If you’re interested in getting cosmetic dentistry, you’re stepping into a realm of incredible possibility. Oral medicine has advanced to such an extent that it can address nearly any issue you could have with your smile!
However, that can be a double-edged sword; while cosmetic dentistry is expansive, it can also be difficult to navigate for the layperson. There are a lot of aspects of a beautiful smile that you may notice, but not be able to put words to. Here are some terms used by cosmetic dentists to talk about a smile’s appearance, and how you can use them.
Maxillary Gum Line
This is the name for the area where the teeth meet the gums. Interestingly, a crooked maxillary gum line can make completely straight teeth look misaligned. If you’re unhappy with what looks like a crooked smile, you may actually want gum contouring to address your maxillary gum line.
This is the formal term for what you might call the “tip of your teeth,” i.e. the ridge of your upper teeth that are often the most obvious part of your smile. If you’re unhappy with the state of your incisal edge, due to an asymmetry or certain teeth sticking out too far, you could ask your dentist about direct bonding or veneers to address the issue.
The smile arc is the term for both the maxillary gum line and the incisal ridge, and how they make the smile look as a whole.
Cant is the tilt of your teeth, either forward or backward. While subtle variations in cant are common, severely tilted teeth could represent a deeper issue that may be worth addressing with orthodontic treatment.
As the name suggests, the dental midline is the gap between your two front teeth, i.e., your incisors. In some cases, the dental midline can be off to one side or another, resulting in an asymmetry in your smile. Again, while subtle variations are to be expected, a radically deviated dental midline may warrant orthodontic intervention.
Cosmetic dentistry allows you to change just about any aspect of your smile; hopefully, this guide has helped you to know what to ask about at a consultation with your dentist.
About the Author
Dr. Alexandria Arditti is a dentist who knows that the best way to reach her patients is by getting to know them one-on-one and creating a treatment plan tailored to their individual needs. Dr. Arditti received her doctorate from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at USC. She’s also a qualified yoga instructor, and she loves being able to incorporate her knowledge of whole-body wellness into her dental practice.
If you have any questions about how you can get a beautiful smile, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (714) 592-4294.