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cosmetic dentistry_ beauty & science

14 I I special _ prosthetic techniques _Natural-looking dentures have always been a great challenge for the dental technician or pros- thetist.Withsomanydifferentbrandsofacrylictooth systems on the market, it can be easy to overlook the basics of tooth shape and its relation to the physiol- ogy of the face. In this article, I consider the morphology of the anterior teeth in particular. Tooth shapes vary enor- mouslybetweenindividualsandtotheuntrainedeye, a system of defining these shapes probably seems remote. However, if you look at the face as a whole, you will very quickly understand how nature consti- tutes the relationship between tooth shape and fa- cialphysiologythroughhumangeneticdevelopment (Figs. 1–3) This article will help you to identify the correspondingcharacteristicsoftoothshapethrough a systematic approach suitable for each case. First of all, it may help to peruse the illustrations in order to understand the system and the connec- tions between the illustrations. Consider general anterior tooth morphology and you will recognise, in addition to the obvious cha- racteristics, further specific individual features, like thedifferencebetweenacentralincisorandacanine. Although the variety of different shapes of the an- terior teeth appears to be immense, this can be quiet deceiving.Ifoneleavesasidethetoothpositionsand the colour of the tooth, the general morphology consists of two factors (Figs. 4–6): 1.the basic shape of the tooth, i.e. definitive width; and 2.the marginal ridges or line angles of the tooth, which defines the optical width. This correlation of optical width and definitive width leads to the different shapes of teeth. This morphological variety can be subdivided into three basic principles. These three fundamental archetype shapes are square (athletic), tapering (leptosome) or ovoid (pyknic). All other tooth shapes are considered to be hybrid shapes. cosmeticdentistry 4_2011 Fig. 1_The triangular tooth shape. Fig. 2_The rectangular tooth shape. Fig. 3_The oval tooth shape. Fig. 4_When looking at the marginal ridges or line angles, the square tooth shape is recognisable. Fig. 5_When looking at the marginal ridges or line angles, the triangular tooth shape is recognisable. Fig. 6_When looking at the marginal ridges or line angles, the oval tooth shape is recognisable. Aesthetic guidelines for natural-looking dentures Author_ Björn Maier, Germany Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3