“If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the smile is the entrance, a passport that opens all closed doors,” Dr. Oussama Alaoui, a prosthodontist specialised in dental cosmetics and smile design, says. The smile expert, who completed his Diploma of Aesthetic of Smile from Strasbourg’s Louis Pasteur University, shares his thoughts on transforming your mouth into a sparkling expression of happiness.
How do you define a woman’s beauty as a dentist?
Assessing beauty is subjective. It differs from one woman to another and is also affected by one’s lifestyle and habits. Throughout time, discovering the essence of beauty has been the quest of philosophers; artists followed them, and now it’s plastic surgeons.
What rules determine the aesthetic balance of the face, in general?
There must be harmony between the different parts of the face and its features, whether when looking at the face directly, or from different angles. Aesthetic problems occur when there is disorder in the symmetry of a face, which also applies to the aesthetics of the smile.
What are the fundamental characteristics of an attractive smile?
It is no longer acceptable today to perform any cosmetic procedure to beautify the smile (and I say smile, not teeth, because the smile includes teeth, gums and lips) without studying the standards and criteria for each part of the face. Computer design programmes help in this area by formulating a treatment plan, and co-ordinating with the patient, the laboratory work and team of doctors from other specialties.
Do you think cosmetic dentists are more like smile designers?
I will give an analogy: whatever confidence you have in interior designers, you will not fully entrust them to work alone in your apartment, giving them free rein without seeing a previous design, or without consulting your opinion. The same applies to the smile. It is like a fingerprint, as it is distinctive in the sense that what suits one woman may not suit another. Designing a smile is based firstly on medical data followed by aesthetics. It begins with x-rays and professional pictures from different angles of the face, but only after medical examinations have been performed to ensure healthy teeth and gums. Putting the teeth in the appropriate place involves the orthodontist’s co-operation.
We carry out accurate calculations of the teeth size and convey this data to a dental lab to prepare waxy trays that are accurate to the millimetre. This allows the patient to experience the end result prior to any treatment. We also use it to make temporary prosthodontics during the treatment period. This prevents any surprises or unwanted results.
You know the secrets now, what are you waiting for?