Let the celebrities help

Clinical , Current Issue
Editor’s IntroEven Tom Cruise flashes an imperfect smile. Model wide-raging smile esthetics with celebrity photos.

Dr. Donald J. Rinchuse discusses showing famous smiles to illustrate orthodontic variations

The great Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” This author has been in practice for over 40 years and is still waiting for that perfectly finished case. In addition, there are instances in orthodontics when, for a number of reasons, we truly fail in the sense that the results of treatment are far from optimal. The only justification we have for such failure(s) is that we have warned and advised the patient and family that this could happen prior to the start of orthodontic treatment during the informed consent consultation — i.e., “All, or a certain aspect of treatment will not be ideal.”

When various aspects of treatment do not work out, and this has to be explained, it can be helpful to show a picture of a celebrity (celebrities) with the very same dental/facial deviation. I have often shown patients and families who have midlines deviations a close-up picture of Tom Cruise’s smile (and midline deviation). In this regard, one mom would always say with a smile when I was about to look at her son‘s mouth (Figures 1A and 1B), “Your Tom Cruise patient is here.”

Figure 1A: Patient with dentofacial midline deviations

I have a collection of photographs of celebrities with all sorts of dentofacial deviations that I show to the patient/ families to lessen the reality that orthodontic treatment did not, or will not, be ideal. So “let the celebrities help.” Table 1 is a listing of celebrities with various dentofacial “imbalance” categories. It must be pointed out that the celebrities listed are very attractive and gorgeous people, and the reason I am showing them to patients/families is not in any way to disparage them. All human beings are beautiful and made in God‘s image, and lasting beauty is that which is “inside.” We are only pointing out that even the most celebrated in our society have physical flaws just like us “commoners.”

Figure 1B: Same patient illustrating the dental midline devia-tion (observe where the philtrum of the lip is)

It is recommended that the orthodontist and/or staff make a similar categorization of celebrities, or use ours, to keep on hand when the need arises to show patients/families as previously discussed. There may be the need to have several listings, reflecting the celebrities most familiar to the different generations. In addition, orthodontists and staff can have photographs of celebrities such as Gwen Stefani, Carrie Underwood, Tom Cruise, Prince Harry, Serena and Venus Williams, Justin Bieber, Angelina Jolie, Emma Watson, Emma Stone, Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ryan Seacrest, and many more who have had orthodontic treatment. And also recognize those celebrities who supposedly have had clear aligner treatment such as Zac Efron, Katherine Heigl, Eva Longoria, and so forth.

So “let the celebrities” help when you face difficult situations in which orthodontic treatment does not work out as anticipated.

Learn more about the ideal smile!

Perceptions of the ideal smile are key in treatment planning. Check out this survey of orthodontists’ perceptions of smile esthetics by Drs. Alys M. Murdoch, Daniel Rinchuse, and others.