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Talking about esthetics is like traveling within a complex dimension where the danger of loss of contact increases with any type of reality that suggests treatments, concrete objectives, functionality. The goal of this article is to motivate the reader to make esthetic success predictable, apart from decisive variables associated with individual talents.
In etymology, esthetics is defined as the “science of the beautiful” and describes everything that relates to the senses. In our profession, esthetics proceeds from a free search for beauty to the art of “mimetics.” Mimetics is a Greek word and describes the art of exact reproduction of the natural model – in other words the capacity to imitate. Imitating nature means giving a certain adaptability to the art work that you create. And adaptability in turn describes the ability to perceive shapes and colors in the environment.
The natural model then represents the archetype – the unchangeable form, the harmony, the center around which the reality of our treatment is defined, in other words myth (Fig. 1).
Imitating truth means comparing our personal representation with the unchangeable form. The product of our treatments is a synthesis of this model, i.e. of the natural tooth and the different clinical situations. Although myth suggests something fleeting, distant, and unreachable, it can entice us and move us emotionally to search for harmony in what we do, and thereby overcome our inner conflicts and problems (Fig. 2).
This contribution shows the completion of tooth # 14. During further process of waxing up the last basic and structural elements of this tooth, the complimentary contact points are going to be developed and appropriate function mechanism will be noted and evaluated. Indication: IV and V segment, addition of tooth # 14, complementary contacts, occlusal compass.
If we look again at the three main elements from a buccal and palatinal perspective, the illustrations 319 and 320 show the allocation and organization of the cusp length in relation to the curves of Spee and Wilson. By looking closer, it is visible that the mesio- buccal cusp tip is shorter and above the curve of Spee, where as the disto-buccal cusp tip is longer and appears underneath the curve.
A reason for this inverted ratio of the buccal cusp tips in relation to the curve of Spee lies possibly in the arrangement of our permanent dentition.
Segment IV – the mesio-palatinal marginal ridge.
The marginal ridge is not subdivided like the other segments into base- and structural elements. It has to be recognized as an independent site (fig 321 to 323) which lies between the first and second segment of the upper molar and closes the functional mesial grove. We can label this segment as a connection between the first and second molar, as shown in Figures 324 and 325.
This segment is of importance, because of its contact with the apposing dentission. Depending upon the link of indentation the point of contact may move from mesial to distal and will therefore contribute for stability in centric position.
When the ‘Metallurgy and Science of Metal Study Center’ invited me to contribute to their seminar at the University of Genoa I thought they were pulling my leg. However, when I read that the topic of interest was Precious Dental Alloys I understood why they thought of me, and I accepted the invitation. I entitled my talk “From the World of Art to the World of Dental Technicians: Problematic Considerations dealing with Color in Dental Alloys”. I was eager to discuss issues that had popped up time and again from when I was still a practicing dental technician.
Before launching into my topic, I would like to underline the fact that I am not a metallurgist, but merely an individual who has spent thirty years casting alloys and covering them with either dental porcelain or acrylic. This stipulation is of fundamental importance since metallurgy is a science, and only someone who holds a degree and has knowledge of the subject can speak about it.
My own interest in the dental field deals exclusively with aesthetics as a whole and color in particular.
Since my interest was directed towards research dealing with functional-aesthetic applications in the dental field, and information and manipulation of metal oxides, I was invariably led to formulate the following statement about color in alloys: dental porcelain (a translucent material) put on gray metal, and the same porcelain put on yellow metal, produce completely different chromatic results.