Smile Previews and Imaging
Diagnostic dental wax-up, mock-up, smile previews and smile imaging at Smile Stylist
The Smile Stylists practice Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and have one habit literally down to a science. Habit Two: Begin with the end in mind, is a common practice at Smile Stylist. Every cosmetic dental treatment preformed by a Smile Stylist, to restore a smile, is begun with a wax-up or intra oral mock-up. The purpose of mock-up and wax-ups is to not only give the patient a preview of the final result, before the dentistry treatment is preformed, but serves as a template to create the final dental restorations, porcelain veneers or crowns. How does this work? After collecting clinical information, a thorough exam including radiographs and series of digital pictures are taken along with other diagnostic information like impressions and facebow are sent to the dental laboratory to mount the patients teeth on a chewing simulator. Based off the communication between the dentist and the patient, the laboratory deigns a wax-up, a model of the patients teeth that are transformed into the new smile using special wax in the lab.
The wax-up serves as preview of the final smile makeover, but the diagnostic information gathered from a wax-up on the model is small compared to the amount of information a Smile Stylist and the patient get by having the ability to transfer the shapes of the wax-up to the mouth. Using special matrices and dental materials, an intra oral mock-up is created that exactly duplicated the wax-up in temporary veneers to the mouth. This gives the patient the ability to test drive the new smile before committing to the final veneers. Many patients love it right away, but some patients like to play with a few changes to color, shapes or lengths of the temporaries in the mouth, before sharing the information with the lab to make the final porcelain veneers. A Smile Stylist may want to contour temporaries creating unique shapes that are perfectly suited to the patients’ individual looks and personalities. They can confidently reshape temporaries in a technique called “Contouring” while changing characteristics of smiles from flirty and fun to sexy and exotic. Some techniques are taught, but some require an eye for beauty and years of hands-on experience to preform. Patients love the ability to see their new smile in their mouths, before they order their porcelain veneers, but a Smile Stylist loves the intra oral mock-up because it serves as a “template” or “blue print” for the final veneers.
The dentist uses the mock-up to make precise measurements in the mouth ensuring that the natural teeth are minimally reshaped to make room for the veneers.
A Smile Stylist understands the capabilities of modern porcelains and has a solid understanding of the amount of room that is required by the lab in porcelain to recreate the look of the mock-up in the mouth. This means that the patients’ teeth are never needlessly prepped, or aggressively reduced when it is clearly not indicated for a smile makeover. Be confident that a Smile Stylist can utilize a “Begin with the end in mind” technique with every cosmetic dentistry case that will enable patients to get the most predictably beautiful conservative smile makeover that patients are sure to love.
Smile imaging with software can be preformed for patients, however the imaging software will not be as detailed as mock-ups or provide the same diagnostic information for the dentist or the patients. Digital imaging for smiles can also be misleading, almost anything can be done on the computer with a digital image, but utilizing intra oral mock-ups gives smile previews of truley obtainable results.