This blog is part two in a series on our unique process of creating custom smiles at Prosper Family Dentistry. If you missed part one, click here. We recognize the tiny little nuances that make up a beautiful smile. We love those almost unnoticeable characteristics, and we believe they are essential to creating custom smiles.
If you are considering any type of cosmetic dentistry, whether you’re looking for a total smile makeover or just some refining to take your smile from good to great, it is important to understand your dentist’s philosophy on cosmetic dentistry. You should first know that “cosmetic dentistry” is not a recognized specialty in the dental field. While there are many continuing education courses and workshops to teach cosmetic dentistry, there are no certifications or requirements for using the name “Cosmetic Dentist”. Next, you should understand that not everyone’s idea of beautiful is the same. Many so-called “cosmetic dentists” are simple porcelain veneer factories, churning out the exact same product for every seeking patient.
For those reasons, we do not call this practice of ours cosmetic dentistry. We call it creating custom smiles. After we complete all of the information gathering that makes up step one in the custom smile creation, then we move on to the next step.
Step Two: The Mockup
Mockup is not an official term. If you look it up, you are likely to find many different definitions of it. We simply use it to describe the process that takes place between your visits with us, in which we determine what procedures and materials will accomplish your smile goals that we established during step one.
During the mockup, Dr. Jill or Dr. Cara works on a stone model of your teeth, performing the proposed treatment on it before ever touching your real teeth. This process may involve using the drill to remove some of the stone to make room for esthetic dental materials. It always involves referencing the goals you expressed in your interview, your high-def photos, and specific measurements taken of your teeth. The process helps Dr. Jill and Dr. Cara take into account the way your teeth bite together, so that the cosmetic changes don’t inadvertently change your bite.
To see a cool time lapse video of Dr. Jill working on a mockup, click here.
Why Does a Mockup Matter?
For the dentist, the mockup is a “trial run”. We gain invaluable information about how to achieve your smile goals. This gives great assurance to our patients! They know that we know exactly what we are doing when it is time for the actual dental work because we’ve already performed it once before.
The mockup tells our dentists exactly where and how much tooth structure to remove. It allows them to make custom templates that make the dental work more efficient.
One important difference: While many dentists send this type of work out to a dental lab technician, our dentists choose to do it themselves. Why would they take the time to do this? They believe that the information they gain during the mockup process is worth it. It gives them more details about the patient’s teeth they would not otherwise get, and it makes the overall process smoother.
Mockups Give us an Esthetic Preview!
One of the greatest advantages of a mockup is the ability to “preview” the changes we can make to your smile. We know that some people cannot envision the difference minor changes on the front teeth can make to the overall smile. Others that are looking for complete smile makeovers may want to get an idea of what big changes would do to their overall appearance.
The mockup gives us the chance to “try on” the new smile. This is shown by the photo to the left. Stay tuned for This patient’s final product (a gorgeous smile!) in next week’s blog. This is what we consider the (very) rough draft, and it can help you see the changes and give important feedback before the final work is carried out. An esthetic preview is simple, quick, and painless. If you have been thinking about cosmetic changes to your smile, but you feel hesitant to make those changes, an esthetic preview may answer all the questions you have.
Interested in a Custom Smile Consultation?
Call 972-347-1145 today to schedule a consultation visit with Dr. Jill and Dr. Cara! They will walk you through the process and get started with your “interview” right away.