Scott Finlay, DDS is more than just a cosmetic dentist. He is a master of the smile design process. Our cosmetic dental treatments are well planned to produce natural-looking, comfortable and long lasting results.
Smile Makeover Process
Smile Design is a comprehensive approach to cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Finlay follows a four step process:
Step 1 – Comprehensive Evaluation
Many cosmetic dental concerns are actually caused by functional problems in the mouth or occlusion (bite). The first step in smile design is a comprehensive evaluation. Dr. Finlay will perform a physical examination to inspect your teeth, gums, mouth, jaw joints and muscles. He is carefully looking for signs of decay, stress, or instability.
For a smile makeover, Dr. Finlay also considers a patient’s facial appearance, including the symmetry of features, size of the lips and mouth, and skin tone and texture to make sure that the cosmetic changes will be natural looking.
“When designing a smile if the players on the stage are beautifully shaped teeth, then the curtain that encircles them are the lips and the orientation to the face.” – Scott Finlay, DDS.
Step 2 – Treatment Planning
The treatment plan is like a set of blue prints for an architect. Dr. Finlay takes diagnostic x-rays, molds and impressions of the teeth to aid in treatment planning. Using these models, he will create a 2-D digital representation of the proposed changes. This way, you can see what your smile makeover will “look” like before changes are made.
Often, Dr. Finlay creates a 3-D model to demonstrate and test how the changes will function. Again, changes and adjustments can be made easily in this stage. Up to this point, no actual changes have been made to your teeth.
Step 3 – Preparation and Prototype
The teeth are prepared after the planning process is complete. Dr. Finlay creates provisional (also known as temporary) restorations to replicate the anticipated results. These are also used as models for the dental laboratory to create the hand crafted final restorations.
Step 4 – Smile Makeover
The final restoration, whether it is a dental crown, porcelain veneer or dental bridge, are created at a state-of-the-art dental laboratory. Dr. Finlay provides exact specifications using the 2-D and 3-D modeling as well as molds of the prepared teeth and molds of the prototype.
Because of this comprehensive smile design process, the application of the final restoration is not a guess, but a predictable result that feels comfortable, looks natural, and functions optimally.
How Long Will It Take?
The timeline for a smile makeover varies from patient to patient, depending on their needs and goals. The process can be as quick as a few weeks for someone with minor changes and functional concerns to a few months for someone who needs intensive treatment.
Do I Need Veneers or Crowns?
Dr. Finlay will choose the dental restoration that is right for you. Through the smile design process, he will evaluate your entire masticatory system to select the restoration that will look the best and provide the right level of protection and durability.
- Porcelain veneers are usually used to cover just the fronts and sides of the teeth, ideal for changing the shape of teeth, closing small spaces, repairing chips, and improving discoloration.
- Dental crowns are used to reinforce a tooth that is damaged by decay or trauma, or a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy.