Smile, a person’s ability to express a range of emotions with the structure and movement of the teeth and lips, can often determine how well a person can function in society. Of course, the importance given to a beautiful smile is not new. The search for beauty can be traced to the earliest civilizations; both the Phoenicians (app 800 BC) and Etruscians (app 900 BC) carefully carved animal tusks to simulate the shape, form and hue of natural teeth. It was not until the 18th century that dentistry was recognized as a separate discipline and its various branches were established. Pierre Fauchard (1678–1761) of France, the leader of the movement, together with several colleagues modernized and promoted dentistry and also advocated esthetic practices.[1]

The goal of an esthetic makeover is to develop a peaceful and stable masticatory system, where the teeth, tissues, muscles, skeletal structures and joints all function in harmony (Peter Dawson). It is very important that when planning treatment for esthetics cases, smile design cannot be isolated from a comprehensive approach to patient care. Achieving a successful, healthy and functional result requires an understanding of the interrelationship among all the supporting oral structures, including the muscles, bones, joints, gingival tissues and occlusion.[2]

Dr. Edward McLaren a well-known name in the field of Esthetic Dentistry and his colleagues published two articles about smile analysis and explained step by step how to use Adobe Photoshop to perform smile design. The first article (Edward McLaren and Lee Culp) introduces elements of smile design and reviews some timeless concepts. It discusses new, step-by step techniques for incorporating digital technology into the smile design process that can be accomplished in approximately three to four minutes. The second article (Lee Culp, Edward McLaren and Lida Swann) addresses tooth anatomy, morphology, and the various laboratory applications for digital design.

The two articles are shared here at courtesy of the “Authors”


  1. Aschheim KW, Dale BG. Missouri: Mosby Publications. 2nd ed. Missouri: Mosby Publications; 2001. Esthetic Dentistry – A clinical approach to techniques and materials.
  2. Dawson PE. Determining the determinants of occlusion. Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent. 1983;3:8–21.


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Mahmoud H. Al-Johani

Author Mahmoud H. Al-Johani

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