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Understanding the Different Types of Smile Stages

Your journey to the perfect smile should be begin by getting as much information as possible about different aesthetic and cosmetic dentistry procedures. When dentists want to create the desired smile of a patient, they have to review their case first. Each smile problem is classified into 4 different stages. We’ll take a look at these 5 types of smiles/stages to help you better understand the patterns that your smile makeover is likely to follow.


Why categorize smiles?

There are certainly an infinite number of smiles. These 4 broad categories are designed to help dentists better explain to patients the procedures that can be used to give them their desired smile makeover. These types of smiles are defined based on what is showing on both the upper and lower jaw.


Type 1: Maxillary (upper jaw) Only

A patient may have a smile where the maxillary/upper jaw teeth are showing prominently. This means that when the person smiles, the only set of teeth that can be seen are the ones on the upper jaw.


Type 2: Maxillary and Over 3 mm Gingival

There are people who smile and the upper teeth shows as well as more than 3mm of gingival tissue. This is what is commonly referred to as a “gummy smile”. There are dental procedures that can be done to perfect this smile.


Type 3: Mandibular (lower jaw) Only

If you smile and only the teeth on the lower jaw shows, then you have a type 3 smile. This smile may not appear genuine and a dentist may recommend a number of procedures to correct.


Type 4: Maxillary and Mandibular

In this case, the person shows both the upper and lower jaw teeth when smiling.


Type 5: Neither Maxillary nor Mandibular

When smiling with the mouth closed, none of the teeth, either on upper or lower jaws will show.


In most cases, a smile is categorized under a single type. However, there are some cases whereby the smile is a combination of different types. For instance, you may have a smile that prominently shows both the maxillary and mandibular teeth and still display more than 3mm of gingiva. This means that your smile is categorized as type 2/4.


Stages of smile

A smile cycle consists of 4 different stages. These are:


  • First stage: Lips are closed
  • Second stage: Resting display
  • Third stage: Natural smile
  • Fourth stage: Expanded smile


While smiles vary from person to person, everyone has a natural smile and an extended smile. The treatment plan to aesthetically improve one’s smile will be designed based on how the natural and extended smiles appear. This means that the smile makeover can focus on only the first six anterior teeth (for a natural smile) or more (for the extended smile). It all depends on what the patient wants to achieve. Ideally, dental treatments are not only done to improve the appearance of a smile but also for better form and function.

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J Cave
J Cave
12:59 09 Jul 18
We moved to Barrie in 1997 and my family has been coming to Dr. Chapnick since then! We love the whole team and have never had a bad visit! I encourage everyone to come here .
Nikki Stephens
Nikki Stephens
21:37 06 Jun 18
I had such a relaxing experience for a tooth extraction. Super friendly staff. Now today is my son's first consult and he is having a great time in the play area. Highly recommended!
Kayla Lopez
Kayla Lopez
12:37 08 Jun 18
What a fantastic office, the staff are incredibly thoughtful and friendly ❤ And a big thank you to Monique, who was so patient and gentle with my kids, they're actually excited to go to the dentist if they know that shes going to be there. Highly recommend!
Cassandra Mckechnie
Cassandra Mckechnie
15:28 31 May 18
The staff here are always so friendly! I hadn’t been to a dentist in years before coming here. It’s a very stress free environment where you can relax while there.
Nadia Chalmers
Nadia Chalmers
19:04 30 Jan 18
Our daughter was 5 weeks old when she had a frenectomy done at Molson Park Dental and we couldn’t be happier with the experience and end results. The entire team was so friendly and did such a wonderful job keeping me at ease during the procedure. Also, our daughter started nursing 100 times better immediately after the procedure was done. We can’t thank you enough for allowing us to continue our breastfeeding journey pain free and allowing our daughter the ability to nurse efficiently :)
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