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Sep192013

Cosmetic dentists: the authority on lip and perioral augmentation
If the search for beauty is timeless, then having the perfect smile is always in style. With an increase of injectable fillers on the market and a bevy of doctors claiming to be lip augmentation experts, we are unfortunately still seeing more and more botched procedures. Why is this an important area of concern for cosmetic dentists? The teeth and the overall structure of the mouth can play a major role in determining the shape of the lips, illustrating exactly why a cosmetic dentist is the true expert in performing procedures to enhance the lips and the surrounding area’s appearance. Lip augmentation is a carefully crafted art, and several factors exclusive to dental training are imperative in performing a successful procedure.

The concept of a cosmetic dentist performing lip and perioral augmentation is surprisingly shocking to some people. But if you think about it, a person wouldn’t visit a dermatologist for incessant headaches, so why would anyone visit any physician other than a cosmetic dentist when dealing with the mouth and its surrounding areas? As dentists we study the lower half of the face in great detail for up to six years, whereas a plastic surgeon studies the entire body in that same amount of time. Cosmetic dentists are the authority when approaching procedures pertaining to the oral facial area. They are able to combine the knowledge relevant to the oral cavity when performing lip augmentations, thus creating a complete oral makeover. 

Women often visit doctors looking for a specific set of lips. They say, “I want to look like Angelina Jolie.” However, what doctors and patients don’t always understand is that “Angelina Jolie lips” don’t belong on every face. To address this problem, I created the first template for lip classification, which outlines a total of six different lip styles. Called Dr. Gordon’s Classification System, the template allows cosmetic dentists to customize the lip styles to the individual in sculpting a look that works with the entire oral area. The end result is a look that doesn’t just emulate Angelina Jolie, but actually works with the patient’s face. The resulting six lip styles from my classification system are embedded in the secrets of Dr. Gordon’s Signature Lip Styles.

Cosmetic dentists are the ideal consultants for lip augmentation because they are able to look at the teeth in relation to the lips; this is an important factor that needs to go into every lip or perioral augmentation procedure. Unfortunately this is lacking when visiting physicians in other fields. Through my lip classification system, my aim is to optimize lip and perioral esthetics by utilizing cutting-edge techniques and educating other practitioners in my field. I hope to create a vast body of cosmetic dentists practicing oral and perioral augmentation in a way that will steer people toward the more appropriate choice of the cosmetic dentist over the traditional plastic surgeon. 

When I wrote “Vermillion Dollar Lips,” the world’s first book focused entirely on lip augmentation, it opened the doors for practitioners to view cosmetic dentists in a new light. Other texts cover the anatomy of lips, but none completely categorizes and executes lip styles. The success of my book led me to create an organization that trains cosmetic dentists, as well as other physicians, using my template for the classification of lips. Classes first started with a few doctors and quickly filled to hundreds. Since then, the Vermillion Dollar Lips training course has allowed numerous practices to expand by offering fillers and other noninvasive procedures in addition to their daily dental routines. When I told my students about my history with art and fascination with lips they began calling me “Dr. Lips.” Now my patients and even my children joke at the title, but I love it. 

After the success of both the organization and the book, “Vermillion Dollar Lips,” I was approached by several of my patients who wanted a new book written, this time without all the medical jargon. My upcoming book, “Cupid’s Bow: The 5 Secrets to Sexy, Sultry Lips,” was written to appeal to the everyday woman. It will discuss materials, techniques, and my signature lip styles in an easy-to-follow manner. 

There has been a definitive void in the medical arena pertaining to lip and perioral esthetics. This void can only be filled by a doctor who is exposed to the science and art of the facial area. In addition, with the advent of MICPs — minimally invasive cosmetic procedures such as injectables, Botox, and lasers for facial esthetics — many new procedures have opened up that no longer require patients to go under the knife. Fillers have undergone a vast transformation in recent years, changing from “dermal fillers” to “fillers.” This is because new techniques are placing the fillers deeper below the skin’s surface. The analogy is like a breast implant. The breast implant is generally more esthetically pleasing when placed below the muscle than above. The same concept applies to fillers. Placing the filler closer to the tooth (the dentist’s home territory) will provide a natural contour and reduce the smile lines that deepen with age.

I love the creativity of art and the intellectual stability of science. Dentistry allows me to be hands-on with patients, and cosmetic dentistry facilitates an artistic expression within me. It’s no secret: lips are my passion. Luckily, science is on our side — materials and techniques are only getting better, longer lasting, and more economical for patients. I hope my sound dental education in the facial arena and my classification system for lip and perioral esthetics will enable future generations of women to realize their full esthetic potential.

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