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Throughout the first 10 years of my career as a cosmetic dentist, I gained valuable insight into what turns a great smile to a truly stunning smile. During the past 20 years of my career as an orthodontic specialist, keeping in mind those lessons learned as a cosmetic dentist, I believe in a simple truism – straightening teeth is easy. A perfect smile, however, results from creating a balance between tooth alignment, proportions, smile width and the surrounding soft tissue.

Let’s get one thing out of the way – there is no one “perfect” formula for a perfect smile. Each individual comes with their own set of wants, needs, and limitations. By thoroughly analyzing all of the facets we are about to discuss, and having an open dialogue with your orthodontist, you can begin creating the smile you have always wanted. Patients should never settle for less than this from their orthodontist before embarking upon treatment. Complete clarity of the ultimate treatment goals (before treatment) should be the expectation.

Soft tissue drape, lip profile, facial symmetry and amount of gum show when smiling are a few of the starting points when assessing what we want the smile result to be. Debilitating bites resulting in tooth wear must also be factored into our treatment goals. The significance of back teeth showing on smiling, the symmetric curvature of the smile, the symmetry of the teeth, the brightness/whiteness of the smile and positioning of the teeth, all factor into the overall assessment of how we can reach an ultimately balanced smile and healthy bite.

If an orthodontic specialist has assessed these areas, the one additional piece of information to require is a smile gallery of similar patients and situations. The proof is in the pudding, orthodontists should proudly provide a look at what they can accomplish.

It’s your treatment. Ask the right questions early on and the treatment will progress more smoothly than ever imagined – with no unpleasant surprises!


Call or email us today to see this and other differences that we provide our patients at Team Orthodontics. Reach out to our Ahwatukee orthodontist office or our Gilbert orthodontist office and we’ll do our best to help you out with all your orthodontic needs.

Written by Dr. Ken Danyluk, Orthodontist at Team Orthodontics