Dr. Steven Balloch and his team work closely with patients in crafting smile design plans that deliver a dazzling smile. The doctor will provide a three-dimensional preview of what you can expect to look like after treatment, so you can feel comfortable and confident. With his precise planning and decades of expertise, you can expect to achieve the smile of your dreams.
Smile design is a very subjective thing. What I think to be a beautiful smile may not be what my patients want for their beautiful smile. So after a thorough examination process and we do our photographs and our study models and our bite analysis, we spend a lot of time about how our patients want to look. Most of the time, we can do that for them.
Every once in a while you'll have someone who has a real narrow face and they want big, fat teeth. We try to let them know that they may not be the best looking result for them. Some people want a Hollywood look. They want to have teeth that are all the same color, from the chewing edge to the gum line, from the mid-line to the side. I don't want patients to have people coming up to them asking them, "Who did your crowns?" or "Who did your veneers?" I want patients to have people come up to them and say, "Oh, you've whitened your teeth, haven't you," because they can't tell one of our veneers or one of our crowns from a natural tooth. That's my ideal.
The process means a lot of communication to start with. It means a lot of planning. Once we agree on how we think the teeth should look, we send plaster models and photographs and all the results of our discussions about smile design to my laboratory. I've got some very gifted . . . I'm very fortunate to have such talented laboratory technicians to work with. So they go ahead and they create the smile that we want on their plaster models and wax. It becomes what we call a "wax mock-up," which becomes a three-dimensional blueprint. It guides us through the entire process. The day that that patient comes in and we reshape the teeth, and we make our impressions, and we place those custom temporaries, temporaries that are made from the three-dimensional mock-up, it's at that point I love to see their faces when they realize, "Wow! These are only temporaries."
So the excitement starts to build with that process. With those temporaries, we work out the function. If they go home and a husband or a spouse or a loved one says, "You know, this tooth might be a little bit too long," or "Maybe this is a little bit too flat," we can work all those things out with the temporaries, so there's a pause where we get to realign what we think we like. And then, once we get the temporaries where we want them, we make a mold and photographs of the temporaries. We send that off to the laboratory, and then my technician does his magic with his artistic ability to make those temporaries become permanents.
And then we have a couple of visits. We try in the work. I'm pretty fussy. I don't tell people we're going to cement right away. If there's anything wrong at all, I'm going to bring it up to the patient, and if we have to, we send it back to the laboratory. And typically, the third visit, so we have the first visit for shaping and impressions, the second visit for try-in, and by the third visit, we're ready to deliver the case and cement them permanently. It's a very predictable process, and we always get great results.
The benefit of designing the smile beforehand is that the patient has some input. There's a long dialogue between the patient and I as to how we want these teeth to look. Anyone who's doing cosmetic dentistry that doesn't have that dialogue is probably not going to deliver the best result for their patients. You have to sit down with a patient and find out what they think is their ideal smile, and then go ahead and deliver it. That requires planning. It can't be done in one visit, at least not in our office.