The Basics Of Smile Design

Personalized smile design

Be sure to go through a personalized smile design process before having a makeover. When you think about cosmetic dentistry in general, you may have a vague idea that you can come in, talk with us about treatments, and make your smile look significantly more impressive than it does at this very moment. What may not be so clear, however, includes categories regarding those esthetic issues we can fix. Rather than continue visualizing care as just a big, blurry cloud of possibilities, let’s clear it all up for you by explaining the elements of smile design that we can most certainly help you with. Once you have a better feel for how our Lake Forest, IL team can assist you, the fact that there’s really limitless potential will quickly become apparent!

Principles of personalized smile design

The Golden Proportion:

The golden proportion was discovered by the ancient Greeks and is found in architecture, art, and music. It is the way the human eye perceives beauty, and is used in cosmetic dentistry to create an aesthetically pleasing smile. The golden proportion is based on mathematical ratios determined as ideal through years of research. Because an aesthetic smile is also a healthy smile, smile design has become increasingly popular over the years. Smile design begins with the creation of a smile that complements the patients face. Each smile makeover is unique to the patient. Dentists take into consideration three things: the face, the smile, and the teeth.

Facial Analysis as part of a personalized smile design:

Studies have shown that people with symmetrical faces and smiles are considered more attractive. To this end, the face is analyzed from the front and side to determine the facial midline and evaluate symmetry.

Smile Analysis as part of a personalized smile design:

The smile analysis includes an evaluation of the lips, teeth, and gums. Each tooth is compared to the others, and then to the smile as a whole.

Dental Midline:

The midline is an imaginary vertical line drawn down the center of the face. This line should fall between the two maxillary central incisors, or your upper two front teeth.

Smile Line:

The smile line should follow the upper edge of the bottom lip when smiling. The edges of the top teeth should touch the bottom lip, following the curve of the lip, also referred to as the smile line.

Gingival Shape and Contour:

Gingival (gum) tissue should not overshadow the smile. Three millimeters or less of gingival tissue should show while smiling. The gingival tissue should be even and shaped as a half-oval above the upper laterals (the teeth located between the upper front teeth and the eye teeth, or canines), and shaped as an oval over the two front teeth, and the canines (commonly referred to as the eye teeth, or “vampire teeth”).

Straight, White Teeth:

Straight teeth are aligned teeth with no crowding, overlapping, or gaps. White teeth are bright and uniform in color. Straight, white teeth are the most attractive, but size and shape are equally important.

    • Central Incisors (top two front teeth): The width to height ratio of the top central incisors should be 75-80%. The top two front teeth should be shaped like a rectangle and should be longer than they are wide.
    • Length: The bottom edges of the canines should be at the same horizontal level as the central incisors. The lateral incisors should be slightly shorter.
    • Inclination: The top front teeth should incline, or slightly tilt, toward the dental midline, with the two teeth on either side of the maxillary central incisors following suit.

Personalized smile design assesses both the physical and the psychological. It is a chance to fulfill your dreams, expectations, and desires regarding one of your most important assets–your smile. An attractive smile can increase your self-confidence and your chances for success. If you are considering a smile make-over, you and Dr. Fondriest will collaborate as a team, discussing the process from beginning to end, as well as the desired outcome, before any decisions are made. Preplanning is an important step to achieve the smile you desire.

Shape And Dimensions

Worrying about the shape of your teeth or their dimensions (the length and/or width) can really cause some upset. Remember that this is something cosmetic dentistry can address with so many different approaches. Need help? Just let us know this is your concern.


We offer our personalized smile design to help you achieve a more beautiful shade of white for your smile. If teeth are yellowed, stained, or just not quite as bright as they could be, speak with us about teeth whitening!


Whatever it is that’s making your smile look less than uniform, we can often help with cosmetic dentistry. For instance, does the continuity of your smile look off because you have gaps between teeth? Treatments like bonding and veneers can resolve this.


If you’re worried about the way your smile looks because it just tends to appear lopsided, remember that there are multiple reasons this may be happening. It could have something to do with the length of your teeth or just the positions of your teeth. If your teeth are malpositioned due to tongue thrust, an orthodontist will be asked to help. It may also be associated with your gumline. We can fix it.


You now know that you can tackle many different issues with your smile when it comes to the way it looks. While you’ve learned all about many of the artistic smile design details you were curious about, something may be left: What about texture? If your smile isn’t quite as shiny or smooth as you’d like due to some blemishes, what can you do? Rest easy. You can address this issue, too, with treatments like veneers.

See Us For A Personalized Smile Design Care Plan

Do you want a more confident smile? Learn about your options in cosmetic dentistry Chicago. Talk with us soon about how we may work with you to craft a personalized cosmetic plan to improve the beauty of your smile. Feel free to schedule a visit with Dr. Fondriest by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts at (847) 234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of Chicago and all surrounding communities in the Chicago Metro area.