Dentistry with a genuine artistic replication of nature
Lake Forest Dental Arts‘s Dr. James Fondriest is one of the leading cosmetic dentists in the country. In addition to running a full-time private practice that specializes in comprehensive esthetic restorative dentistry, Dr. Fondriest is also a nationally-recognized speaker and dental educator. In this series, he discusses a few of the most common issues he gets asked by patients at his practice.
An artistic smile design involves much more than just whitening someone’s teeth and putting on braces. When you as a patient decide to have your smile improved, upgraded or redone, we invite you to share your dreams, desires and expectations with us. It is always best for us to first fully develop and understand your goals.
To do this, a full assessment of the existing circumstances is completed which is far beyond just and oral examination. This assessment includes documenting with photography/video the facial asymmetries, lip drape and movement patterns, how the teeth are displayed with normal speech and with all smiles in all directions. The facial mask is called the “picture frame for the smile”. Many clients are not aware that not only can the jaws, teeth and gums be altered, but also that picture frame. Whenever there is a plan to alter your front teeth, we feel that if it is to be done, then do it knowing all of the facts, challenges and opportunities.
Once the documentation process is complete, the images are dropped into a computer for analysis. There are established natural averages to facial and dental proportions. Just as an orthodontist will use ranges of normal, we use these averages as guidelines and to compare them to your mouth. Any variation gives us an opportunity for suggesting a possible treatment. Many cosmetically impactful options can’t be done in our office. If we can’t do the treatment we would direct you to where you could and work directly with that practitioner on your behalf.
When all of the treatment options have been discovered, we work hard to fully disclose the circumstances in a way that you can understand with a gentle personal touch. If you understand all of your options, you can make better decisions. A collaborative process begins where the options are explored on how to move the existing to the desired outcome. Each client varies in their schedule, temperament, motivation, level of hygiene, planned financial investment, and their willingness to hold out for the ideal. We try to help our patients to decide what is best for them. We prefer to offer a gentle touch with final treatment decisions.
Before putting a dental implant in, a dentist needs to do a fair amount of preparation to ensure that he knows exactly where that implant will be going and which type of implant he needs to use. It is important that the surgeon and restorative dentist have a close working relationship and also employ the newest radiographic techniques and planning software. A CT scan is usually taken which is a three dimensional radiographic survey of the jawbone. The restorative dentist will work with the surgeon to decide where best to place the implant or implants and if any grafting needs to be done to improve strength, esthetics, or long term cleansability of the final restoration. Placing artistic dental implants often requires just as much pre-planning as with smile makeovers.