The Hollywood smile. Few have it. We all want it. So, what can we do to attain it? Fortunately, modern dentistry has a solution:
Digital smile design.
Digital smile design (or DSD, for short) is transforming the cosmetic dentistry industry, allowing for better surgical outcomes, greater predictability, and shorter operation times. Plus, it lets the client have far more control over the way their smile will look. It’s a win for the patient. It’s a win for the practitioner. It’s a win for everybody.
The ABCs of DSD
What is a digital smile design? It’s a question we get asked frequently, so let’s give you a quick breakdown of what it means.
Digital smile design refers to a set of practices that integrate digital workflows into the cosmetic dentistry process. By using intraoral scanners, cameras, and 3D-rendering software, the clinician maps out the patient’s dentition in a virtual space. The result is a scanned, 3D model of the patient’s teeth, gums, and soft tissue. This virtual model—easy to view, easy to manipulate—serves as a clear visual blueprint: the perfect guide to creating the perfect smile.
After examining the visual model, the clinician and client can work together to identify problem areas and ways to correct their smile. Treatment plans vary and can include anything from a minor cosmetic procedure to several corrective surgeries.
Here are some common examples of procedures performed with DSD:
- Dental implants
- Bridge implants
- Teeth whitening
- Teeth straightening
- Gum grafting
- Crown teeth lengthening/shortening
What Are the Benefits of Digital Smile Design?
DSD is the simpler, smarter, and safer way for people to get the smile they’ve always wanted. Compared to the alternatives, it is non-invasive, providing a more comfortable experience, and it streamlines the entire corrective surgery process.
Let’s go into a bit more detail about some of those benefits:
- Comfort: Digital smile design offers far more comfort than any other dental diagnostic process. All it requires is a few scans of the oral cavity: no mold casting, no mess, none of that. If you’ve ever had to sit through a dental impression, you’ll consider DSD a welcome alternative. If you haven’t, consider yourself lucky.
- Time: DSD saves time. It is fast—far faster than a traditional dental impression—and that speed contributes to an overall better experience for the patient. Dentists also tend to combine DSD with computer-guided surgery: Taken together, those two means not just a shorter time in the chair, but also a shorter recovery time.
- Superior Results: Recent technological advances have made corrective surgery more precise, accurate, and predictable. Patients consistently report higher levels of satisfaction because it consistently provides better results.
- Greater Control: DSD empowers the patient. It gives them more opportunities to personalize their smile, provide their input, and be a part of the design process. It’s called “smile design” for a reason: both the patient and practitioner join together in a collaborative act of creation, working in unison to develop the patient’s smile according to his or her unique preferences. DSD shifts the focus away from the dentist and toward the needs of the patient. It gives them the tools and information they need to make an informed decision on their dental care. It puts you at the center of everything.
The Digital Smile Design Process
Obtaining the perfect smile through DSD involves three steps:
Step 1: Three-Dimensional Digital Dental Scan
First, the practitioner conducts a series of scans examining the patient’s teeth, gums, and oral cavity. At our office, we start with a Dental Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) scan, which provides a clear 3D image of your dental and bone structure and the soft tissue surrounding it. Next, we use our CEREC Omnicam intraoral scanner to develop a photorealistic model of the patient’s mouth.
Step 2: Smile Designing and Planning
After scanning’s complete, the practitioner can begin planning for surgery. At our office, we first compile the images and merge them into a single visual model. From there, we sit down with the patient and discuss their goals and options for procedures. After that, he or she can choose how they wish to proceed and what parts of their smile they want to be fixed.
Step 3: Computer-Guided Surgery
With all the planning and prep work out of the way, it’s time to get down to business.
Our team relies on an array of computer-visualization equipment to guide the surgery and enhance the precision of their work. The use of computerized surgical techniques helps us provide better outcomes with fewer risks in shorter amounts of time.
How Much Does Digital Smile Design Cost?
You’ll be happy to know that the digital revolution is making cosmetic procedures more—not less! —affordable. As the dentistry industry continues to evolve, technology has made it possible to shorten procedure times, ameliorate risk, and minimize the invasiveness of different procedures, in turn lowering many of the costs of surgery.
Still, prices can vary considerably depending on the work to be done: One tooth implant will be less than a full mouth of implants. Your insurance provider may also cover some of the costs, so be sure to check your coverage beforehand.
At our office, we discuss operation costs in a personal consultation with each client. It also gives us a chance to learn about the client’s needs and find a solution that stays within their budget. If you’re in the Greater Toronto Area, feel free to drop us a line to see what we can do for you.
Looking to Get That Picture-Perfect Smile?
…Because We Can Help!
For over 25 years, Dr. Suzanne Caudry has been helping people improve their smiles, their self-confidence, and their oral health. Her practice remains at the forefront of the digital dentistry industry, utilizing innovative techniques and state-of-the-art technology to continue to push the bounds of what is possible to achieve.
If you think you may benefit from digital smile design, feel free to get in touch with us, and book a consultation. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, discuss your options, and show you precisely what we can do for you. Contact us by phone at (416) 928-3444 today.