A Comprehensive Guide to Smile Makeovers

A Comprehensive Guide to Smile Makeovers

A cosmetic dental smile makeover is a process that will transform your teeth to give you the beautiful, confident smile of your dreams. Of course, everyone has different needs and goals for their teeth. That’s why there are several factors that come into play when designing a new smile. In this blog post, we’ll discuss all of these factors in detail so you can get an idea of what it takes to complete a successful cosmetic dental procedure!


Smile Design

First and foremost, it is important to understand how the principles of smile design affect the overall look of your smile.  Smile design principles are broken up into four different parts:

Facial Aesthetics

Most people think that the only thing that determines how our teeth look is their color or whether they’re straight or crooked. However, there’s actually much more to it than this! When designing your new smile, your cosmetic dentist will take into account the shape and proportions of your face, as well as how your facial muscles change when smiling or speaking.

Gingival Aesthetics

Your gums are just as important as your teeth when it comes to smile aesthetics. In order to create a beautiful, natural-looking smile, it is necessary to pay attention to the gum line and how it interacts with your teeth. This includes things like the height of the gums, their color and texture, and whether they’re even or uneven.


Small details can make a big difference when it comes to smile aesthetics. That’s why your cosmetic dentist will also pay close attention to things like how your teeth reflect light and whether they have any unique marks or colorations. This is known as microaesthetics and it is used to give your smile makeover a natural appearance. 

Macro Aesthetics

Finally, your cosmetic dentist will pay attention to the big picture when designing your new smile. This includes things like tooth length and width, color contrast between teeth, size proportions of individual teeth in relation to each other, or even how your upper teeth line up with your lips.


Smile Anatomy

Now that we’ve talked about the principles of smile design, let’s get into some actual anatomy! There are several teeth-related factors to consider when completing a cosmetic dental procedure:


The lips play an important role in determining the appearance of your smile. For example thin lips can make it look like you have too much gum tissue and/or big teeth. That’s why it is important for your cosmetic dentist to consider lip thickness when designing a new smile!

dental midline


Another factor that determines how our teeth look is the midline of the mouth. This is the imaginary line that runs down the center of our face, from the top of our foreheads to the bottom of our chin. When it comes to smile design, we want our teeth to be evenly spaced on either side of this line. If they’re not, it can make our smile look unbalanced or crooked.

Smile Line

The smile line is the imaginary line that runs from one corner of our mouth to the other across the top of the lower lip. It’s important to make sure this line is even when designing a new smile, as an uneven smile line can be very noticeable and distracting.  It should also be parallel with the edges of the upper teeth and the gum tissue on the lower jaw.


Of course, the most obvious factor in determining how your teeth look is their color, shape, and size. Your cosmetic dentist will want to review your teeth in detail so they can determine if you need any tooth whitening or dental veneers. In some cases, restorative treatments may also be needed to restore the health and function of your teeth.


As we’ve already mentioned a few times now, the appearance of our gums plays an important role when it comes to smile design. In order for your smile to have a natural, even appearance, it’s important to consider things like the color and texture of your gums. You also want to make sure that they’re healthy! If not, this can cause other problems in your mouth such as irritated or receded gum lines.

buccal corridor

Emergence Profile

The emergence profile is the appearance of your teeth when looking at them from the side. The emergence profile can potentially make a smile look full or sunken, so it is important to get this part right for aesthetic results.

Incisal Edge Position

The incisal edge position refers to how far your upper front teeth extend into the mouth from the gums. The other teeth are all placed using the incisal edge position as a reference point. This is important because it directly affects the appearance of your smile line.

Buccal Corridor

The buccal corridor refers to how much space there is between each tooth on either side of our face when we are smiling or talking. It’s important for this amount of space to be consistent so that our smile looks symmetrical.

If you’re considering a cosmetic dental procedure, it’s important to take into account all of the factors that go into designing your new smile. The better job your dentist does taking these factors into consideration, the more natural and beautiful your smile will be!  If you want help with determining what kind of teeth whitening or restorative treatments may be best for you, give our team at Bethesda Dental a call today.


Dr. Deborah TabbPatients at Bethesda Family Dentistry benefit from the knowledge and experience that only comes from a diverse team. From general dentistry to endodontic, periodontics, and cosmetic dental services, this Bethesda, MD clinic is ready to be the only source you need for all your oral health needs.