Cosmetic Dentistry – The quest for aesthetic perfection

By Dr Anthony Hua

The quest for aesthetic perfection has been around for centuries, but the question of exactly “what is beauty?”, is a question that has evolved since the beginning of time.

Ancient Egyptians and Greeks discovered, some 2,500 years ago, that when a line is divided into two parts in a ratio of 1:1.618 it creates an appealing proportion. This ratio known as the Golden Ratio, Phi or the Divine Proportion became central to the concept of beauty. This meant that the closer someone’s face and smile was to this ratio, the closer they were to perfecting pure beauty. The Egyptians were so obsessed with this that they applied it to building the triangle pyramids, and the Greeks used similar theories for building the Parthenon. Da Vinci also painted the Mona Lisa to fit within these parameters.


Today, beauty is more what social media, fashion, and pop culture tells us it is. While proportions are still as important as ever, beauty has become a lot more unconventional. Models pose showing gaps within front teeth, and skin colour variations and freckles are now something to be celebrated not covered worldwide.

In a BBC series called “The Human Face”, scientists proved in a series of experiments that the more symmetrical faces are the more they are perceived as beautiful. The most beautiful bodies were those of athletes because of how balanced they are in their form. While within poetry, art and music, the quest for beauty has been said to be more “in the eye of the beholder”.

When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, more people seek aesthetic alignment and balanced proportions in their smiles. Over the past two decades, the rise to embrace a youthful appearance and with technology advancements in the industry, the concept of “feel good dentistry” or “self-esteem dentistry” has put cosmetic dentistry on the fast track.

How will dentists determine your best smile proportions?

While some dentists may still use the “golden ratio” formula, most dentists will assess a patient based on their current facial and teeth proportions, function, phonetics, and balance of the smile in relation to the whole face.  Here is what a dentist will look for:


  • Lip lines – A person’s lip line may sit high, medium, or low, which can expose too much of the gum tissue or not enough of the teeth in a smile. Ideally, the lip line should show a 1-2 mm height of gum.

  • Midline – To ensure balance is achieved, a dentist will identify the ‘midline’ or the point where the two central incisor teeth contact each other and sit precisely in the middle of the face.

  • Different lengths – When the central teeth are shorter than the lateral teeth, this is also seen as unfavourable and can be cosmetically corrected.

  • Bite and sounds – A patient’s bite needs to be considered and determining ideal positions for individual teeth can affect the bite. The incisal edge position is responsible for making the “f”, “v”, “s”, and “t” sounds, as well as how teeth support the upper lip, so this can be critical for aligning teeth.

  • Colour – Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments and can give an instant youthful edge to someone’s appearance. A dentist can customise the correct amount of whiteness so the patient can achieve a natural, clean, and youthful appearance.

  • Straightening – Crooked teeth, misaligned, or crowded teeth are common and often require braces, Invisalign or teeth alignment measures to have them sitting high and straight for the perfect smile. If the teeth erupt and grow in a way that they become overlapped, twisted, angled, or rotated, they become out of proportion, impacting your smile and can cause dental health problems.

Types of cosmetic dental procedures:

  • Smile Makeover

  • Porcelain Veneers

  • Crowns and Bridges

  • Dental Implants

  • Invisalign

  • Teeth Whitening

  • Gummy Smile Treatment

A smile makeover combines the artistry of aesthetics and the functionality of science. Whether you need restoration of your teeth, improvement in your bite, straightening or a whiter, brighter smile, there is a treatment plan that can be tailored for everyone and every smile.

While the debate on “what is beauty’ will inherently go on forever, what we do know is that a smile makeover will not only improve your appearance and function, but it can also give a boost in confidence, self-esteem, and a better quality of life – and that is a beautiful thing!

If you would like to discuss your smile concerns, goals, and treatment options available, simply contact our team at Burleigh Dental Studio today on (07) 5576 6208.

dr anthony huaArticle by Dr Anthony Hua – Principal Dentist

Dr Anthony Hua is the Founder & Principal Dentist at Burleigh Dental Studio. His passion, expertise and dedication to the field of dentistry have been recognised by his achievement of Fellowship status with the Australian Society of Implant Dentistry (ASID) and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI).

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