Int J Esthet Dent 1 (2006), No. 4 16. Jan. 2007
Esthetic dentistry is characterized primarily by the smile. The goal in the creation of esthetic dental restorations is to simulate, or improve upon, the appearance of the natural dentition. However, it is important to note that the smile is just one element of the face, which serves as the primary means of emotional expression. Therefore, successful esthetic restorations must integrate harmoniously with the whole of the face, not just with the surrounding teeth. This requires a full understanding of each patient's unique personality-the psychology of dental esthetics. This article will discuss esthetic psychology and the process by which our creative thought and understanding of a patient takes concrete, physical form in the creation of dental restorations. The integration of dental restorations with the face using both shape and color will be addressed; specifically, the intricate movement of the facial muscles will be explored, as will the ways in which color is perceived in the brain, both of which are key considerations for proper esthetic restorations.