What is a Trial Smile?

What is a Trial Smile?


Dr. Sweeney-Fonseca explains what a trial smile is and how it can enhance your treatment experience.

Trial smile is actually a procedure that we use very often when we need to change somebody’s smile. This is when we’re doing significant change to the patient’s smile. And what it does, it gives us a map, a blueprint of what the final smile is going to be. One of the problems with cosmetic dentistry is that you may think, as a doctor, “This is the smile that I want,” but the patient may have had a very different smile, or may … In their mind, the beauty is … beautiful smile is something different.

I like to have very happy patients, and so what we do, we will actually order the teeth that I would think would fit the patient’s face the best, and then we would put the plastic piece right over top of their teeth, without ever touching their teeth, to evaluate and decide how we like it. Are they long enough? Are they short enough? Are they round enough? Does the patient love it? How do they fit the patient face? We can see everything before a patient ever has to commit or commits to the treatment plan.

This is generally for any smile makeover, but not tooth whitening, because the teeth, when you whiten them, they’re going to stay the same shape, length, and everything, but any time you need to change the entire smile, I would suggest doing a trial smile so that everybody is happy and we know where we’re headed.

I would love to tell you that lots of offices should be doing this, and it’s one of the things that, when I was lucky enough to teach cosmetic dentistry at New York University for many, many years, was something that would be the first thing we would ask or teach our students, doctors, that they need to know where they’re headed. That patient needs to approve or be happy with their smile before you start, because once you start, and you start using that drill, then you’re committed.

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