The power of an esthetic mock-up for plan presentation

Most of the time there is a marked esthetic advantage for the patient in a dental treatment plan.

A dental mock-up is basically a simulation of the final aspect of the treatment, usually performed for:

  • Discussion with the patient the possibilities
  • Communication with the dental technician
  • Sometimes even to drive our preparations – a technique published by Galip Gurel, a huge influencer in esthetic dentistry of the last decade.

It can be done digitally, as popularized by Christian Coachman – DSD – Digital Smile Design. It can also be done on a model by a dental technician and then transferred to the mouth – this being the INDIRECT mock up.

And, not often talked, it can be done directly in the patient’s mouth by the dentist. In this case, composite is placed on teeth, without any bonding just to very quickly show the patient what can be done. Well, I’ve been doing this for many years now with my associate Rui Negrão, who is showing a case here in this video.

This technique is, in my opinion, much more powerful than showing it on a screen and you don’t have to wait for the technician to wax-up so it then transferred to the patient’s mouth.

You also have the opportunity to emotionally connect with the patient and they get the feeling you can actually do it. You don’t have to be perfect at this point in time… you just need to see the patient’s feedback.

Some cases it’s a minor incisal edge increase in 2 teeth, other cases it is just buccally reposition a retruded lateral incisor. Other cases need 10 teeth to be touched for more volume or to simulate an esthetic crown lengthening procedure. 

Some cases you need to spend 5 minutes doing this… And in these cases even in a control appointment there is time for this.

Other cases you certainly need to book a 30 to 60 slot but trust it really is worth it an certainly pays off.

Some other tips regarding the mock up just in case you are interested:

  • Making a video of the before and after and showing it to the patient is much better than using mirrors as the patient usually gets very picky regarding the initial imperfections when a mirror is presented. A video works much better!

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