Beverly Hills, California (PressExposure) March 07, 2011 -- A West Hollywood dentist is using techniques that were originated by Leonardo da Vinci when the Renaissance master created "Mona Lisa" and her famous smile. But instead of paintings on wood like "Mona Lisa," Dr. Grace Sun uses multiple shades and layers of porcelain powder to create life-like veneers and crowns to repair or replace damaged or missing teeth. Dr. Sun employs her skills as a ceramist to intricately layer feldspathic particles and glaze, just as Leonardo layered paint and glaze for natural looking effects.
Scientists from the Center for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France recently brought their high-tech scanners to the Louvre in Paris, where they examined "Mona Lisa." They found that Leonardo used up to 30 extremely thin layers of paint - each about half the width of a human hair.
From her West Hollywood office, Dr. Sun says, "Leonardo knew that the complexity of human features and skin could only be duplicated by using many layers of paint made from a variety of metal oxides. Lifelike porcelain restorations for teeth must also reproduce the optical quality of the many layers of tooth structure. I use the same techniques as Leonardo to create these layers with a variety of porcelain powders."
Wafer-thin porcelain veneers are custom-designed to fit naturally and perfectly over each individual problem tooth. Crowns replace the tooth front and back. The resulting porcelain is as strong as your own teeth and resists future discoloration and chipping.
Dr. Sun began her artistic journey in childhood, as an award-winning painter in Taipei, Taiwan. After graduating from USC dental school, Dr. Sun's artistic interests expanded into clinical treatment and creating porcelain dental restorations with the objective of producing the most vivid, lifelike smiles possible. She was mentored by the world renowned master ceramicist and photographer Claude Sieber of Basel, Switzerland. Now Dr. Sun is a renowned cosmetic dentist and master ceramist who has been perfecting her dental artistry for the past 30 years.
Dr. Sun was excited to discover the similarities between Leonardo's sfumato technique and the way she approaches porcelain layering. "I choose the various tints, shades, values, chroma and hue of the porcelain powder when creating a porcelain tooth thoughtfully, as the slightest variation can affect the final look of the restoration."
The similarities to Leonardo's approach are striking; in addition to the various shades of porcelain used, the placement and blending of the shades are vital to creating a perfectly natural looking smile. As technology allows us to see deeper into the artwork of timeless masters like Leonardo da Vinci, it is exciting to see masters of our own time create living art - "Mona Lisa" smiles - with similar methods!