The art of smile design

- Written by

Dr David Cipriani

The art of smile design

When it comes to creating your ideal smile, the devil is in the detail. 

Like most things in life, a great dental result is all in the planning. As a reconstructive and cosmetic dentist, my goal is to ensure you walk away with the best possible outcome – a healthy, beautiful smile that makes you feel like the best version of yourself. I do this by designing a smile that is curated to your specific needs, desires, lifestyle and personality. But what is smile design? And how does the process work?

My AIDE approach is all about building trusting partnerships with my clients. I don’t believe that anyone should just take their dentist’s word for it, the best results come from listening to one another and collaborating from start to finish. 

A is for Appreciate 

A dentist can’t design your ideal smile unless they take the time to deeply understand who you are and what you’re hoping to achieve. You need a dentist that makes you feel comfortable and safe, someone who invites you to play a pivotal role in the planning phase of your dental design.

My first step is to create a foundation of mutual respect and appreciation. This involves you talking through the vision for your smile both now and in the future, and me sharing my philosophies and expertise. 

Depending on the complexity of your treatment plan, we’ll likely be sharing a fair bit of time together. It’s important that we’re a good client-clinician fit in terms of ethos and values. 

I is for Investigate 

My goal is to deliver the exact result that you’re after while retaining as much of your natural tooth structure as possible. This conservative approach ensures that you have options for more dental work down the track as your needs and preferences change. 

I’ll carefully assess your dental health and ask you a series of questions to better understand your lifestyle as well as your overall health and wellbeing. Once I have a thorough understanding of the opportunities and challenges your mouth (and life) presents, we can move forward with designing your smile. 

D is for Design 

The exciting part begins during the design phase. This is when we start discussing your white (teeth, enamel or filling) and pink (gums, lips, muscles) aesthetics including which materials suit your vision and needs. We’ll look at your lip position, muscle stretch and pull as well as the size and shape of your face. 

At this point I can usually create what I call a ‘simulated smile’, which allows you to wear your new smile design before we begin your final treatment. This ensures the design suits your personality and functions well.

You’ll receive a range of photos to show loved ones while you contemplate the design. During this phase, I might also undertake further modeling of your teeth and jaws and, if need be, create a transitional smile that you can trial before upgrading to a longer term solution. 

If you decide the design needs some tweaks, we’ll continue to collaborate until you’re 100 per cent comfortable to move forward. 

E is for Execute  

Now that we’ve designed a smile that fills you with excitement for the future, we get to work on bringing the design to life. This is just the start of your more confident and fulfilling life. 

During your treatment, you’ll be made to feel as comfortable and safe as possible. I’ll explain each procedure and empower you to maximise your dental health in between visits. As I mentioned before, we’re in partnership to make you look, feel and function your best. 

V is for Visagism

V isn’t part of my AIDE approach but it’s a concept that underpins my work. Visagism refers to the creation of a customised personal image that expresses someone’s sense of identity. It allows you to ascertain the lifestyle and personality traits you want to express to the world through your appearance using dentistry as the vehicle. Essentially, its consideration ensures you don’t end up with teeth or a smile that doesn’t feel like you.

Using Visagism as a concept, I can design a harmonious smile that highlights who you are as a person. Referring to the four basic tooth shapes – oval, triangular, rectangular, and square – your dental design might reflect your tendency to be a melancholy perfectionist, an impulsive extrovert, a determined entrepreneur, or a spiritual diplomat. The aim is to create a sense of harmony between your restorations and your values, spirit and attitude to life. 

When it comes to highly personalised dental work, there are no shortcuts to success. Careful planning as part of a respectful client-clinician relationship will create an exceptional result. And that’s exactly what you deserve. 

Your smile should be 100 per cent you. It should make you feel like your ultimate self, ready to live life to the full. I can help you achieve that. Book a consultation and let’s get to work planning a tailored look you’ll love for years to come. 

About the author 

Dr David Cipriani is a reconstructive and cosmetic dentist, but he much prefers the term ‘dental artisan’ because it encapsulates his enduring love for the art of dental design.

A dental qualification at The University of Sydney led to post-graduate studies with King’s College London where David affirmed his skillset in cosmetic and reconstructive care. 

As a progressive generalist dentist, David’s expertise has been sought by some of Sydney’s most reputable clinics where he has partnered with clients to not only achieve their aesthetic goals but improve their quality of life. 

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