What is Digital Smile Design and how did it come about in dentistry?

Digital Smile Design (DSD) has been used for over eight years by top dental technicians and dentists all over the world. It has changed the face of smile design with its use of revolutionary technology that allows us to understand the relationship between a patient’s teeth, gums, lips and smile, as well as their facial features in motion and facial gestures. This means that each smile is tailored not only to a person’s physical attributes, but also their own personality, something which had previously been very difficult to achieve.

Why do people choose to have Digital Smile Design?

There are so many benefits to the Digital Smile Design concept. Most people don’t want a smile, they want their smile – and Digital Smile Design gives them their own, tailor-made smile. Even better, they get to work with their dentist to create it! Because of the technology that we use it’s also now possible for patients to test-drive the design of their smile, so they can see exactly what they will look like before they commit to or undergo any treatment. Before Digital Smile Design software came along, it was only possible for patients to see their new smiles on 3D wax mouth models, which still didn’t give a clear picture of how the restored teeth would look inside the mouth.

The whole Digital Smile Design process is so well planned that the treatment may require between 20 to 30% fewer dental appointments.

What does the process involve and what is Digital Smile designing?

  • Assessment and information gathering: Firstly, you will visit the practice for a consultation. Here we will get to know you really well! We will take photographs, impressions and x-rays of your mouth and teeth using our state-of-the-art Digital Smile Design imaging technology and software. We will also take some video footage of your mouth when you talk, smile and laugh to get a detailed recording of the movement and symmetry in your face. There will be a number of questions that we ask which will allow us to understand your concerns and wishes when it comes to your teeth and smile.
    1. Assessment and information gathering: Firstly, you will visit the practice for a consultation. Here we will get to know you really well! We will take photographs, impressions and x-rays of your mouth and teeth using our state-of-the-art Digital Smile Design imaging technology and software. We will also take some video footage of your mouth when you talk, smile and laugh to get a detailed recording of the movement and symmetry in your face. There will be a number of questions that we ask which will allow us to understand your concerns and wishes when it comes to your teeth and smile.
    2. Analysis and treatment planning: We assess all your data and design a smile based on everything that you told us. All cases are reviewed by a digital planning centre where a team of dental specialists ensure the clinical quality. This means your case will not only result in your desired esthetic outcomes but will do so from within a healthy functioning mouth. With this information, we can create a mock-up of your new smile with the various treatment options.
    3. Smile preview: You are then invited back to the practice to test drive your new smile. This means that you can see what your smile will look like and you’ll know what to expect at the end of treatment. All the treatment options will be explained to you in detail, along with the costs and the expected timeframes for each. We will also fit a temporary mould on your teeth that will show you how your teeth will look at the end of treatment. You will then be able to decide on any final alterations, for example tooth colour, tooth shape etc. before we get started with treatment.
    4. Smile preview: You are then invited back to the practice to test drive your new smile. This means that you can see what your smile will look like and you’ll know what to expect at the end of treatment. All the treatment options will be explained to you in detail, along with the costs and the expected timeframes for each. We will also fit a temporary mould on your teeth that will show you how your teeth will look at the end of treatment. You will then be able to decide on any final alterations, for example tooth colour, tooth shape etc. before we get started with treatment.
    5. Patient Approval: Once you’re happy with your smile design and have agreed to the specific treatment, the treatment can begin. For some patients this might be having dental braces fitted or implant surgery, so treatment times will vary from person to person.
  • Treatment: Thanks to Digital Smile Design technology we can track your treatment progress and ensure that the smile we showed you is identical to the smile that you’ll receive.

The end result: Once your treatment is complete, you will be able to enjoy your new smile and show it off to the world with renewed confidence.

Can any dentist provide Digital Smile Design?

No. Only dental clinicians who have undertaken the rigorous training required by Digital Smile Design and who comply with all of their protocols can provide patients with the Digital Smile Design service. This ensures that a high quality treatment is always provided when Digital Smile designing. As well as undertaking Digital Smile Design courses we train and work with Digital Smile Design technology and Digital Smile Design professionals across the globe to ensure that our patients receive the smiles that they dream of. Digital Smile Design dentists also benefit from having all patient cases reviewed by a digital planning centre, where a team of experts from a number of dental specialities ensure clinical excellence and the highest standards of treatment.

Is the process painful?

Digital Smile Design is not known to be a painful experience. The process has been described as feeling more like a photoshoot rather than a dental appointment. In a nutshell, all we do is take several photos of your teeth from various angles, some video footage to capture how you move your mouth when you talk and eat, alongside some digital x-rays and then we upload them to our smile design software. There are no drills or injections involved at this consultation! As with all of our dental treatments, we do everything we can to ensure that the process is as comfortable as possible for all of our patients and will always listen to any worries or concerns that you have before and during treatment.

What if I am a nervous patient?

Here at Vilafortuny we have a wealth of experience in treating nervous or anxious patients. We often find that the best way to help is to listen to any patient concerns and openly encourage you to let us know if you feel nervous.

Many patients find a visit to the dentist nerve wracking because they fear a lack of control. The beauty of Digital Smile Design is that you play a part in the creation of your new smile. By telling us all about yourself and what you would like your dream smile to look like, we really do develop a relationship with our patients and many feel any nerves start to drop away

Is Digital Smile Design expensive?

Because your treatment plan will be as personalised as your smile, the cost of Digital Smile Design can vary. The good news is that Digital Smile Design treatment is also so well planned, that we’ll be able to identify exactly how long the process will take and what it will involve before you commit to any treatment. That means that we can also give you a detailed breakdown of costs before you start treatment, so that you can plan your budget.

The beauty of using this approach is that Digital Smile Design can redesign your smile through using dental treatments, whether it be dental implants, veneers, crowns and bridges, fixed dentures or aligners/braces. Once mapped out, the costs for these treatments can be calculated in advance, giving you a clear picture of the costs and how your teeth will look and work at the end of treatment.

How long does the first consultation last?  

Because every patient has different needs, we don’t like to put a time constraint on our appointments, but base them around an individual’s requirements instead. That way, we ensure that treatment isn’t rushed and an in depth analysis, which may include any concerns a patient has, can be effectively carried out. Digital Smile Design is shaped by the patients’ personality, so we need to get to know you, your dreams and desires!

How qualified is the Vilafortuny team to deliver Digital Smile Design?

Our team members have all undergone the most robust training in Digital Smile Design and consider it an honour to have been accepted as part of this revolutionary global programme. We’re proud that we can bring this state-of-the-art technology to our patients in Dubai as part of our dental care. We consider it one of the most predictable, safe and aesthetic treatments around.

How should I prepare for the first consultation?

Because your smile will be designed around you and your personality, all you really need to bring to your first consultation is you! Some patients spend time thinking about the kind of smile that they would like before they meet us, some even bring photographs, which can help them explain what they want to achieve. If however, you are unsure of just what kind of smile you would like, that’s where we come in! It’s our job to work with you to create the perfect smile, so don’t worry if you don’t have any ideas at this stage.

I’m not sure how I want my teeth to look after treatment, is that a problem?

The beauty of Digital Smile Design is that we will work with you to design your dream smile before you even begin any treatment. This means that you can see your smile and what it will look like on you, at the very start of the process, instead of waiting until the end. Because the software for Digital Smile Design that is used to record and design your new smile is so accurate, you can be sure that what you see at the start will be identical to what you receive at the end. Digital Smile Design is bringing about a new era in cosmetic dentistry and here at Vilafortuny we are excited to be playing a part in it.

What if I don’t like the way my teeth look in the mock-up?

This is where Digital Smile Design shows its true value: if you are unhappy with the mockup, we can amend it until you are happy! The software enables dentists to design a variety of tooth restoration outcomes. The benefit of this is that these conversations all take place before any treatment is undertaken, and no permanent dental work has been completed. This flexibility allows us to really understand what every patient is really looking for with the end result, not only in terms of appearance but also function and fit.

Looking for a Dubai Dentist? Interested in Digital Smile Design? Book your appointment today. We’re looking forward to helping you to discover your dream smile!

Digital Smile Design

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