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Aesthetic Evaluation Form • Bonding Procedure for All-Porcelain Crowns and Onlays • Color metamerism in teeth • 
Porcelain Veneer Bonding Procedure • Shade-Matching Technology • Should etching be performed as part of a vital bleaching technique? • Treatment Coordinator

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Aesthetic Evaluation for Smile Design

We have posted a form that you may wish to use in your aesthetic dental practice. When you deal with aesthetic dentistry, an important ingredient in the smile design is the image the patient wishes to project. Someone who wants to appear young, bold, and sexy, needs a completely different smile design from someone who wishes to appear mature, wise, and deliberate.

The aesthetic evaluation form is a form that patients can use to communicate their desires to the aesthetic dentist. The form, if properly filled out, will help you assess what we call the "image aspirations" of the patient.

On the aesthetic evaluation form, you will see a continuum from 1 to 10 for each image parameter. Some have remarked that the extremes on each end of the continuum are not direct opposites of each other. For example, the patient is asked to choose where they fall between the choices of warm and sophisticated. While the adjectives are not opposites of each other, they are competing qualities, and the resulting smile design will be very different, depending on which quality is more important to them to portray.

If a patient wishes to appear warm, bold, and young, the resulting smile design will emphasize the central incisors, and the centrals may be considerably longer and more prominent than the other anterior teeth. If a patient wishes to appear sophisticated, conservative, and mature, the smile design will feature even lengths of all the teeth. For different mixtures of qualities, smiles designs somewhere between the above extremes should be chosen.

You'll also note on the color continuum, that the choices range from white to natural. We haven't found that any patients want a tooth color that is darker than natural. By natural we mean a color that is white, but is within the range of tooth shades that people are born with. On the "white" extreme of the continuum, we mean a color that is artificially white. Some people want their teeth to blind other people on the other side of the room. Some want a color that is more subdued. Again, this is an excellent communication tool for dealing with the issue of color with patients.

The aesthetic evaluation form also accomplishes a couple of other objectives.

One objective accomplished by the aesthetic evaluation form is to open a dialog with the patient on the smile design. An extremely important element of aesthetic dentistry is excellent communication with the patient so that the smile design can be customized to the patient. The bottom of the form asks patients to choose a celebrity smile that appeals to them. Often, however, the smile that appeals to the patient aesthetically will be at odds with that patient's image aspirations. As an aesthetically sensitive dentist, you can then discuss with the patient what is important to them, make your recommendations, get feedback from the patient, and end up with an aesthetically informed patient who knows what he or she wants and why he or she wants it.

A second objective accomplished by the aesthetic evaluation form is that it lets the patient know that you understand aesthetics, that you are customizing the smile design to the patient, and that you are sensitive to the patient's personality and needs. Use of the form can aid in building a strong bond of confidence with the patient.

Click here to download the aesthetic evaluation form.

To find books about this aesthetic dentistry, click here.

More articles
America's Dental Bookstore maintains this collection of articles on dentistry submitted by visitors to our site. These could be clinical tips, research articles, opinion articles, dental jokes, or whatever. Do you have something you'd like to submit? If so, click here to submit an article.