Cosmetic imaging is the practice of creating a ‘virtual smile design’ via the computer to show the changes proposed in a dental treatment plan. This can be done by the dental professional in as little as 15 minutes or it can be ordered through Envision A Smile’s imaging service and received in back 3 business days. The benefit to the patient is better understanding of the dental work to be done. Many times the patient doesn’t understand the beauty of quality cosmetic dentistry and thinks that it will look like ‘chicklets”. This may be because the only cosmetic dentistry they know of is poorly done (or it would look so natural they wouldn’t know it is cosmetic dentistry to begin with)! Words alone cannot accurately express the beauty of a red rose and the same is true of beautiful cosmetic dentistry. The patient knows what they would like the dentistry to look like, but words escape them in trying to describe it. The dental professional has a jargon that is foreign to the patient, so it is difficult to not say things like “trust me, it will look natural” or “believe me, it will look beautiful”. Why not design the smile and show the patient? Pictures are worth a thousand words.
Patients, as consumers, are far more discerning with how they spend their money these days and the dental profession is not immune. The healthcare system is going through dramatic changes and ‘transparency’ is the new catch phrase. A simple disclaimer explaining that with cosmetic imaging, the patient can understand the direction of the design, and although exact duplication is not promised, the overall proportions and elements of design are expressed in an easy to understand fashion. The dentist supplies the laboratory with the imaging and from start to finish, everyone is on the same page.