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Inside Dental Technology
June 2022
Volume 13, Issue 6

Esthetic Smile Design from a Dentist’s Perspective

More effective communication with the laboratory

Greg Campbell, DDS

Dentists often have patients in our offices interested in cosmetics and natural smiles. In the past, this required multiple appointments, beginning with impressions, photographs, and sending the case to the laboratory to request an "ideal" wax-up. We then ask our laboratory partner to achieve correct midline, smile line, and ideal proportions. Sometimes, the case needs to be sent back for revisions, complicating the process. Now, however, we use exocad's Smile Creator to digitally plan the case in real time with the patient in the chair. This has eliminated one of my greatest challenges—effectively communicating to the patient how I achieve their esthetic goals. I am aligning the restorative treatment plan with the expectations of the patient.

Smile Creator is a powerful digital planning solution for cosmetic dentistry that incorporates both two-dimensional photographs and 3D imaging. The software is intuitive, easy to use, and customizable to the individual needs and expectations of each patient. The program is versatile and robust in the ways it can help restorative teams achieve success. The desired digital diagnostic wax-up is finalized after selecting one of the tooth libraries and then customizing the patient setup. The design may be transferred to the Model Creator module to print models to aid in patient acceptance. Smile Creator allows the patient to see how their restorative work will look on them in 3D. The software's file sharing feature enables us to provide a shareable web link of the "mockup" for the patient to see and share the desired outcome. The entire process is perfect and helps my practice convert more esthetic cases.

All one must do is take a smile photograph and retracted photograph (Figure 1), and then digitally scan the patient, which is faster than taking traditional impressions. The software is completely open and will take STL, OBJ, and PLY files. Once the files are imported, smile line, arch form, and midline can be established easily (Figure 2), and the user can select the best tooth library and use the features for ideal esthetics (Figure 3). The software explains each step needed and the tools are easy to use. If changes are needed, going back or adding work is seamless. Patients can see their new smile in 3D (Figure 4) and from different angles (Figure 5). Any changes are made in real time with just a few clicks. The possibilities are endless with this wonderful digital technology.

Key Takeaways

› exocad Smile Creator increases chairside acceptance of smile makeover cases

› Shareable weblink allows patients to "take home" their new smile

› Esthetic changes to the digital wax-up are easy to incorporate

About the Author

Greg Campbell, DDS
Private Practitioner
Long Beach, CA

Manufacturer Information

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions contained in the preceding material are not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dental Technology.

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