Facially driven functional digital design

This patient presented with the main complaint that they were concerned with the aesthetics of upper and lower teeth.
On examination it was determined that both upper and lower teeth had tooth loss due to attrition the patient had a history of unsuccessful attempts of bleaching.
There was mild crowding in the 23 area and an existing deep bite.

Concerns of placing upper veneers was creating envelope of function problems.
As always the intention was to be conservative in the treatment and preserve tooth structure.
The choices were to intrude the upper and lower teeth then place ceramic restorations, or open vertical dimension of occlusion and restore anterior teeth this would maintain ideal occlusal relationships.
The concern was opening VDO as this would involve restoration of posterior teeth. As Frank Spear stated, if posterior teeth are unworn and in occlusion then the case must be treated at the existing vertical occlusion and orthodontics would be required. Although there was little wear on the posterior teeth there were sufficient large failing restorations that allowed for partial coverage restorations to open VDO.
The starting point for a case like this is to decide where in the face is the ideal place to put the teeth (facially driven) and then to decide on the functional aspects (VDO, occlusal scheme, speech).
DSD is the perfect starting point. From a 2D design we move to 3D and then to the functional mock up which will eventually drive the treatment.
The concern was to commit the patient to the scale of treatment, but weighing up the clinical situation and the patient’s expectations, it was decided against orthodontics. The treatment would involve minimally invasive protocols, opening VDO creating a facially driven result that would satisfy all functional requirements.

worn dentition

This is a generalised wear case, using the Magne and Belser classification we find indication for treatment
with veneers due to:
1. Type 1b – teeth resistant to bleaching
2. Type 2c – augmentation of incised length
3 Type 3b – extensive loss of enamel due to wear

lateral view of occlusion

Lateral view allows us to visualise the affect lengthening incisors will have on the occlusion, clearly it will increase the over-jet and therefore restrict the envelope of function so a decision must be made to either intrude incisors or open the Vertical Dimension of Occlusion (VDO).

upper occlusal picture

An assessment is made on any wear on the occlusal or the extent and condition of existing restorations. Here it is clear that although there is little wear, there are numerous failing restorations some of which are fairly extensive, this might be an influence in deciding to open the VDO rather than orthodontic intrusion.

lower occlusal picture

This might be an influence in deciding to open the VDO rather than orthodontic intrusion.

facial smile analysis

Facially driven treatment planning should start with facial photos, these a 2 of the most important in the Digital Smile Design protocol, frontal smile and 12 o clock these allow us to make decisions on the correct incised edge position. This is an ideal starting point of any such rehabilitation.

dsdapp digital smile design

Using the DSDapp we can start the 2D design, this will allow the laboratory to develop the full functional 3D design based on aesthetics and the new occlusal scheme at an increased VDO.

digital smile design project

2D simulation from DSDapp showing ideal dento-labial-facial integration.

full mouth mock up

Full functional mock up.
Here we have the ability to assess all the aesthetic and functional changes necessary to complete the case and highlight the required tooth preparation required. At this stage to case is completely additive allowing an entirely minimally invasive approach and hence an opportunity to preserve the existing enamel.

full mock-up

Full functional mock up.

mock up anterior guidance

Full functional mock up. Anterior guidance.

mock up canine guidance

Full functional mock up. Canine guidance.

through the mock up preparation

Guided tooth preparation:
– 0.3 mm on cervical
– 0.5 mm middle and incisal
– 1 mm incisal reduction

minimally invasive preparation in enamel

Guided soft tissue reduction, diode laser respecting biologic width.
As you can see the case is almost completely additive, but this does not mean it’s prepless. Although aiming to minimal invasiveness preparing the teeth allows to:
1. Hide transition
2. Control emergence profile
3. Manage path of insertion
4. Manage occlusal requirements
5. Control thickness and colour of restorations

silicone index for thickness check

Gingival and incisal silicone indices to evaluate buccal reduction and intended embrasures.

basic shade matching and retraction cord

Stump shade, the thickness of ceramic and the desired shade will determine the required choice of translucency of e.max (Ivoclar Vivadent) required double cord technique used for impression. In this case I used two #000 cords (Ultradent), the first cord without astringent, and the second one with 15.5% ferric sulphate.

supragingival minimal preparation

Tooth preparation limited to enamel.

rubber dam and teflon isolation

Isolation, split dam with retraction cord, no astringent. One can appreciate the supragingival margins for control on moisture and cementation. Cementation sequence 2 at a time starting with the centrals

upper arch rehabilitation

This is a common problem with treating just the upper arch and lengthening teeth. It frequently increases the overbite hence creating envelope of function issues, this will result in fractured restorations, myalgia, tooth mobility or tooth movement. In this case the plan is to open the VDO which will correct these problems.

increased VDO

Upper arch completed at existing VDO lower transitional restorations placed at increased VDO purely additive. Monolithic e.max restorations bonded with Variolink aesthetic LC.

lower provisional VDO increase

Lower transitional restorations.

preparation through the mock up

Guided tooth preparation 1-1.5mm occlusal reduction as per manufacturer recommendation (e.max ivoclar

stump shade and cord retraction

Just as for the upper arch. Stump shade, the thickness of ceramic and the desired shade will determine the required choice of translucency of e.max (Ivoclar Vivadent) required double cord technique used for impression. In this case I used two #000 cords (Ultradent), the first cord without astringent, and the second one with 15.5% ferric sulphate.

minimally invasive preparation

Tooth preparation limited to enamel unless existing restorations present.

recording of centric relation

CR occlusal relationship recored with leaf gauge and pattern resin.

pattern jig bite registration

Bite registration completed in CR using Pattern resin (GC).

spot etch for provisional restoration

Spot etch and then shrink wrap bis-acryl temporisation.

provisionals in lower arch

Lower temporaries.

precision impression

Lower working impression, heavy and light body one stage technique with Aquasil (Dentsply).

facebow registration

Facebow and facial plane relator.

lower veneers try in

Try in of restorations to confirm fit, choice of value of cement and occlusion before placement of rubber dam.

enamel preparation lower incisors

Isolation, split dam with retraction cord. One can appreciate the supragingival margins for control on moisture and cementation. Cementation sequence for the lowers is to place all 4 incisors together.

anterior guidance check

Case completed at now correct VDO with favourable envelope of function.
It was discussed with patient that there would be discrepancy in length on upper lateral and canines and the neck of 23 would be warmer due to lack of thickness of ceramic. It was important to keep the preparation in enamel and not have it over contoured.
Monolithic e.max restorations bonded with Variolink aesthetic LC.

canine guidance check

Monolithic e.max restorations bonded with Variolink aesthetic LC.

final picture after full mouth rehabilitation

Facially driven functional full mouth rehabilitation using minimally invasive protocols.

before and after full mouth smile makeover

Facially driven functional full mouth rehabilitation, notice the detail copied from the 2D Design on the DSD app.

one year after full mouth rehabilitation

1 year post op.


The case was successful due to meticulous planning focusing on facial aesthetics, function and minimally invasive protocols. Of course other treatment options were available but the patients complaints and expectations were considered as a result a positive result was achieved.


1. Coachman C. Complete digital workflow for facially driven restorative dentistry. Clin Oral Impl Res. 2017;28(Suppl. 14).
2. Ferraris F. Posterior Indirect Adhesive Restorations (PIAR): Preparation designs and adhesthetics clinical protocol. Int J Esthet Dent 2017;12:482–502.
3. Fradeani M, Rademagni M. Porcelain laminate veneers: 6- to 12-year clinical evaluation–a retrospective study. Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent. 2005;25(1):9-17.
4. Spear F. Approaches to vertical dimension of occlusion. J Adv Aesth Multidisc Dent 2006;2(3).
5. Gurel G, Coachman C, Calamita M. Influence of Enamel Preservation on Failure Rates of Porcelain Laminate Veneers. Int J Per Rest Dent. 2013;33.


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