Digital Smile Design ( DSD) is a new concept found in modern dentistry. Practitioners who find out about it for the first time think that it is a soft. Its promoters present it as a concept. Those who use it believe that it is a revolutionary tool in treatment planning.
How can one use it?
Imagine you have to go to a party and you want the most beautiful and amazing outfit. You think about it : you look for a design , you set a color, you choose the fabric , you want for the outfit , then you look for a shop and analyze the collections and try on the outfits which you think that correspond to the image that you have created in your mind. You talk to your stylist about the cut that suits you best and you make the adjustments together and select the accessories. Now imagine that you want to change the appearance of your teeth. What do you normally do? You ask your acquaintances and relatives to recommend you a good dentist and you set an appointment without actually knowing anything about him/her. They suggest you a comprehensive treatment plan , including in the frontal area to improve your physiognomy. The treatments prior to the prosthetic rehabilitation ( extractions, root canal treatments) start without an emphasis on the final aspect on the dental work. Based on the verbal instructions of the dentist , the technician is given a free hand in terms of the shape of teeth after he/she is given only a small amount of information on the size and color. In reality , the first serious discussion is carried in the last one session.
So, people who want a special look document on the cut they prefer, try on several options, and then decide which one they want to buy, but if they want to restore their smile, they put all their confidence in the recommendation they received, in the imagination of the technician based on the doctor’s advice and find out the result at the end of treatment which can take months and requires complicated and expensive labor.
The DSD concept fills this gap and focuses on the thorough ” designing” of each stage of treatment and of the final result.
DSD – based rehabilitation start from the idea of the final result. Also, doctors who document their cases may show the patients a portfolio of similar cases resolved. So that the decision to follow a treatment plan is one taken by informed patients who know everything about their investment. Even the medical choices can be made based on this portfolio.
What DSD means for patients? Does it imply painful and complicated maneuvers?
For the patients DSD means many pictures and many discussions about their teeth. When they come for a complex rehabilitation to the clinic, patients are seen by a doctor , a panoramic radiograph and a set of photos are taken and they are asked to explain everything that is wrong about their teeth in their option. The team of doctors and technicians that has to solve this case meet and create a treatment plan. In case of aesthetic rehabilitation the prosthodontist makes one or more computer simulations that anticipate the future smile of patients. After presenting the treatment plan, if the patients accept it, we turn to new tools that help us foreshadow the smile : wax-up and mock-up. It is a simulation made of wax of the result we want to obtain followed by a real simulation in the mouth. A sample of the final smile without having to use the dental drill at all. The complex rehabilitation will start only when patients have consented to it.
What DSD means for the doctor of dental medicine?
For the practitioner, first of all DSD means control. The final dental work is not left to the imagination of the technician, but it is the implementation of the simulation that the patients have approved. DSD means safety. The doctor knows with certainty that the rehabilitation will be exactly as the patients want it , without requiring many changes and touches. Last but not least , DSD means saving time and materials for doctors and patients. Time invested in discussions and simulations is easily recovered by reducing the number of tests and small touches.
For the society in which we live the aesthetic of the smile and the overall neat appearance are paramount. This causes many patients to address the doctor physiognomy because such work cannot be done ” on trial”.
In conclusion, next time you go to a dentist how about trying on your smile?
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