About Smile Makeover at Comprehensive Dental Care
A smile “makeover” is a term used to describe a comprehensive treatment process involving one or more cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance of the teeth, and in the way they relate to the face as a whole, producing an enhanced smile and a rejuvenated appearance.
Some people like to go the whole way with regular, incredibly white teeth that resemble those of a Hollywood celebrity, although often it is better is to be guided by your dentist towards a result that looks attractive but natural too. It is often a matter of personal taste as to how white you would like your teeth to look, but if contemplating an extreme white it is sensible to see a mock-up or provisional set of restorations such as veneers in place first, in order to be absolutely sure about being happy with the result.
Sometimes a cosmetic smile makeover can be achieved fairly simply by replacing old metal amalgam fillings with tooth coloured composites or porcelain inlays, plus some bleaching of all the teeth that show, and this can give a tremendous lift to a person’s smile, without treatment being too complex.
Cosmetic procedures for a smile makeover
There are a number of different treatments that can be employed, sometimes combined, in order to achieve a satisfactory result where a person has several problems with their teeth. They might, for example have an upper midline gap between the front teeth that they don’t like, coupled with generally dark teeth, and one or two with slight damage due to heavy wear.
The treatment plan here might be to bleach the teeth first in order to whiten them as much as possible, and then to construct porcelain veneers for the two upper front teeth to hide the gap, plus veneers for the damaged teeth. All the veneers would, of course, be made to match in to the patient’s new teeth colour. Some dentists refer to this kind of procedure as a mini-makeover, concentrating only on the front teeth that mostly show.
Although our modern diet is much less abrasive than that of our ancestors, still many people suffer from teeth that have become smaller due to a combination of wear from bruxism (grinding the teeth) and acid erosion. Since many people now drink fruit juices on a regular basis because of the vitamin content and health benefit they subject their teeth to acid in the mouth which can significantly soften the surface enamel, and this can then be worn away by grinding the teeth or improper tooth-brushing. There are many other drinks that can cause this effect apart from fruit juices, and the principle ones are wine, and soda drinks which often have a very low pH, since they can contain citric acid, carbonic acid, and orthophosphoric acid.
In these cases it is necessary to try to halt further damage to teeth by rectifying the underlying cause or causes, and then to reconstruct the teeth with bonded composites, porcelain veneers, or crowns, depending on the circumstances.
Other procedures that can be employed in respect of a more complex makeover could include gum surgery to re-contour the gum margins to create a more regular appearance or even cover exposed roots, and the provision of crowns, bridges, or implants. Complex full mouth rehabilitation involves comprehensive record taking and analysis of the patient’s occlusion (“bite”), which might be slightly imperfect due to excessive wear of teeth or interference between some teeth whilst chewing leading to deviations of the jaw relationship.
Since every person is unique it is essential to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the whole face, and the jaw relationships, as well as the teeth and gums before a proper assessment and treatment plan can be arrived at for that particular patient. There is not one procedure that will cure all. The cosmetic dentist needs to utilize artistic skills as well as careful consideration of scientific principles in combining form and function in respect of a person’s smile.
Some people may have uneven gum heights between their two front teeth. When recognized beforehand, it’s possible to even out the gum contours before veneers are placed. This is most important with a high lip line that shows a lot of gum when smiling, and this is relatively common.
The success of complex treatments depends on the co-operation between patient and dentist, and also of the dental technician who actually constructs restorations under the guidance of the dentist. Sometimes it is useful to have the ceramist or technician see the patient for himself and be included in the discussions about the result to be achieved. This can be particularly important where a shade match is difficult since the ceramist will then have a better idea of what’s required and can take into account that some teeth or restorations can look different in different lights.
If the patient can convey an accurate picture to the dentist of the image they have in their mind as to how they would like their teeth to look then that will help enormously, whether it’s an ultra-white Hollywood smile that’s desired, or a more natural look that is in keeping with the person’s overall colouring of skin, hair, and eyes.
Sometimes a mock-up of the final result can be made on models of the patient’s teeth to help them visualize the improvement that can be made. With veneers it is possible to make trial ones in plastic that can be temporarily placed on a patient’s teeth just to give them an idea of how a full makeover might look. A photo of this could be compared with a photo of the natural teeth as they are to give a clearer idea of the difference that might be achieved.
The cost of a smile makeover will obviously depend on the complexity of the case and the treatments involved, but other factors such as the quality of materials, the location and type of dental practice, can also effect the fees charged so it is always a good idea for the patient to know what costs are involved before committing him or herself.
Principal Dentist Dr. Sonika Sharma provides patient-centered excellence in Cosmetic dentistry! Dr Sharma is a professional member of Australian Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and is dedicated to the highest levels of excellence in the art and science of cosmetic dentistry. For more information or to book a consultation, contact the friendly team at Comprehensive Dental Care today