Creating ideal cosmetic results for smile reconstruction: A tribute to Dr. Harvey F. Perlow

Sept. 24, 2013
Dr. Harvey F. Perlow was one of Dr. Peter Mann’s great mentors early in his career as a dentist. In this article, Dr. Mann goes through Dr. Perlow’s five key principles in creating ideal cosmetic results when reconstructing a person’s smile.

I was fortunate to have many great dentists mentor me early in my career as a dentist. I’m eternally grateful to all of them and will always have a special appreciation for everything they tried to teach me. Over his career, Dr. Harvey F. Perlow developed five key principles in creating ideal cosmetic results when reconstructing a person’s smile:

1. People come in all shapes and sizes. Often we neglect to look at a person’s face when deciding how to contour their teeth to make them look their best. According to Dr. Perlow, patients with wide faces require longer teeth, while patients with long faces need shorter teeth. This principle will compensate for facial asymmetry to create better facial harmony.

2. Teeth must be convex gingival to incisal (curve like a U).

ALSO BY DR. PETER MANN: Narrow diameter dental implants in the esthetic zone

3. Teeth must be convex bucally, from mesial to distal curve as they come around the mouth.

4. Parallel mesio-distal inclination.

5. Pronounced incisal embrasures. We’ve all seen patients whose cosmetic work looks like a picket fence, because they lack the incisal embrasures. In fact a 2009 study found “the incisal embrasures of the prosthetically restored maxillary anterior teeth casts were smaller than the homological embrasures of the natural dentition casts (P<.01).”

Dr. Harvey F. Perlow practiced in Manhattan for the past 35 years. He proudly considered himself a cosmetic dentist. His practice mainly involved restoring teeth with dental veneers. In February of 2013, he passed away due to complications from multiple sclerosis. He courageously battled with affliction and did not stop working until he physically couldn’t work anymore.



Peter Mann, DDS, FICOI, FAGD, graduated from the New York University College of Dentistry in 2008, and completed his General Practice Residency at Kings County Hospital in 2009. He is the director of Smile Arts of NY, a comprehensive general practice in midtown Manhattan with an emphasis on cosmetic and implant dentistry.