FAQ 2017-10-18T04:04:36+00:00


What is Digital Smile Design (DSD)?

Digital Smile Design or ‘DSD’ is a ground breaking development in undertaking cosmetic dental treatment – developed by Dr Christian Coachman, a dual qualified dentist and ceramist hailing from Brazil. Dr Coachman developed this technique as a means of improving three critical areas of communication between:

  • Dentist and Patient
  • Dentist and other treating clinicians
  • Dentist and Ceramist/Laboratory

DSD is a process of record taking and analysis including digital photography, dynamic video recording and computer software analysis that enables the restorative result to be pre-planned and confirmed prior to any interceptive/invasive dental treatment.
This plan of the proposed restorative result is then tested with the patient using a direct ‘mock up’ in the mouth – that is simply placed over their natural teeth for the patient to see and trial – without any tooth preparation whatsoever.

Why is Digital Smile Design important?

Digital Smile Design is becoming ever more important, due to an increase in the aesthetically aware and demanding patient base. This is not to say that patients are seeking unattainable levels of aesthetic excellence, but rather they are seeking a more natural result that is fitting with their facial harmony and appropriate to their age, race and sex when undertaking cosmetic dentistry. Gone are the days of the ‘white picket fence’ –rather the focus is now on natural shaping, shading and arrangement to teeth that is a reflection of natures ‘perfect imperfection’. This may be achieved through slight rotations to teeth, the natural translucency or shade differential over the tooth surface, or a more characterised texture to the ceramic surface.

DSD is thus important as it allows us to ‘test drive’ this new smile – to confirm patient acceptance prior to any tooth preparation. Patients can then go forth comfortable in undertaking this treatment, knowing that they have had the opportunity to view and confirm the proposed aesthetic changes. Many practitioners sadly ask their patients to go into treatment of this nature with ‘blind faith’ and hope that the treatment will be undertaken to the desires of the patient. Sadly, when this isn’t the case, it leads to unhappy patients and a ‘re-do’ of the treatment – a significant compromise to the final result.

What is the process?

The Digital Smile Design process begins with a thorough examination of your:

  • Facial Aesthetics
  • Facial Symmetry
  • Dental and Facial Midline Positions
  • The relation of the dental aesthetics to the facial aesthetics
  • The soft tissue (gum) harmony and symmetry
  • Phonetic considerations

A series of photographic images are taken, both intra-oral and extra-oral as well as impressions of the upper and lower teeth.  Further, we take a dynamic video recording, so that we can see the lips in motion during various emotional expressions – as well as in a natural smile – which is generally a lot ‘broader’ than a posed smile!

october, 2019

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