Every smile sends a message. Teeth that are radiant, straight, and in good repair demonstrate youthfulness and a friendly personality. Studies have determined that the vast majority of adults would like to change something about their smiles. A smile makeover is an excellent way to change more than a little; it’s a way to revamp the smile to perfectly reflect inner beauty.
What is a Smile Makeover?
A smile makeover is a service offered by dentists who consider the various aesthetic aspects of the teeth, gums, and the face whenever they work with patients. While the makeover may focus primarily on improving the appearance of the smile, functional improvements can also be made in the course of care. In general, we could look at a smile makeover as treatment that transforms the smile into the perfect facial feature for each patient.
Who is a candidate for a Smile Makeover?
Adults who are in good general health and have good dental health are typically good candidates for smile makeover treatment. It isn’t necessary to have perfectly healthy teeth and gums to start the smile makeover process. Treatment always begins with a comprehensive consultation and thorough dental exam. It is important to confirm that teeth and gums are sufficiently healthy to maintain the results of any cosmetic procedures that are performed. If necessary, the dentist can perform restorative treatments prior to beginning the cosmetic work that is decided upon during the consultation.
Are Smile Makeovers painful?
No. A smile makeover is an exciting and comfortable process. Many adjustments to the smile can be achieved with porcelain veneers. The process of fitting teeth with veneers does involve slight reduction using a vibrating dental instrument. For this phase of treatment, the dentist administers local anesthetic to numb the teeth and gums. The same technique is followed for patients who need one or more dental crowns to makeover the appearance and structure of their teeth.
How can I prepare for Smile Makeovers?
Aside from taking ample time to select a board-certified, qualified dentist with an eye for aesthetics, there is very little that a patient must do to prepare for a smile makeover. After the consultation and determination of which procedures may be involved in the treatment plan, the dentist may make minor suggestions, such as avoiding blood thinning medications and supplements, or starting to use toothpaste for sensitive teeth. With each case being completely unique, pre-care instructions may vary slightly from one patient to another.
The Smile Makeover Procedure
Every smile makeover can look unique. The general process is to first discuss concerns and desired outcomes. A comprehensive dental exam will determine if any pre-work is needed to address conditions such as gum disease or tooth decay. Once functional conditions have been treated, the dentist can move forward with cosmetic enhancements.
We often complete smile makeovers using porcelain veneers. This process usually takes two visits. First, the dentist must reduce the teeth that will receive veneers. This slight reduction allows the veneers to sit on top of the natural tooth without protruding from the gum line. After teeth have been prepared via reduction, impressions are taken of each tooth that will receive a veneer. It is not uncommon for people to have veneers placed on teeth that are seen when they smile. After impressions are complete, the dentist applies temporary veneers to prevent damage and to minimize tooth sensitivity.
The second visit is usually scheduled about two weeks after the first. This provides sufficient time for the new veneers to be crafted in a dental lab. During this appointment, the dentist removes the temporary veneers and cleans the teeth. The veneers are situated as planned, and then the smile is observed by the dentist and the patient to confirm a satisfactory appearance. Minor adjustments to individual veneers can be made at that time if necessary. Once the aesthetic value of the smile makeover has been confirmed, the veneers are bonded to teeth and cured with light. The veneers may then be polished using a special buffing instrument.
What is recovery like?
There is typically very little recovery associated with smile makeover treatments. If teeth are prepared through reduction, patients may notice some sensitivity. This usually occurs when they eat or drink warm or cold foods and beverages. Sensitivity may be managed with an over-the-counter medication and with the use of toothpaste for sensitive teeth. To prevent damage to temporary or final veneers, patients may be advised to avoid biting on hard, crunchy, or dense foods. It is also necessary to avoid biting or chewing hard objects like fingernails or pen caps.
What can I expect from my results?
The results of a smile makeover are long-lasting and easy to maintain. The cosmetic improvements achieved through treatment are immediately gratifying. Teeth may look straighter, longer, brighter, and in better proportion with the gums and lips. Overall, the new shape and shade of the teeth in the smile can bring new life and harmony to the face as a whole, resulting in heightened confidence.