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What is a smile makeover?
A smile makeover is the process of improving the appearance of the smile through one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as:
Some of the important components to take into consideration include your facial appearance, skin tone, hair colour, teeth (colour, width, shape, length and tooth display), gum tissue and lips. Smile makeovers are performed for many reason an the result is customised to each person taking into account their unique considerations.
What is it that you like or dislike about your teeth? Your dentist will consider the following aspects when considering how to improve your smile.
Silver and amalgam filling can easily be replace with natural tooth coloured composite restorations. Teeth whitening can be used to improve the colour of stained or dull teeth. Tooth colour and shading are important considerations during the evaluation and preparation for various procedures such as composite bonding, veneers, crowns, bridges or dental implants.
When considering the colour of your teeth you may want to whiten them because discoloured teeth suggest an aged mouth. A well proportioned smile comprised of bright white teeth creates a youthful appearance. The shade that your dentist selects for your teeth whitening or dental veneers is carefully selected while paying attention to the tone of your face and your hair. Cosmetic dentists are skilled at finding the right balance between providing a brighter and whiter smile while maintaining a natural tooth colour.
Teeth Alignment and Spacing
Teeth that are overlapped or croocked can easily be straightening using Invisalign and other orthodontic treatments.
One or more missing teeth can negatively impact the appearance of your smile. It can also lead to tooth movement and problems with your bite. Replacing missing teeth is important for function and for maintaining good facial aesthetics. Missing teeth can easily be replaced by dental implants, bridges and partial dentures.
In order to maintain the harmony and balance of a good looking smile your dentist will use well know proportions to design your new smile. If you have uneven, chipped or crack teeth these can easily be repaired with composite bonding to improve their appearance. Some patient show too much gum and this is often called a gummy smile, this can easily be corrected with gum re-contouring or crown lengthening procedures.
Fuller lips and cheeks
An unshapely or ageing face can benefit and be rejuvenated using anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers. Orthodontic movement of the teeth can give a wider smile and help support the the lips and cheeks. Certain maxillofacial and plastic surgery procedures may also be worth considering.
A in depth consultation with your cosmetic dentist will help you to develop the correct treatment plan for you. This treatment plan may consist of many cosmetic and functionally restorative procedures, potentially including teeth whitening, composite bonding, veneers, dental crowns, orthodontics (dental braces or Invisalign), oral and maxillofacial surgery and gummy smile reduction.
Aesthetic Components of a Smile Makeover
In addition to the colour, alignment and balance of your teeth in the aesthetic zone of your smile (the section of upper and lower teeth that show when you smile), there are several attributes of your teeth and smile that your cosmetic dentist will evaluate with you when planning your makeover. These include:
Long teeth lend themselves to a youthful appearance. Ageing produces wear and tear that often results in shorter teeth, and a gummy smile also can make teeth appear shorter. A treatment for shorter teeth may include reshaping and lengthening the two front central teeth with composite bonding or porcelain veneers. If you have a gummy smile, your cosmetic dentist may provide treatment to modify the gum line and lengthen the appearance of the teeth using laser dentistry procedures. You may also be referred to a periodontist for crown lengthening if necessary.
Teeth lengthening may also impact your overall facial appearance. For example, shapely, long, square teeth on a round-faced individual can provide a slimming effect.
The smile line is an imaginary line that follows the edges of your upper teeth from side to side, which ideally should be the same as the curve of your lower lip when you smile. This standard point of reference may be used to help determine how long your new teeth should be.
Your cosmetic dentist will examine your teeth to determine if they are in correct proportion with each other. Most people recognise a pleasing smile as one in which the two central front teeth are dominant and have a width-to-length ratio of 4-to-5. This proportion guides the length and width of other teeth in the aesthetic zone so that the smile line appears balanced.
Tooth Texture and Characterisation
An artistic dentist can characterise your crowns or veneers to create a more feminine or a more masculine appearance, in addition to matching the look and feel of natural teeth or those you’ve seen in photographs.
Maintaining Your Results
A master dental technician will make your crowns and veneers. You may ask about the different materials used and the latest advances in dental technology that are used to create your restorations.
It is very important that your dental health is evaluated carefully before developing your treatment plan. Your dentist will conduct and comprehensive examination of your teeth, gums, underlying support structures and bite (occlusion) to determine whether you are a candidate to proceed with a smile makeover. If during the evaluation process your dentist discovers an oral health problem, such a a misaligned bite (malocclusion) or gum disease, you should have these treated first.
Preview your smile
Cosmetic dentist incorporate a number of dental technologies to show you the changes that you can expect to see in your smile. When planning for dental veneers and crowns, your cosmetic dentist may create a diagnostic wax-up of your new smile. A try in smile can be performed by your dentist by using a mould of your diagnostic waxup and transferring it to your teeth using temporary material. You can see the size, shape and length of the proposed teeth before you go ahead.
Dental imaging software
Imaging software can be used to preview your result. A patient friendly software that patient can used themselves Invisalign® SmileView™ which can be used on your mobile phone. A digital image however can only give you an idea of what you might look like when the treatment is complete; it may not fully match your final result.
Before and after photos
Your dentist can show you before and after photos of similar cases that they have performed in the past. The photos may also give you and idea of the quality of the work that your dentist has performed in the past.
Composite Bonding Mockup
Dental composite bonding can serve as a mockup of your smile makeover. The dentist can temporarily bond composite resin material to your teeth so you can fully visualise the impact of the procedure before you begin treatment. This trail smile can be used to help you feel how the changes might feel. Adjustments can be made until you are comfortable with the function (bite and lip movements) and appearance of your new smile. Temporary mockups are not bonded hard to the teeth and can be easily removed at the end of the appointment.
Cost of a Smile Makeover
The time taken to complete your treatment will depend on your dentist and the extent of your customised plan.
Your treatment may be more expensive if your dentist discovers an underlying oral health issue which need to be dealt with before you can begin treatment. Some restorative procedures may be covered by dental insurance, some insurance companies have exclusions for cosmetic dentistry.
With proper care and regular dental visits, your smile will look good and the crowns, veneers and other restorations will last for many years. Composite bonding is generally thought to last approximately 3-5 yeas and crowns and veneers between 10-15 years.
Maintaining your results
Knowing how to maintain and ideal oral health routine will help maintain your new smile.
Highly abrasive toothpastes and tooth brushing habits can scratch and damage the restorations (avoid charcoal tooth pastes). Non-abrasive fluoride toothpastes are recommended such as , Oral B or Curaprox.
Interdental cleaning using either floss or interdental brushes is highly important to increase the longevity of the restoration and prevent recession of the gums. Flossing and interdental cleaning is important for everybody but is even more important for people with veneers, impecable oral hygiene helps protect the gum tissue health.
Some patient enjoy using mouthwashes, if they are to be used as an adjunct to a ideal brushing routine then alcohol free mouthwashes are recommended.
Food and drinks to limit
Avoid foods high in sugar and limit eating between meal snacks to prevent cavities. Limit consumption of tea, coffee, fizzy drinks etc. to avoid staining.
Refrain from biting your finger nails, on pens, and other hard objects.
If you grind your teeth at night (bruxism) you will need to wear a night guard to protect the dental work from excessive biting forces.
Composite bonding costs £250 per tooth and dental veneers cost £750 per tooth so you need to follow the advice that the dentist and hygienist give you to maximise the longevity of your restorations.
Although cosmetic dental restorations are not indestructible they will eventually need to be replaced. The lifespan of your teeth depends on how well you take care of it and the the skills and talent of your dentist.
Replacing a broken or fractured veneer and crown involves impressions, shade matching, a temporary followed by cementing the new restoration. You will be responsible for the ongoing cost of maintaining your teeth and therefore your should budget for this in the future.
Follow your dentist’s recommendations to ensure the long-term beauty of your new smile. Be sure to attend your follow-up examinations and regular cleaning appointments.