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Your Dentist the Artist? You Better Believe It!
by Judith Sloan

Dentists designing "smile makeovers" are in demand far more than their technical skill in placing crowns, veneers, and implants. Today's sophisticated consumers are aiming for natural-looking teeth. They want a dentist with good taste as well as good hands.

Enter the dentist as artist.

Dentists achieving acclaim for being at the forefront of providing wonderful smiles get it when it comes to making people - not just smiles - more beautiful.

"It should look like you were born with those teeth," says Dr. Daniel J. Deutsch at the Washington Center for Dentistry in Washington, DC. "Creating a new smile that is right for every patient means that you look at the person's age, the shape of the face and lips, the color of the skin, even the body type." And since everyone's natural teeth are not perfect, he adds small "features" in his smiles that normally show up in teeth we grow up with. He might place one tooth at a slightly different angle, or on a slightly different plane. He might create a slight overlap here, a brighter shade there - to give a new smile that authentic, lived-in look.

Dr. Deutsch credits a focus on physical features as a key ingredient in performing hundreds of successful smile makeovers.

"Patients with a longer face look better with teeth that are wider, not long and narrow, and open edges between teeth create a more youthful look," says Dr. Deutsch. "Patients should seek out dentists who are aware of these aesthetic components of smiles to get the best possible result."

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