changes’ would make in their smile!
This article was reprinted with the permission of its author Dr Lawrence Spindel. It can be found in its original form at: http://www.lspindeldds.com/composite_mock-ups