An interview with Dr. Maria Csillag (Budapest) – the creator of Smylist®
Dr. Maria Csillag is the inventor, chief instructor, and owner of Smylist® Ltd. Dr. Maria’s key achievements include the development of the Smylist® concept and the software, the gnatho ageing technique, the body balance technique, the MyActiveFace Smylist® facial muscle exercises and the Smile to go by Smylist® technique. Since 2008, she has been delivering training sessions on the use of the Smylist® Design Software and general smile design all over the world, adding courses in 2012 on her unparalleled, new, step-by-step complex approach, the Smylist® concept. This interview is an attempt to give the readers a better idea about Smylist, and how its principles can be applied to diagnose and treat even the musculoskeletal and medical problems.
Good morning, Dr Maria, and thank you very much for agreeing to spend time on this interview. Let me start by asking you about the genesis of Smylist. How did the Smylist journey begin?
Ahh my journey with Smylist. Very honestly, I think it all started from the moment I became a dentist and started treating patients. This would be about 20 years ago when I began my professional career. As I began to work on patients and started focusing on aesthetics and a few advanced cases, I soon realised that there were some aspects which were missing. Initially, I began observing patients and realised so much was evident from a person’s face and body, how the person stood, how the person talked, how the person walked. In the beginning, it was a vast amount of information that was coming to me on observing the signs and symptoms in every patient that I saw. My experience as a teacher and a researcher at the University in Budapest was a tremendous help to me in this entire creative process. Then I started systematically putting the information in my head and thus was born the basis of the Smylist concept. I soon realised that the facial midlines, the earliest of the major Smylist principles, need not necessarily be straight down the middle. It was then that I thought of creating a software that would design smiles based on the skeletal system rather than a hypothetical vertical midline. Since I had already started my private dental clinic, where I was the head honcho, it let me put my principles into practice and then there was no looking back at all. I was successfully treating patients the Smylist way.
That is very interesting, indeed. Could you tell me what Smylist is now - just a technique that you have developed or also a commercial entity? How are you training the dentists about its application?
Smylist represents the entire technique and methodology I have created to help dentists design very objectively planned smiles and aesthetics, and also at the same time bring the mandible into an ideal position, which eliminates a variety of musculoskeletal and a few other disorders. But Smylist is also the company that I started over a decade ago, and it is through my company Smylist that I make the Smylist Aesthetic Software available for dentists to purchase and use it effectively in creating the smile designs based on the logical principles created by me.
Besides, I started the Smylist Academy many years ago and have been imparting training on the entire Smylist concept regularly in Budapest, Hungary. I lecture around the world on Smylist, and over the past two years, the Academy has conducted training programs and workshops in Dubai and India.
Could you tell us a little more about how the Smylist software benefits the clinicians in their day to day practice?
Yes, of course, I can give you more details. The Smylist software has evolved considerably since the time it was first developed. This is the only software that digitally designs the patients smile from a picture taken of the face of the patient in what we call the “Cheese A” position. After providing some basic information about the picture and marking the required landmarks, the software will generate a digital smile of the patient. This smile can be tweaked based on the other parameters observed by the clinician. There are up to 60,000 different permutations and combinations possible for the digitally recreated individual smile. The software will also generate before- after pics of the patient, which can be used to motivate the patient into getting the smile done. The software has now added a very powerful extension - the Smylist Lab Software, which takes input of the patients' design and then generates 3D STL files for all the maxillary teeth that can be imported into any CAD/CAM laboratory software to make the definitive teeth for the patient.
That really sounds very impressive, Dr Maria. We have also heard something about how Smylist explains about the impact that the mandible can have on the entire body and how we as dentists can now treat much more than teeth, and also resolve problems in the musculoskeletal system and even beyond that. Can you please elaborate on that?
Yes, indeed. I have realised that the mandible forms the most critical and vital joint in the body. It is the only bilaterally connected joint, and this needs it to move in unison. There are small muscles that are involved in the movement of the mandible. When they get into a state of overstretching or contraction, there is an imbalance of these muscles, which leads to a cascade of reactions in an attempt by the body to compensate for the imbalance. It is very mind boggling as to the harm it can cause to the entire body all originating in the musculoskeletal system and posture of the patient. The beauty is that all this can be usually resolved by bringing the mandible into the most relaxed position, which is called the G space by Smylist. This is the process of deprogramming the mandibular muscles, which one can achieve in a matter of minutes rather than months.
I can see Smylist dentists doing this kind of rehabilitation using the “Smylist Bite” and not just treating the dentition, but also, resolving migraines, neck aches, shoulder aches, shoulder movement restriction, upper backaches, mid back aches, lower back aches, unilateral knee pain, body posture, chronic acidity, reduced vital capacity and even more. I am extremely passionate about how Smylist brings about dramatic changes and helps people live much better lives.
This is very exciting, and the future for dentists looks fantastic because Smylist can broaden their horizon/ scope of work. Could you give our readers some idea as to how you are planning to take this concept further in the very near future?
I realised some time ago that the Smylist concept has become exceedingly vast and extensive. With each passing day, I find small nuances and enhancements that I can put into this concept and how to deliver the treatment in an even better way. It is then that I decided to document everything and the natural process is to write down all my thoughts on Smylist. This led me to the process of writing a textbook on Smylist which I have titled “Occlusion, Function and Aesthetics”. Writing a textbook is a very tough and arduous task, especially if it is based on entirely original and new thoughts. It is no different for me, and as of now, I have about 80% of the writing work completed. I am aiming to get it published by the end of 2019. I have the assistance of my friend and colleague Dr Ajay Kakar for collating the data and information for my textbook.
There also are new additions, which are taking place in the Smylist basket of products. The Smylist Laboratory software was added a couple of years ago. Now we are on the verge of releasing the history and examination analytics and diagnosis component. We are also set to make available the Smylist bite recording wax and are also working on a couple of other devices, which will be excellent diagnostic tools for assessing the mandibular rotations, the severity of the rotations as well as the damaging effects it can have on the body.
I have also planned programs all over the world in the near future and hopefully will soon have the Smylist flag flying in over 25 countries.
Excellent. As the final question could you tell us something about what you feel about all this at a personal level and where do you see yourself after ten years?
Haha. This is an interesting question for you to ask. At a personal level, Smylist is my complete passion, and it means everything to me. Of course, my family is primary, but Smylist is a part of my life, and I cannot imagine anything without Smylist. I have lived, breathed, taught and practised all these principles over the past decade and a half, and today I feel that Smylist is now poised to take the dental profession by storm.
About seeing myself in ten years, I would love to relax a bit more, take it easy and enjoy a balanced life, but I also know that I will always be evolving and adding to the Smylist concept and its methods of diagnosis and therapy.
I suppose it could be said that my life stays balanced and in harmony with all the chakras, courtesy Smylist.
Thank you very much, Dr Maria, for sharing these excellent insights and your thoughts and your journey with Smylist. I wish you the very best and hope to see thousands of Smylist dentists spread all over the world very soon. Thanks once again.