September 23, 2014

Tooth Shapes

If you are having porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns on your front teeth, whether  it be 2,4,6 or more, your cosmetic dentist and you will choose a design together from one of the tooth smile design catalogs or libraries.  The most commonly used in the world today is the LVI Smile Catalog (a library of distinct smile styles by the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies founder Bill Dickerson, DDS).  Another is the Loren Library, cataloged by Dr. Loren Berland of Dallas, TX.

LVI Smile Catalog
Dr. William Dickerson, LVI Smile Catalog

LVI Smile Catalog

This article contains condensed versions of both the LVI Smile Catalog and the Loren Library.  When viewing these two libraries it is advised NOT to pay any attention to the names of the style, color of the gums, color of the teeth or length of the teeth.  Those latter three will all vary based on the individual.  The tooth shapes library is utilized to choose the shapes of the edges of the teeth and how each tooth relates in length to the adjacent teeth.  In general teeth with rounded edges are viewed as younger, softer and more feminine.  Teeth with flat or square edges are viewed as older, more masculine, dominant and aggressive. In utilizing these libraries for over a decade we have found that the LVI “Enhanced” style to be the most popular design for women and “Softened” style for men.  Again, don’t pay much attention to the names of these designs as they can be misleading, especially the names like “Hollywood”, “Youthful” or “Mature”.

Loren Library
The Loren Library

The Loren Library

Click Smile Design to see numerous examples of different tooth shapes Dr. Huefner has utilized.

Upon choosing a smile style, your dentist can then let you preview the design when he makes your temporary (provisional) veneers or crowns.  You can “test drive” the design on your own teeth to see if that is the design that your really like!  See article on the “trial smile.  At the “trial smile” stage your dentist can still make changes in the design.  After you have approved the final design, your dentist will give his ceramist a detailed prescription for the final porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns.  This prescription will contain the “smile style”, length of the teeth, desired tooth color of the porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns from the tooth shade guide, the amount of surface texture and any incisal translucency or other characterizations.  Your dentist should also discuss all of these elements with you prior to sending the prescription to his ceramist.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about tooth shapes.

Dr. Norman Huefner, Orange County Cosmetic Dentistry and Porcelain Veneers. Serving the surrounding cities of Laguna Niguel, Irvine, Newport Beach, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita
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