For many, a smile is one of the first things people notice about our appearance. A nice smile is important enough to make a lasting good impression. Unfortunately at the same time, if you are unhappy with your smile, it can greatly impact your self-esteem and confidence. Luckily, due to the advancements in modern cosmetic dentistry, there are many options available for a smile makeover. In this guide, we’ll discuss what a smile makeover is, the benefits, procedures, costs and aftercare.
A smile makeover, a lay term which in dental terminology describes ‘smile design’. It is the process of undergoing several cosmetic procedures with the aim of achieving a more aesthetic and harmonious smile. These procedures may include orthodontic treatment (braces), crowns, veneers (composite veneers or porcelain) and even teeth whitening. A person does not have to go through all of these procedures to achieve a smile makeover, it all depends on your specific needs.
- More Confidence and Self-Esteem: A smile makeover is a sure-fire way to give you a boost in confidence and help you feel better about yourself.
- A More Youthful Appearance: A straighter, brighter smile can make you look more vibrant and younger.
- Happier in the end: With nothing preventing you from smiling and laughing, you’ll find yourself enjoying life much more.
- Enhanced Oral Health: Smile makeover procedures can often improve oral health as well as aesthetics. For example, orthodontics can correct bite problems that can cause jaw pain and headaches. After a smile makeover, teeth can often be easier to clean, making oral hygiene more effective.
- Custom Treatment Plans: Smile makeovers like many dental concerns have many treatment options depending on your specific goals. Before undertaking any treatment, you will construct a treatment plan with your dentist to meet those goals.
There are many different cosmetic dentistry procedures that can be included in a smile makeover. Some of the most common include:
- Teeth Whitening: Can be a simple and effective way to remove stains and discolorations while brightening your smile. It is the least invasive procedure and can have very dramatic effects.
- Veneers: Veneers are thin layers of material which are applied over teeth. This can create a more aesthetic tooth shape, as well as provide very brightly coloured teeth.
- Crowns: Crowns are a more invasive version of veneers. They require your tooth to be shaved from all sides so the crown can be cemented on top of it. They have the added benefit of repairing decayed and rotten teeth. Crowns are often made to have a very appealing shape and colour, making them ideal in some smile makeovers.
- Orthodontics: Orthodontic treatment (braces and aligners) can straighten crooked teeth for a more balanced smile. In some cases, orthodontics can even fix complex occlusion (bite) problems.
- Dental Implants: Dental implants are constructed teeth that are implanted into your bone. These implants will feel, look, and function like normal teeth. Therefore, giving you the option of replacing lost teeth with good aesthetic form and function.
The process of a smile makeover will vary depending on the procedures which are chosen. However, the general treatment plan should look as follows.
- Consultation and examination: Your dentist will discuss your goals and perform a thorough examination. From there, the dentist will present you with their findings and recommendations. You as the patient will then work together with the dentist to find the best course of action.
- Planning: Your dentist will organise the personalised treatment plan considering your opinion and goals. Within this stage, future appointments and a treatment timeline will be finalised.
- Treatment: Depending on the complexity of the case, the treatments will be completed step by step following the timeline.
- Aftercare: At each stage of completed treatment, the dentist should provide you with appropriate post-operative instructions so that you can maintain your treatments. After finishing the treatment plan your dentist will once again remind you of your aftercare.
It is important to note that a smile makeover can be a very expensive treatment plan. Besides at home teeth whitening, all the outlined procedures are traditionally seen as ‘expensive’. However, make sure to attend a consultation with your dentist to get an accurate quote on the cost of your treatment plan. The payment in some cases does not have to be outright, discuss with your clinic if they accept any alternative financing options. Many dental clinics offer payment planning options, while the majority accept buy now pay later services such as Afterpay.
Post care of your smile makeover is very important. It will allow you to extend the lifespan of your treatment, allowing you to enjoy your new smile for longer.
- Sensitivity: After undertaking teeth whitening, your teeth may be sensitive for a few days. Whitening of teeth may have to be done continuously to maintain the bright colour change. Therefore, sensitivity may become a long term problem. To combat this try using a sensitive toothpaste when brushing your teeth, or even rubbing some of the toothpaste in areas of sensitivity before bed.
- Stain Prevention: During the first few days of a teeth whitening procedure, your teeth are very susceptible to taking up stains. Try to avoid heavily coloured foods or drinks that can ruin the whitening of your teeth for the first few days (such as tea and coffee).
- Good Oral Hygiene: Maintain a good oral hygiene routine to make sure your veneers, crowns and orthodontically aligned teeth remain in the best condition. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, making sure to tilt the bristles towards the gum line (which happens to be the area with the most plaque build-up). Floss at least once a day, so you can clean in between your teeth.
- Routine Dental Check-ups: Attending routine dental check-ups is the best form of preventative care. The dentist will be able to spot any developing problems early, giving you better treatment outcomes. This saves you money and time in the future!
Smile makeovers can be an amazing way to boost your confidence about your appearance. With there being so many different treatment options, you are bound to find the perfect solution for your smile makeover goals. Be sure to book a consultation with your dentist to find out more.