One of the more common questions we get in our office revolves around the process that goes into enhancing a smile. Some people refer to it as a smile makeover while others may call it smile rejuvenation, or maybe even getting porcelain veneers. There are certainly simple ways of upgrading a smile such as whitening, or minor cosmetic bonding, but we will touch on that in another blog post. What I’m referring to as a “smile makeover” is a transformation of someone’s smile that really adds harmony and youthfulness to the entire face. This type of transformation can often add to more than your looks, it can have a positive impact on your confidence and self-worth.
This process starts by first talking about what your long-term oral health goals are. Whether it is that you want to keep your teeth for a lifetime, get back that beautiful smile you used to have, or create a completely new and improved version of your smile. When starting the process of a smile makeover it is absolutely vital that we discover what it is you really want. From here we collect information from radiographs, photographs, teeth models to examine your bite, along with other information.
From gathering the above information we are able to sit down and come up with a plan together that suits your desires and one that works in harmony with your bite so that optimal longevity can be achieved. The way in which my core values reflect my work as a dentist is more than delivering a beautiful appearance to my patients. It is my responsibility to deliver the beauty with comfort, function and longevity as well. The plans to achieve this harmony can include anything from whitening, porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns, bonding, or any combination of the above.
The models we collected at the last appointment will be modified to show you what your new teeth will look like. We can alter or change the shape or length of the teeth at this point to suit your personal preference. If any whitening is needed, it will be completed first so that any porcelain veneers, or crowns done later will match your desired shade of whiteness. At this point our lab technician, who is a true artist, will come over and discuss coloring with you and take notes on your thoughts and opinions.
When porcelain veneers or crowns are ready to be done, an appointment will be made that will prepare the teeth for the porcelain. This preparation can vary from slightly roughening the front of the tooth to removing about one millimeter of tooth structure. Temporary restorations are placed at this point. These temporary restorations are the exact shape and size that you saw on the models prior to this appointment. They are made out of filling material so that we can modify them by adding to, shortening or rounding angles. This is completely customizable based on what you want. By the end of this phase your bite should feel comfortable and you should love the look of your new smile.
In my next blog post we will discuss the final phases of this process. As a side note, I know this can seem like a long process. Sometimes it does take a few months, but other times it can completed within one week, it all depends on the individual case. Most importantly this process is designed to be predictable, so that you get health, confidence, and long-term result that you are looking for. Stay tuned to our next post which will walk through the final steps of this process.
Until Next Time,
Will Yoder, DMD