The power of the preview in smile makeover of eroded dentitions

30 Jul 2018 - 13268

Facing aesthetic requests becomes a bigger challenge than it already is when it comes to eroded dentitions due to the crucial need of restoring function at the same time. The team, dentist and ceramist, often have to meet demanding patients who have big aesthetic issues and heavily modified smile lines. This is why it is so important to agree on a predictable preview of the makeover for the patient and the dental team, and the simplest analog tool is the full mock-up.

The esthetic and functional preview called full mock up is mandatory for such cases, because there is no way you can change the esthetics without integrating a new function.

This article will highlight the importance of the previewing to guide the dentist through  the clinical steps.

Fig. 1

This young male patient, 27 years old, is looking for a smile makeover. His smile line is strongly affected by a wear process (mainly erosion and abrasion). 

Fig. 2

The cervical line is also asymmetric due to the disposition of his teeth. The more palatal is the position of a central incisor, the lower is the cervical margin.

Fig. 3

The first issue discussed was orthodontic treatment, which the patient refused. At this step of treatment planning, it is important to leave an open door for an interdisciplinary approach, including orthodontics as it is difficult to anticipate the final outcome with this option. This is why it was decided to proceed to a full mock-up from this initial situation and see if proportions and esthetic compromises were acceptable without undergoing orthodontic treatment. That’s the beauty of the mock up which is stressless on both sides.

Fig. 4

The visible erosion process is attributed to soft drinks that were a habit to the patient.

Fig. 5

In the lower jaw, wear process on the occlusal surface has eliminated almost all the enamel causing dentin exposure.


Fig. 6

Once we tried the mock up (Luxatemp star DMG) both the dentist and patient were satisfied with the result, especially with the thickness of teeth 21 and 22.

The correlation between the new smile line and this wear process will offer freedom for creating a new smile line thanks to the increase in vertical dimension.

Treatment planning was the following:

Increasing vertical dimension from:

– Buccal and palatal veneers from 13 to 23 for the upper arch

– Occlusal veneers from 34 to 37 and 44 to 47 

– Crown on 42 

Redesigning of the pink line with gingivectomy for 21 and 22 which are tilted towards the palate

Fig. 7

Once the full mock up was validated, we used it as a preparation guide in the anterior area to control the depth of the cut following Gurel’s technique.

Fig. 8

For the lower arch we prepared as well through the mock up. For the occlusal veneers a minimum thickness of 0,5 mm was ensured while keeping the marginal ridge, following my own technique.

Fig. 9

Preparations were minimal and were made to follow the new gingival line, corrected to maintain the gum in the ideal position with temporaries and final restorations.

Fig. 10

Temporaries were fabricated with the same material used for the mock up (Luxatemp star DMG) and with the same silicone index. A spot of adhesive is applied on the buccal surface of the preparation and is light cured. Then just a little excess material is removed with burs to create a clean margin. You can note that teeth 11 and 21 don’t have the same color because of different thickness of the temporaries.

Fig. 11

Luxatemp resin is a chemical cure material syringeable available in two versions: Fluorescence and Star.

The trick is to leave the setting time beyond 4 min when temporaries are made in order to have a super nice texture avoiding a sticky effect.

Fig. 12

Palatal veneers, made with composite block (Luxacam block DMG), and buccal veneers, made with Emax LT B1, are simultaneously bonded using Optrasculpt PAD (Ivoclar Vivadent).

Fig. 13

Restorations are bonded one by one. You can see the important difference between the initial situation and the final outcome in terms of volume both on the palatal and occlusal sides.

Fig. 14

Occlusal veneers are bonded following the same protocol.

Fig. 15

View of the final restoration for the lower arch. 

Fig. 16

Note the good esthetic integration of the palatal veneers (Luxacam block LT stained).

Thanks to the increase in vertical dimension, the lost enamel is replaced without touching the palatal structure following a no prep approach.

Fig. 17

Integration of the buccal veneers and the new bite. The global appearance is well integrated even if symmetry is not ideal. This is a good example to define beauty: you can’t define it but you can recognize it.

Fig. 18

Natural smile with a very good integration of the buccal veneers.

Thank you CDT Gerald Ubassy (ceramist) for this masterpiece.



In such a case, in which many clinical parameters have to be redefined, the use of a predictable tool like the full mock up is really the GPS able to drive you through the treatment and offer confidence from the first appointment to the final result. 

Calibration of the preparation is the key to be minimally invasive and guarantee the required thickness for the occlusal and buccal veneer.

Dentistry has to be simple, guided and, of course, esthetic!


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