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Lip Service

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

We have made mistakes in the past when it comes to dental esthetics. As dentists we spent so much time focusing on just the teeth. But it’s not just their teeth that patients are concerned with—it’s their smiles. In my esthetic lectures, I now teach dentists to “stop treating teeth and start treating smiles.” Even when speaking with patients, dentists should refer to “smiles” instead of “teeth.” That slight change in semantics will help explain how dental esthetics requires more than just great teeth to create a winning smile makeover. And treating the smile, instead of only the teeth, will give your patients the esthetic results they desire. If a patient came in and only wanted two veneers, I would give them a mirror and ask them to count the number of teeth they see showing when they smile. Though they are asking for teeth, we know, of course, that they really want a great-looking smile—a smile that includes more than just those few veneers.

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