A complete smile makeover can restore self-confidence and a healthy grin in those who have missing or damaged teeth. Dental implants, braces and dentures can replace gaps in a smile or straighten crooked teeth in people of almost any age. However, before patients take steps to restore their smiles, it can be important to understand the importance of the smile line and how it relates to the specific procedure recommended by a dentist.
What is a smile line?
A smile line is the line the lips create across the teeth and gums when a person smiles. When individuals see a dentist who performs smile restorations, measurements of the lip and smile line will usually be included in the preparatory stages of treatment. During this measurement, a dentist evaluates the position of the lip line, located on the lower half of the upper lip, and then assesses how that portion of the lip moves during a smile. Proper measurement can be especially vital for those receiving dental implants, as the smile line must align evenly with any new teeth to create a smile that looks natural and attractive.
What are the challenges of measuring a smile line?
All smiles have unique characteristics, which can cause challenges for the dentists who work to repair them. When patients first opt to undergo a smile makeover, the attending dentist will likely consider a variety of components, including
- Gum exposure during a normal smile
- The height of the smile line
- Maximum lip elevation during a wide smile
Patients who have a high smile line, or one that exposes the gums, may require extra dental work if implants are inserted to ensure the implants do not stand out from the surrounding natural teeth, which could affect the aesthetic of the job.
Which cosmetic dental procedures are affected?
Most dentists who perform smile makeovers will likely examine and attempt to adjust a patient's smile line before creating dental implants, braces or dentures. For example, the dimensions of a smile line in a patient who will be fitted with braces are important to ensure that the wires and brackets do not interfere with the gums. These measurements can also be important for those receiving partial or full dentures, as an improper fit may make chewing, speaking or wearing the dentures at all uncomfortable.
Because some dental procedures are designed to shift the teeth into a new position, dentists will likely consider how the smile line might be affected by the new placement. If the smile line is currently high, for instance, proper measurements can be quite important to ensure that each tooth has room to shift properly without affecting the gums. Those who want to take advantage of dental implants or braces before or after a smile line adjustment may want to discuss their options with a dentist.
The measurement and adjustment of a patient's smile line can be a vital step in any smile makeover. Individuals who want to have their smiles restored may feel greater peace of mind if they take steps to understand the steps involved and how proper preparation can pave the way for a dazzling smile in the future.
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