Dental Artistry

Sparkling white teeth and pink gums are much more than just an indication of good dental health, they’re a key component of a positive self-image, an goal that Dr. Maria Yazji and her team at Contemporary Orthodontics are ready to help you achieve.
Text by Sandy Lindsey Photos by Antonio Eli | June 24, 2018 | People

Orthodontics is about more than just what is inside the mouth for Dr. Maria Yazji of Contemporary Orthodontics. Yes, the most attractive smiles feature straight, white, well-contoured teeth, but then she goes one step further as she takes into account the framework around the mouth. This “picture frame” is critical in order to best showcase beautiful teeth. “The teeth provide the support structure for important parts of the face when it comes to aging. These include the soft tissue of the lower face such as the lips, cheeks and marionette lines,” explains Dr. Yazji. “By repositioning the teeth and jaws in a certain manner, the skin can appear tighter and lips can appear fuller. This means the face will look younger for longer.”
Neglected teeth can cause the face to look older prematurely. Some common problems include missing teeth, teeth that are angled backwards, an incorrect bite, a deep bite and/or crowded teeth. What makes these problems even more dangerous is that they can lead to denture collapse. Years ago, extracting teeth to correct crowding was more common. These days, even though it’s not always possible or desirable, most dentists try to avoid it.
“If you can treat a patient at a young enough age and are able to reduce the number of extractions, you set up the teeth for the best long-term lip and facial support. The main goal here is to minimize the loss of lip support and reduce the formation of fine lines around the mouth (caused by the problems previously mentioned),” she says. “As people age, the tendency is for the lips to thin, the profile to flatten and laugh lines to become more pronounced. We do our best to help mitigate that. Additionally, by adjusting the position, length and shape of the teeth to accommodate facial and lip changes due to aging, I can help ensure a smile that looks beautiful and youthful for many years to come.”
Dr. Yazji affirms that she not only tries to project how faces will age and makes her treatment decisions accordingly, but she also looks to restore what has already been lost with time to create the most attractive, youthful smile possible. For example, she uses fillers to restore the volume that’s been lost in the lips and surrounding mouth areas and utilizes Botox to reduce wrinkles around the mouth. Botox is also used to reduce “gummy” smiles and to alleviate facial pain due to clenching. These treatments are in addition to teeth whitening, gum recontouring and tooth reshaping for the best esthetics. Every detail counts when it comes to having the best smile, and Dr. Yazji strives to pay attention to them all.
When braces are the question, Dr. Yazji has the right answer as well. “I had bands and headgear as a child and that experience led me to search out an easier, more aesthetic way,” she says. Her first-hand knowledge of the situation led her to focus on not just the results, but on the process of getting there in an aesthetic manner. Contemporary Orthodontics is for those people who might not have considered orthodontics otherwise. Contemporary Orthodontics is especially popular with people who wish to improve their smile for momentous events in their life such as a graduation or wedding…the times when people most definitely don’t want metal braces in the pictures. “One of my main goals is to help patients attend the special events in their lives without anyone knowing they are having work done,” explains Dr. Yazji. “My patients tell me variations of the same story all the time, describing how friends and relatives who haven’t seen them in a while know they’ve had something done, but they can’t figure out what it is. They just know the person looks much better.”
After years of research and learning from world-class experts in the field, Dr. Yazji now specializes in two high-tech lingual/behind-the-teeth systems that meet her high standard for aesthetics and efficiency. They are Invisalign, where she ranks amongst the top 1% of providers nationwide as a Super Elite Premier Provider, and Incognito, where she also ranks as an Elite Provider, with Contemporary Orthodontics rated as an “Incognito Center of Excellence.”
Not only are these braces extremely discrete, these high-tech systems are custom-made using the latest technology, which takes into account each individual’s unique tooth anatomy and distinctive situation. The braces are then specifically designed to best treat each patient’s unique needs. What’s more, Contemporary Orthodontics utilizes digital imaging and CAD/CAM computer technology. With Incognito lingual braces, the wires are bent robotically, which delivers a fit that’s more precise and comfortable than other systems. “Technology advances rapidly,” concludes Dr. Yazji. “We work hard to remain on the leading edge. We constantly seek new methods to make treatment times shorter. The goal is to provide great results as aesthetically and quickly as possible. I’m always looking for ways to serve my patients better, with the best treatments for the best results.” Now that’s something to smile about!
Contemporary Orthodontics is located at 500 Brickell Ave., Ste. M-204. For a consultation or to see how Dr. Yazji and her team can help you get a better smile, call 786.220.7802 or visit