Progressive smile design

09 October, 2012 / Infocus

Over the last 20 years or so, many dentists have succumbed to pressure from patients driven by media culture, celebrity and the internet and to a certain extent from self-proclaimed dental gurus and ’prepared’ their patients valuable enamel to cover or replace it with porcelain. This enamel was designed by nature to protect the teeth and to last one full lifetime if cared for properly and left untouched by a dental high speed.

Classically perfect smile design using porcelain following golden proportion, gingival zeniths etc had become the costly norm. We now have the opportunity to embrace naturally perfect smile design using simple orthodontic pre alignment and non invasive dentistry to allow for a progressive transformation controlled by patient choice and autonomy. Dental patients’ perception of the aesthetic beauty of their smiles is changing and more patients are now choosing this alternative path.

Even in cases where there is significant wear, colour/form issues or large restorations present on misaligned anterior teeth, and porcelain restorations are the treatment of choice, such veneers can be provided with greatly reduced preparation on pre aligned teeth to achieve a much better longer term outcome for both patient and dentist.

One of my preferred systems is the Inman Aligner. This innovative NiTi removable appliance is easy to use, quick, discreet and cost effective for both patients and dentists in the current financial climate. It is a great tool to have in your toolbox of treatment options for anterior aesthetic and cosmetic dentistry. Allied to non invasive procedures such as whitening and resin edge bonding it allows the patient to control the progress of treatment as they see their smile developing.

Key points:

  • Treat moderate anterior crowding in only 6-16 weeks


  • One removable appliance easily inserted



  • For use as a standalone treatment or to reduce heavy preps



  • Considerate IPR and low forces – safe and ethical.


Like much in dentistry, Inman Aligner case selection is paramount. Accredited users have access to the tools, support and knowledge base to assess case suitability and consider other options if appropriate. The hands on course teaches you how to use the Inman Aligner in general practice and introduces progressive smile design concepts.

Dentists can reduce the onus and risk involved in elective cosmetic procedures by avoiding irreversible prescriptive dentistry which the patient might not fully understand. We can provide truly conservative non invasive reversible dentistry in a more progressive manner.

About the author

Iain MacArthur BDS LLB is an accredited Inman Aligner instructor with an interest in minimally invasive dentistry. Contact Straight Talk Seminars on 0845 366 5477 or visit to find out more. The 4th Scottish Hands On Inman Aligner Course is on 25 January 2013, in Glasgow.


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