A recent study on smiling yielded some alarming results. About three-quarters of people claim to base their first impression of others largely on their smile while at the same time, three in five adults don’t like the way their smile looks. This is a serious conundrum!
When you don’t like your smile, it can have a negative impact on your confidence and your ability to experience unbridled joy. You may find yourself trying to hide your teeth behind your hand or keeping your mouth closed when you smile.
The good news is that a smile makeover can address all of your dental concerns and give you the smile you’ve always wanted.
Ready to learn more about what a smile makeover is and what smile makeover options you can access? Read on for our complete guide to the dental procedures included in a smile makeover and when to schedule a smile makeover of your own.
What Procedures are Included in a Smile Makeover?
A smile makeover is not a one-size-fits-all process. You might be looking at the list below and thinking, “That’s a lot of steps!” The reality is that with the help of your dental team, you can decide which services you need to get the smile you deserve.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the most common procedures patients opt for when getting a smile makeover. That way, you can go beyond the basic dental cleaning and cavity filling and create a plan that will improve your smile for years to come.
A basic smile makeover will always include teeth whitening. Thanks to all of the ingredients and dyes in the foods and drinks we consume, as well as the naturally staining ingredients in beverages like coffee, our teeth can become quite yellow over time. Certain habits, like smoking or neglecting to brush and floss daily, can also lead to tooth discoloration that will require more than an over-the-counter whitening strip to address.
A single teeth whitening session with your cosmetic dentist can brighten and whiten your teeth by up to eight shades. Having whiter teeth can make you look healthier, younger, and more confident. Teeth whitening can also help to reduce bad breath by removing plaque and other bad breath culprits.
Have you ever noticed that all of your favorite celebrities (including influencers on Instagram) seem to have perfectly white, perfectly straight teeth? It’s easy to assume that the stars were born that way, but the truth is that Hollywood has a not-so-well-kept-secret: everybody has veneers.
Veneers are thin covers, typically made of porcelain, that are attached to your existing teeth to hide perfections behind natural-looking teeth that are straight, white, and well-shaped. Veneers are a non-invasive option for anyone with severe staining, gaps, crooked teeth, teeth that are too short–the list goes on. You can get all of your teeth covered with veneers or have only a few problem areas covered up with veneers that will blend perfectly with your uncovered, natural teeth.
In some cases, you may need more than veneers to change the shape and color of your teeth. Dental crowns can have a nice aesthetic effect, but they are also an important tool for dental restoration.
Dental crowns are “caps” shaped to cover your existing tooth or a dental implant. They are used to restore missing, damaged, or discolored teeth and can also be used to lock dental bridges in place. These days, there are many materials to choose from when creating dental crowns, ranging from metal to porcelain, and the goal is to create a fake tooth that looks natural and blends with your natural teeth.
Dental implants come in handy when you need dental crowns but need to have one or more teeth removed. A dental implant is a metal rod that is fitted into the jawbone, acting as a “root” so your dentist can then affix a dental crown.
You may need dental implants if a tooth has decay that is beyond repair, you’ve experienced nerve damage in a tooth root, or you’re already missing teeth. Dental implants can take the place of individual teeth or you can install two dental implants and affix a dental bridge to them in order to replace several teeth.
In some cases, all you need to address crooked or misaligned teeth is a bit of orthodontics. Popular choices include full or partial braces or the use of dental aligners like Invisalign.
Your dentist may suggest orthodontics as part of your smile makeover if your teeth need straightening but are otherwise healthy. Correcting crooked or misaligned teeth can have long-term positive effects, preventing your teeth from overcrowding and becoming more crooked and making it easier to practice routine dental care like brushing and flossing.
Gum Tissue Reduction
Some people who hide their smile do so because they feel that it is too “gummy.” That could mean that the gums extend over more of the tooth than they’d like or that the gums are thick and inflamed.
Gum tissue reduction is a minimally invasive procedure. As the name suggests, gum tissue reduction is the process of removing excess gum tissue to show more of the teeth, create a better shape, and improve the aesthetics of your smile. Gum tissue reduction can also address oral health issues like infection and make it easier to keep the teeth and gums clean.
Composite bonding (aka composite resin bonding or dental bonding) is the process of applying resin to teeth in order to change their size or improve their shape. The resin begins as a putty-like material, which is applied and shaped by your dentist before it is then bonded to your teeth, creating a natural and cohesive look.
Composite bonding is an alternative to veneers that may appeal to patients who have straight, well-aligned teeth but who don’t like the shape of their teeth. It is also an easy solution for filling in gaps between teeth.
Maxillofacial surgery is one of the more invasive procedures that you can include in a complete smile makeover. Maxillofacial surgery refers to surgery done on the bones and tissues around the lower half of the face, including the jaw, as well as the roof of the mouth (aka the palate). Maxillofacial surgery can also include surgery done to and around the teeth.
This type of surgery is used to address serious pain, treat oral diseases, improve jaw function, and address facial deformities. Patients often opt for this surgery for both practical and cosmetic reasons, and only highly trained dental surgeons can provide this type of oral care.
Signs That You Would Benefit from a Smile Makeover
How can you take the leap and decide that a smile makeover is right for you? What are the signs that you would benefit from investing in a smile makeover of your very own?
Let’s take a look at some of the signs that you would benefit from the dental procedures associated with smile makeovers. Some of them just might surprise you.
You Don’t Like Your Smile
As we mentioned earlier, many people have negative feelings about their smiles. It might seem vain or self-indulgent to get a smile makeover because you don’t like your smile, but the results can be life-changing. Your new smile will make you feel more confident, which can have a ripple effect in all aspects of life, from succeeding at work to meeting new people.
You Have Tooth Damage
You should never neglect tooth damage, as even something as simple as a cracked tooth can cause serious problems if left untreated. If you have multiple damaged teeth, why not roll that treatment into a full smile makeover? Crowns and implants can address health concerns while whitening or orthodontics can make you feel like a brand-new person.
You Have Serious Oral Health Issues
An estimated 50% of the world’s population is suffering from at least one dental disease. What many people underestimate is the impact that something like gingivitis can have on the rest of your health. By investing in a smile makeover alongside any other necessary treatments, you are actually prioritizing your overall well-being.
What to Expect from Your Smile Makeover
Because smile makeover options aren’t one-size-fits-all, the process isn’t, either. Only by speaking with your cosmetic dentist can you get a better sense of what to expect from your smile makeover. In this guide, we’ll break down the process into three steps to give you a sense of what is to come.
The Initial Consultation
In order to begin your smile makeover journey, you will need to schedule your initial consultation. You may have an idea of what dental procedures you’d like to get, but it is only by consulting your dentist that you can find out what you need.
The great thing about a smile makeover is that you get to combine what you want and what you need. While a typical dental appointment could lead to crowns or cavity fillings, a smile makeover can also encompass cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening and veneers. During your initial consultation, you can discuss all of your options, create a custom plan, and learn more about the overall timeline.
How long your smile makeover takes will depend entirely on the smile makeover options you choose. For example, you can get your teeth whitened in a single visit, while veneers may take three or more visits. If you need orthodontic care, this could take multiple visits over the course of several months.
The same goes for the length of your procedures. It can take an hour or two to install a dental implant, while it takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete a single-tooth composite bonding procedure.
During any preliminary appointments, your dentist will talk to you about what to expect and how to prepare for each procedure. For example, you may need to wait a few hours to eat after a procedure. If your procedure requires general anesthesia, you will need to secure a ride home from a trusted friend or family member.
The more invasive a dental procedure is, the longer the recovery may take. There is no real “recovery” from something as simple as teeth whitening. However, it can take up to 12 weeks to recover from maxillofacial surgery.
Talk to your dentist about recovery times as well as what you can do to ease the recovery process. Make sure to ask about things like:
- what you can and cannot eat while recovering
- what you can and cannot drink while recovering
- activities to avoid while recovering (such as contact sports)
- prescription medications or over-the-counter pain relievers that can reduce pain
You should also take note of any symptoms that continue for days or weeks after expected or symptoms that get suddenly worse. This could be a sign that something is going wrong in the healing process, and you should notify your dentist right away.
Come to the Newbury Dental Group for Your Smile Makeover
Do you wish that you loved your smile more? Do you have oral health issues that simple brushing and flossing can’t fix? If so, it might be time to consider getting a smile makeover.
Smile makeovers are catered to your wants and needs, ensuring that you’ll have a healthy smile that you love. To find out more about smile makeovers in Newbury Park, contact us today. We can’t wait to give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of and that you’ve always deserved.