Smile makeover: What are my options?

A smile makeover can make an average smile sparkle by correcting minor flaws, such as stained or discolored teeth, as well as major issues, like a misaligned smile. The procedures involved in a smile makeover can range from the basic to the complex. Here is an overview of some of the most common smile makeover elements.

Teeth whitening: With laser whitening techniques, patients can improve their smile in as little as an hour. For some patients, teeth whitening may be the only treatment necessary to achieve the desired look. Others may undergo teeth whitening at the end of the smile makeover as a final enhancement.

Porcelain veneers: Veneers, or thin layers of porcelain placed atop the natural teeth, can improve the appearance of teeth that are too significantly stained for traditional whitening to be effective. Veneers can also straighten slightly crooked teeth, repair chipped teeth, or fill in a gap between teeth.

Orthodontics: An orthodontist can use traditional braces or Invisalign to fix misalignments that are too significant to be remedied through veneers alone. Orthodontic treatment typically does not have visible effects for at least a year, so patients should not expect quick results with this method.

Dental implants: A patient who is missing a tooth may choose a dental implant to replace the tooth. An implant is a small titanium screw that is inserted into the jaw, which is then topped with a crown to give the appearance of a natural tooth.

Gum surgery: When a patient’s gumline is too high, exposing a tooth’s roots, a periodontist can take tissue from elsewhere in the mouth, often the palate, and place it over the exposed root. Alternatively, a periodontist might raise the gumline for patients who have “gummy” smiles in which too much gum tissue is visible.

A variety of dental specialists may collaborate on a particular patient’s smile makeover. For example, an orthodontist and an oral surgeon might work together to correct misaligned teeth and jaws, and a cosmetic dentist may come in at the end to whiten the teeth. Ideally, the different specialists will have a history of working together, as is the case with theDDS Study Club member dentists. Because a smile makeover can involve complex coordination of care, it’s important for all of the practitioners to be in regular communication with each other.

If you would like to improve your smile’s appearance, schedule an appointment with one of the DFW dentists listed here to discuss your smile makeover options.