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.