What is aesthetic smile design and why it’s your ticket to a beautiful smile

Picture of a lady smiling showing her teeth

What is aesthetic smile design and why it’s your ticket to a beautiful smile

I regularly hear from patients, “I want straight, white teeth.” But how white, how long, what shape exactly and how far out do they want their teeth to be? There are simply too many factors to achieving a beautiful smile. In traditional veneer placements, patients have no say in their smiles as conventional veneers are actually designed by technicians and not dentists themselves. As a result, patients often end up with unnatural looking Barbie-like smiles, as with many famous celebrities who have undergone smile makeovers.

Surely there must be a better way to help patients create beautiful, natural-looking smiles that are uniquely theirs. And so in 2001, I developed Smiledesign, a procedure to bridge that perception gap by creating custom design smiles for people. With Smiledesign, patients and dentists work together to change the size, position, shape and colour of teeth using a variety of procedures like veneers, crowns and bridges. This procedure doesn’t discriminate as well; everyone can have their own beautiful smile. So far, we’ve treated patients with:

  • Buck teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Dracula teeth
  • Underbites, overbites and open bites
  • Gummy smiles
  • Lower crowding
  • Discoloured teeth
  • Retained baby teeth

The art behind Smiledesign

In theory, Smiledesign sounds like a straightforward procedure where patients pick and design what they want. But in reality, it’s not as simple as that. We come with different facial features, proportions and skin colour. Even factors like our race and gender influence the way our smile will look. For instance, females have slightly more lip elevation than males. If I were to prescribe the same two smiles for both genders, the female will show more tooth display when smiling and at rest. Depending on things like overall symmetry of the patient’s lip mobility, there may be some disharmony in the overall smile of the patient.

In math, we learn of something called the Golden Ratio or Golden Proportion. You can find the Golden Ratio almost anywhere, from architecture to nature i.e. proportion of flower petals to the whole flower. When applied to design, the Golden Ratio creates a balanced, organic and aesthetically pleasing composition. Smiledesign pays particular attention to the rules of the Golden Ratio to create an attractive smile that complements the patient’s face.

How does Smiledesign work?

Through the Smiledesign process, patients check their smile four times.

First, they discuss with the dentist their expectations and what they want to fix. The whole procedure will be explained, right from the pros and limitations to the cost. An initial plan is proposed and if approved, the dentist will take initial impressions and photographs of your teeth to start the design process.

Next, the dentist creates a physical mockup of the smile and presents it to the patient. Any adjustments are made on the spot. I personally create each smile myself as this allows me to work out what is realistically possible.

Once the patient is happy with the design, the dentist creates a mock up smile for the patient to wear at home. This allows the patient to check the size, shape, colour and basically test out how the smile will look and feel on them.

Finally, if there are no more changes, the patient wears their final smile. I usually get my patients to come back for a follow-up review 2-3 weeks later to assess the smile and make any fine-tuning if needed.

How is Smiledesign different from traditional braces and Invisalign?

You can also achieve a beautiful smile with straight teeth with braces and Invisalign, but I personally prefer Smiledesign because the process is a lot faster and does not come with the usual drawbacks of braces. With Smiledesign, you can attain a new smile in as little as 7 days, whereas braces and Invisalign require at least a year.

Furthermore, braces and Invisalign require that you wear on appliances; but with Smiledesign, you don’t have to wear anything at all. Extractions are seldom required either. The best part? If there’s anything you don’t like, you can easily alter them anytime!

Your ticket to a beautiful smile

The goal of Smiledesign is not to create a cookie-cutter smile, but one that is truly yours. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line and let’s chat.


  1. Davis N. C. (2007). Smile design. Dental clinics of North America, 51(2), 299–vii. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cden.2006.12.006
  2. Donitza A. (2008). Creating the perfect smile: prosthetic considerations and procedures for optimal dentofacial esthetics. Journal of the California Dental Association, 36(5), 335–342.n

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