If you are unhappy with your smile, you might be a good candidate for a cosmetic dentistry “Smile Makeover.”
As with any in-depth dental work, a Smile Makeover is elective. It’s also not an option for every patient: you need to be in good oral health, with no existing disease conditions.
In case you are wondering, below are the different approaches to a Smile Makeover. Keep in mind that it is not unusual to “mix and match” the below approaches, and many cases may require a combination of them.
1. Composite Bonding. We can use tooth-colored filling material to improve the appearance of stained, crooked, fractured, or otherwise unsightly teeth.
2. Dental Veneers. Dental veneers are a thin piece of porcelain that cover the front of your teeth to improve their color and shape. They look realistic and can correct many cosmetic problems, like cracked or damaged teeth, noticeable gaps between teeth, crooked teeth, and stained teeth that resist tooth-whitening. The veneer – or porcelain shell – is chemically bonded to the teeth. The basic process is that we first see you for an initial assessment. We then anesthetize the teeth, and we remove a small amount of enamel. We then take a mold and send it to the lab. The lab will make the veneers. Once in place, the veneers will replace the enamel that we removed initially.
3. Dental implants. Implants can be used to replace missing teeth. The dentist surgically places a titanium screw into the jaw at the site of the missing tooth. After a proper healing period, the crown is attached to the implant, giving you a whole tooth. The resulting implants cannot be distinguished from natural teeth. To have implants go in smoothly, aftercare is important. You will need to be diligent about your oral hygiene to clean plaque and prevent peri-implantitis (bacterial infection around the implant that can cause the implant to fail).
4. Orthodontics. Sometimes orthodontics may be needed to correct bite discrepancies first, before addressing the cosmetic concerns. Certain bite discrepancies, if unaddressed, may lead to failure of the cosmetic dentistry down the road. For example, we may recommend orthodontics to correct your bite before we put veneers on your front teeth. Otherwise, the porcelain veneers may take too much bite force and fracture prematurely.