Your smile says a lot about you and your general health. A bright and healthy smile often reflects how a person feels about themselves and good oral hygiene has been shown to have a positive impact on the overall health of a person. If you’re considering cosmetic dentistry, the first step is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified dentist who can discuss your desired results with you. The changes that can be achieved can be dramatic in nature or so subtle that others may not realize any changes have been made in the appearance of the mouth.
What a Smile Makeover can accomplish
There are many changes that can be successfully accomplished by a smile makeover. The treatment can be used to correct unsightly spaces, restore teeth that are broken or worn down and give a smile that is youthful and bright. In addition, patients that feel they are showing too much of their gums when they smile can have the procedure in order to allow more of the tooth surface to be revealed. Patients can even have porcelain veneers placed that can serve as a solution for teeth that are damaged or darkened with age.
How is it Performed?
The extent of a smile makeover depends on the goals of the patient as well as the condition of the tooth at the time of the treatment. The dentist examines the teeth and gums and takes some X-rays to get a better look at the inside of the mouth. In a practice that is focused on cosmetic dentistry, the process can start with a photo that can be altered digitally to show you how a smile makeover can enhance the appearance of the mouth. After the examination, a plan for restoring the smile is made by the dentist. The total treatment may take more than one session if veneers or crowns are part of the plan.
During the first treatment session, the teeth that need enhancements such as veneers or crowns are prepared. The dentist might need to remove about ½ millimeter of the natural enamel on the surface of the tooth to make room for a veneer. If a crown is going to be made, most of the enamel will need to be shaved down to a thimble shape. A person with crooked teeth might need to shave down the part of the tooth that is sticking out more than the other teeth. Tooth decay is corrected using ceramic materials that are bonded directly to the structure of the tooth. Any teeth would need to be done first since ceramics are resistant to teeth whitening treatments. A temporary crown or veneer is placed to help the patient retain their bite while a permanent crown or veneer is created at the office of the dentist or an offsite lab.
The second treatment session is when the crown or veneer is permanently bonded into the mouth. The crown will be placed on the tooth while the veneer is bonded using dental cement and a special light which helps to harden the cement quickly. The dentist then evaluates the bite and makes any necessary adjustments.
Finding the Right Dentist
When looking for a cosmetic dentist, here are some of the items to keep in mind when choosing a person to handle your smile makeover:
- Will the dentist show you in advance with the final results will look like?
- Have you thoroughly researched the credentials of the cosmetic dentist? How long has the person been performing smile makeovers?
- Have you asked to see samples of any previous work performed by the dentist?
In a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 84% of adults say having an attractive smile is an important feature on another person. The survey also said that most adults would not set their best friend up on a blind date with someone with bad teeth.
Take the First Step
A clean, white mouth and a set of healthy teeth can make a person look anywhere from 15-20 years younger than the actual age of the person. If you are ready to take the first step towards getting the results of your dreams, schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified dentist experienced in performing smile makeovers that provide natural looking results.