Tooth shapes can change your smile

By Phil / March 25th, 2013

Teeth naturally come in different shapes and sizes.

There are four basic shapes – they can be oval, triangular, rectangular or square. This is important when we are designing porcelain veneers, crowns, bridges, implants or fixed teeth in a day as the effect of different tooth shape can have a dramatic effect on the smile.

At Cherrybank Dental Spa in Edinburgh and Perth we utilise the latest Digital Smile Design technology to allow our patients to choose the smile that suits them best. In many cases, we have other natural teeth to give us clues as to how the teeth were initially.

However, sometimes the teeth in the smile have worn down, either through wear, erosion (loss of enamel from dietary acid eg fizzy drinks) or due to multiple missing teeth, the smile needs to be designed from scratch. The solution may be porcelain veneers or implants or moving teeth with invisible braces or short term fixed braces (six month smiles). The basic principals of design are the same.

There are some facial landmarks that we use as guidance. Using Digital Smile Design, the face can be oriented with the inter-pupillary line (between the eyes) as the horizontal. We know from the literature that the mid-line of the teeth (centre of the smile or line between your two front teeth) should be at 90 degrees to the horizontal. If it is canted or squint, this distracts the observer’s eye and is not an attractive tooth position.

  • The oval smile has dominant centrals, rounded cusps, delicate lateral incisors and a rounded arch.
  • The triangular smile has an ascendant smile line, the axis of the teeth converge and the cusps are inclined.
  • The rectangular smile has dominant front incisors, flat edges, aggressive cusps and vertical axis.
  • The square smile has a lack of dominance, diverging axis and a more horizontal arrangement.

Different face shapes, lip arrangements and male/female characteristics also have influence. The benefit of digital technology is that we can analyse all of this before the definite solution and final result is agreed.

Without this analysis, your smile is like a house being built without an architect – it will get built – but the end result is anyone’s guess!

We welcome your thoughts, questions or comments on this topic below.

To find out how Digital Smile Design can help improve your smile call us or fill out a contact form.

Last updated May 2nd, 2018