If you dislike the appearance of any aspect of your smile, you may be considering a standalone cosmetic dentistry treatment to address the issue that concerns you most. However, if you have multiple things about your teeth that you feel are unattractive or draw unwanted attention, you may be a good candidate for a series of procedures that are combined into what is known as a smile makeover.
What does a smile makeover involve?
A smile makeover tends to be unique to each individual patient. This is because no two smiles are exactly the same and each patient may be looking to make specific changes to the appearance of their teeth. While some cosmetic dentists will offer set packages of treatments, others will let you custom build your smile makeover, choosing the different procedures that will enable you to improve the aspects of your smile that concern you the most.
Whilst virtually any cosmetic dentistry procedure can be included in a smile makeover, some of the most common include the following:
If there is one cosmetic dental treatment that is more common than any other it is tooth whitening. People with very white smiles are thought of as being healthier, more attractive and more successful, and many of us would like to be perceived as having the same traits. Unfortunately, eating and drinking and other habits such as smoking, can cause teeth to become stained and discolored. There are lots of products that claim to be able to whiten teeth, but none are as effective as in-office bleaching carried out by a professional cosmetic dentist. This is because they are able to use a stronger bleach and apply it more consistently across your teeth. This leads to enhanced whitening with fewer treatments and a better overall result.
Exactly how many sessions of whitening you will need will depend on the initial color of your teeth and the color you wish to achieve. It will also be based on how well your teeth respond to the treatment. However, once you achieve your desired shade, by being careful with what you expose your teeth to, you can maintain the results for a very long time.
Porcelain veneers are a popular alternative to tooth whitening and can also be used to correct a variety of other cosmetic issues. These include cracks and chips in the enamel, small gaps between the teeth and discrepancies in height and thickness of teeth. Veneers are thin, porcelain shells that are designed to sit over the enamel of the teeth to cover them. Each is custom-designed for a specific tooth and can be glazed in different shades. This enables it to be color-matched to your existing teeth, or in the case of a whole set of veneers, in a lighter, whiter shade to improve the overall appearance of your smile.
Veneers are quite literally stuck to the enamel of the teeth, but first the natural enamel must be filed down. This is painless as it is performed using anesthetic. However, since enamel can’t regrow, once you have had a veneer you will always need one on that tooth.
Most people have heard of a crown and know it is a functional solution for teeth that are badly decayed or damaged. They work by covering the affected tooth right down to the gum line. In the past, crowns were predominantly metal, and this made them very obvious and unattractive. However, now it is possible to have crowns created from porcelain which again can be glazed in a color that makes your cosmetic crown blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth.
Not all cosmetic dental issues relate to the condition of the teeth. Some are concerned with their alignment. Since our teeth all erupt at different times, it is very common for them to come through crooked or overlapping. In some instances, patients will develop unsightly gaps between them. In addition to this, you may have a problem with how your teeth come together when you close your mouth. This is known as your bite, and patients may feel that their teeth protrude too much or not enough, as well as experiencing problems with their temporomandibular joint.
Orthodontic treatments include conventional braces and Invisalign, a new program whereby clear, plastic aligners are placed over the teeth to move them into a better position. Your dentist till be able to tell you which option is most likely to be successful for you.
Tooth loss is inevitable for many people. Despite our best efforts to take care of our teeth, damage and decay still occur. If this is the case, and your tooth needs an extraction, it is worth discussing dental implants with your dentist. This revolutionary tooth replacement solution is permanently secured to your jaw bone, with a prosthetic tooth visible above the gum line. Implants are very successful and can restore strength, shape and appearance of your missing tooth and improve your overall smile.
If you would like to find out more about what procedures our experienced team can include a smile makeover, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment by calling our office in McPherson, KS today.