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Boundary Lines

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

From the shoulders up, every aspect of the head and neck affect a person’s esthetics and self-confidence. More specifically, the hard and soft tissues of the middle and lower third of the face contribute, to a large or small extent, to dento-facial esthetics, and they’re all interrelated. Today, dentists and cosmetic physicians are changing the manner in which they correct issues affecting dental and facial esthetics and embracing a more comprehensive dento-facial approach.

In some cases this involves traditional dental treatments alone. In others, a combination of dentistry and injectable fillers and neurotoxins may be indicated, the latter provided by the dentist in states where it’s permissible within the scope of practice, or by another licensed professional as part of an interdisciplinary treatment plan.

For example, in orthodontics, dentists recognize today the complexity of the skeletal pattern that patients bring in addition to their smile, explains David M. Sarver, DMD, MS, an adjunct professor in the Department of Orthodontics at UNC at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry. Therefore, his approach incorporates the macro-esthetics (facial form), mini-esthetics (the smile), and micro-esthetics (dental proportion, shape, shade, etc) of the dento-facial relationship in order to expand the diagnostic horizon.

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