People generally look for a smile makeover because their front teeth, the ones most visible in pictures, are chipped, worn, cracked, or discolored. You may be running away from the “family smile,” or maybe you’ve had some hard times in life. Cosmetic dentistry gives us many options for treating whatever problems you face, and it’s important to find the right technique that will ensure you get the results you desire.
In general, we can identify three levels of smile makeover you might be offered to fix the complaints you have about your smile.
“Quick and Dirty” Smile Makeover
Sometimes you will be offered the opportunity to get your smile makeover completed in one day. That’s certainly a tempting offer, but it has its disadvantages. A quick and dirty smile makeover is designed to be completed in one day, and includes procedures that fit this goal.
Reshaping of the teeth is provided with dental bonding, a plastic-ceramic composite. This composite starts out as a putty that is then added onto your teeth to reshape them. Discoloration is addressed using one day teeth whitening. The teeth whitening, in fact, can be completed in less than an hour, so when you leave the dentist’s office, you have a white smile with many minor problems addressed, such as small gaps in your smile.
But there are some problems with this type of smile makeover. The main problem is that this smile makeover may not last long. Smile whitening can fade quickly and will have to be redone often. Dental bonding is also vulnerable to staining, even more than natural teeth, and they don’t respond to teeth whitening, so you may want to replace your bonding sooner than expected.
Even if staining doesn’t make bonding unattractive, bonding is generally not expected to last more than 3-5 years.
Obviously, this is not our recommended smile makeover–the only smile makeover worth getting is one that’s done right.
An Attractive Smile Makeover That Lasts
A better smile makeover is accomplished with porcelain veneers. These thin facades of dental porcelain are stronger than dental bonding, and stain resistant, too!
Porcelain veneers can typically last 10-15 years or more.
This is a high quality smile makeover that is recommended for most people.
Reconstructing Your Bite
Porcelain veneers also won’t be used on teeth that already have decay. They can’t protect your teeth from further decay, so it’s more likely thta the tooth will fail, taking the veneer with it.
In both cases, the solution is dental crowns. Dental crowns work as sheathes that fit around your teeth, completely covering their visible surface. Dental crowns also provide more structural support, which makes them more resistant to TMJ and bruxism. We can also treat TMJ and bruxism by finding the most stable position for your bite. Dental crowns provide structural support to help your bite stay in this position.