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All Posts Tagged: Teeth Talk

What Makes a Beautiful Smile: the Lips and Gums

Dr Warren Antonoff

Dr. Warren Antonoff

In today’s third article about modern Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Warren Antonoff explores how the lips and gums influence the perceptions of what makes a beautiful smile.

Lips and gums play a fundamental role in shaping a beautiful smile. If you have straight teeth but you can’t see them, what’s the point? On the other hand, too much gum might bring undesirable attention!

Let’s look at the upper lips first. Ideally, when a patient smiles the upper lips masks the upper border of the teeth. If the patient shows too much gum, there could be a few possible causes:

  • Increased upper lip movement
  • Enlarged upper jaw
  • Teeth are not fully erupted

In most instances it’s a combination of factors involved. Depending on the cause(s), treatment such as soft tissue laser surgery, gum lift, Invisalign, upper jaw surgery, or even Botox, are treatments available to correct those issues.

The gums and lips "package" the teeth and gives your smile its personality!
The gums and lips “package” the teeth to create the smile that’s distinctly you!

On the other hand, The lower lip should ideally cradle the edges of the teeth in an arc to compliment the upper lip. Showing some lower teeth is also considered aesthetically acceptable. Typically, the lower lip doesn’t move as much compared to the top lip, rather it’s been stretched by the surrounding musculature in order to show more teeth. The importance of the lower lips is taken into consideration when the patient elects to correct her smile through procedures such as porcelain veneers. It is then up to the dentist to design the top teeth so that the edges are finished nicely.

Smile 3 Jenifer Garner
Celebrities, such as Jennifer Garner, have transformed their smiles through modern Cosmetic Dentistry treatments.

Here’s a recent example of our patient, “Ms Genevive”, who decided to undergo gum surgery to attain her ideal smile…

genevive
Before (top left), during gum surgery (bottom left), and After (right)  shows how this treatment can help to improve the visual proportions of the teeth and gums to offer a more aesthetically pleasing result.


Here’s a photo of the gums about a week after surgery. You can see it’s healing quickly.

Genevive will be completing her treatment with Invisalign teeth straightening to get the perfect look. For more information, you might be interested in reading our previous article titled De-mystifying Teeth Straightening Treatments.

On the other hand, The lower lip should ideally cradle the edges of the teeth in an arc to compliment the upper lip. Showing some lower teeth is also considered aesthetically acceptable.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions at all.

Until next time, happy smiling!

Dr. Warren Antonoff and all the staff at Lifestyle Smiles

At Lifestyle Smiles, we see a spectrum of patients at the clinic – some prefer an “understated, natural” look while others want a bright “Hollywood Smile”. Either way, as dental professionals it is our role to help you feel great about yourself, and over the decades we’ve been fortunate to help our patients achieve the look they desire using proven, safe and effective treatments.

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Cosmetic Dentistry and what that means for you

Dr Warren Antonoff

Dr. Warren Antonoff

While Dentistry may be taught as science, ever increasingly we are fusing Artistic practices with Scientific methods. This is the first part in a series of blog posts on the topic of Cosmetic Dentistry, where we will explore what makes a beautiful smile and what elements are key to an aesthetically pleasing result.

Increasingly, patients seek dental treatment with the primary concern of enhancing the look of their smile. Gone are the days where patients are satisfied walking out the Clinic door with silver fillings.

Since 1977, after the introduction of fluoridation to Melbourne’s water supply, we’ve witnessed a significant improvement in general oral health – in particular, fewer cases of tooth decay, especially amongst children. As a result, the role of the of dental professional has shifted from being primarily focused on curing disease and infection, to minimal intervention and promoting preventative dental treatments.

Cosmetic Dentistry, sometimes referred to as Aesthetic Dentistry, has grown to become one of the largest treatment areas in recent times. It is also an evolving trend, with innovative treatments constantly being developed, coupled with the changing tastes and demands of the patient. Many patients are now able to enjoy a relatively high standard of dental health, allowing them to focus on achieving and maintaining a beautiful smile.

Confident and photogenic smiles define this famous Hollywood power couple

Confident and photogenic smiles define this famous Hollywood power couple

The terms “Aesthetic” and “Cosmetic” may seem synonymous, however, by they differ in their literal roots: “Cosmetic” means to do something superficial to enhance the appearance of something, or to cover up a defect in order to make the object more beautiful. Beauty, as cliche as it sounds, is in the eyes of the beholder. How many times have we walked down the street and cringed when we see someone with perhaps a little too much make-up, or a wardrobe malfunction, or a set of pearly whites that almost blinded our eyes?

The definition of “Aesthetics”, on the other hand, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “responsive to or appreciative of what is pleasurable to the senses” or “pleasing appearance”. In other words, Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dentistry are intertwined, with Aesthetics encompassing natural beauty beyond just the superficial overtones.

Many patients are now able to enjoy a relatively high standard of dental health, allowing them to focus on achieving and maintaining a beautiful smile.
This stately couple offer a charming and noble smile for the millions of people following the royal wedding

This stately couple offer a charming and noble smile for the millions of people following the royal wedding

I graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2005. As a dental student practicing at a public dental hospital where all the patients were government funded, Aesthetic Dentistry was almost non-existent. We were more focused, and rightly so, on getting the right diagnosis, creating treatment plans, and performing a level of dentistry that is adequate for the general public. Why did we do that? We were more worried about passing exams than doing anything else! We weren’t trained to be artists; instead, we were taught to be basic crafts-people!

Over the past decade, I’ve been fortunate enough to have trained with some of the best dental professionals in our field, both here in Melbourne and abroad. This has allowed me to fine-tune my craft and keep abreast of the latest developments in our industry. While Dentistry may be taught as science, ever increasingly we are fusing Artistic practices with Scientific methods. To the patient, our clients, this means that you have a wide range of dental treatments that are affordable, relatively long lasting, and above all, safe.

To the patient, our clients, this means that you have a wide range of dental treatments that are affordable, relatively long lasting, and above all, safe.
One of our clients, international model Tara Hanaphy radiates her beautiful qualities beginning with a striking and positive smile

One of our clients, international model Tara Hanaphy radiates her beautiful qualities beginning with a striking and positive smile

Before I was a dentist I knew who looked good, but didn’t know why they looked good. Having developed a deep understanding of the why, I’d like to share this with you. In this series of blog posts on the topic of Cosmetic Dentistry, we will explore what makes a beautiful smile and what elements are key to an aesthetically pleasing result. Please feel free to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to keep up to date with the latest dental news, and don’t hesitate to send me your feedback / comments / encouragement as we go forward, together.

Happy smiling!

Dr. Warren Antonoff and all the staff at Lifestyle Smiles

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