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Visagism: The Art of Dental Composition

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Christian Coachman, Marcelo Calamita

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The constant evolution of dental materials and techniques has made it possible to effectively restore tooth form and function using a minimally invasive approach. However, the final esthetic results may fail to meet the patient’s expectations due to disharmony between the smile design and the patient’s personality. The patient may feel that the restored teeth do not really “belong” to him or her. Without the proper knowledge, the origin of this disharmony can be difficult to identify. For decades, dental clinicians have sought to harmonize the shapes of the teeth with the entire face based on parameters such as gender, personality, and age; however, truly successful results have been elusive. The aim of this article is to present a novel concept: Visagism. The Visagism concept helps dental clinicians provide restorations that account not only for esthetics, but also for the psychosocial features of the created image, which affect patients’ emotions, sense of identity, behavior, and self-esteem. These factors, in turn, affect how observers react to patients following treatment.