Digital Cosmetic Simulations – Treating Deeply Stained Teeth

I’d like to share one of my favorite cases from 2014. I’d like to introduce you to Catherine.

Catherine came to me wanting to improve her smile. She had always been self conscious about the dark staining of her teeth, caused from tetracycline staining. Tetracycline is an antibiotic that if taken while teeth are still forming (when you’re a child, for example) can permanently and deeply stain teeth. In most cases, the only way to improve the appearance of the teeth is with porcelain veneers or crowns.


Before Treatment

Changing someone’s smile is a very serious task. The last thing I ever want to do is go in blindly and then have the patient hate the final result. in. The first thing I do is take a photo of the patient with a full, natural smile – like the picture shown above. Next, I put the picture up on a TV screen in my operatory and have a discussion with the patient. What do they like about their smile? What don’t they like about their smile? In this case, Catherine liked the shape of her teeth, but did not like the shade. However, she was curious as to what her teeth might look like if they had a different shape. This is where the digital cosmetic simulation comes in.

The digital cosmetic simulation allows us to preview what the patient might look like with different shapes and shades of teeth. Here’s the first simulation we did, which changed the shape AND the shade of the teeth.

Betz_Catherine_SIMULATION1Cosmetic Simulation #1

As you can see, the teeth are longer and much whiter. This would’ve been a nice result. However, the patient liked the character and the shape of her original teeth better. I totally agreed, I liked the shade of the teeth in Simulation #1, but I very much liked the patient’s shorter lateral incisors better on her original teeth. To me, this simulation looked too “fake”.

So, we did another simulation –  this time keeping the patient’s original tooth shape and making the teeth whiter (but not as white as in Simulation #1). Let’s see how that looked…

Betz_Catherine_SIMULATION2Cosmetic Simulation #2

Now we’re talkin’! This looks much more natural. The shape of the teeth is similar to the patient’s original teeth, but with some improvements. Catherine and I both thought the shade should be a little whiter; somewhere in-between simulation #1 and simulation #2. Now that we had an idea of which direction to go, we proceeded to the final smile makeover, consisting of 16 porcelain veneers (8 upper, 8 lower). Let’s see the final result…

Final Result After Porcelain Veneers

The use of Digital Cosmetic Simulations in my practice has greatly improved patient satisfaction with their final esthetic results. Happy patients make me happy too!

Thanks for reading! If you think your life might benefit from having a nicer smile, please give us a call! (207) 664-2474 or email [email protected]

Dr. Palmer

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