Smile Anatomy

in Smile

Your smile is made up of your teeth, gums, and lips but, more than that, your entire facial expression changes when you smile. A well-trained, experienced cosmetic dentist is always aware of the fact that each person's unique appearance and personality shine through when he or she smiles, and must be taken into account when designing a smile makeover or even a single porcelain veneer. Deciding how a tooth should be designed requires taking your entire smile anatomyinto consideration.

There are four aspects of your smile that your cosmetic dentist takes into account when improving your smile:

  • Facial aesthetics
  • Gum aesthetics
  • Microaesthetics
  • Macroaesthetics

Each of these types of aesthetics can have a huge impact on the overall appearance of your smile, and small changes can make big improvements.

Facial Aesthetics

Your facial aesthetics are simply the unique aspects of your face, including everything from the shape of your chin to the height of your hairline. Your face may be round or square, your nose may be large or small, your eyes may be close together or far apart, and even your lips are probably not symmetrical. The proportions of your features may be a good indication of whether your teeth should be longer or shorter, square or round, and where the center line of your smile, the space between your two front teeth, should align.

Gum Aesthetics

An uneven gum line can make otherwise straight teeth appear crooked, or a "gummy smile" which covers too much of your tooth surface can make your teeth appear too small or worn down. Often, a cosmetic dentist may recommend that patients have gum recontouring to help their smiles appear more even.


The microaesthetics of your smile refer to the tiny variations in tint, color, or shape that exists in any one of your teeth. No two teeth are exactly alike or even perfectly symmetrical, but your cosmetic dentist can make obviously mismatched teeth appear to match through reshaping your tooth or teeth with porcelain veneers or dental crowns, or with tooth whitening.


The overall effect of your smile depends on how each of these details complements one another and work together. For example, your teeth do not have to be perfectly white to appear healthy, but if one of your teeth is stained or darker than the others, it can have a negative effect on the appearance of all of them. Only a skilled cosmetic dentist knows how to evaluate the macroaesthetics of each aspect of your appearance to create a beautiful smile that is uniquely you.


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Sara Goldstein has 1 articles online

You can learn more about your smile anatomy today by visiting the website of Calgary cosmetic dentist Dr. Steven Cload, welcoming patients from the surrounding areas of Alberta.

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Smile Anatomy

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This article was published on 2010/12/22