I cannot tell you how many patients come to me in search of the “perfect smile”. Whether it’s straightening, whitening, lengthening or broadening teeth and smile, people have an idea in their mind and they want a certain look. It’s no secret, I am in the business of enhancing smiles, but nevertheless, I try to let patients know that there is no one perfect smile. It is not a one size fits all. You can just imagine how boring that would be. There are many degrees of attractiveness expressed through a smile, but the beauty is in each unique one. I want my patients to be happy and confident, but I also want them to be somewhat realistic. If someone shows me a picture of a celebrity smile from a glossy magazine and it’s got a chiseled chin and blindingly white teeth, I have to be honest with them. I tell them, quite frankly, that we can make improvements and often significant improvements, but the goal is to improve YOUR smile, not try to give you someone else’s. I do my best to steer patients away from conforming to our society’s idea of a beautiful smile. One physical attribute that comes to mind is a front-tooth gap (an upper midline diastema). I had one for many years as did my oldest daughter. Well-known models and actors sometimes have them and choose to keep them. Model, Lauren Hutton, has a signature gap-toothed smile and so does former NFL defensive player, Michael Strahan. My point is, these sorts of traits are unique and attractive in their own right. Just because they do not fit the expected mold doesn’t make them a bad thing.
Most importantly, we want you to have a healthy mouth so that smile lasts your lifetime. If the mouth is not a healthy environment then nothing else matters. Any dental procedure to enhance a smile requires healthy gum tissue. This is essential. I want to know what each of my patients likes about their smile and what they would prefer to change. My first and foremost goal is to help each patient understand their oral health and provide them with relevant information and options in order for them to make informed choices about their smile. “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”—Plato.