A smile makeover is a phrase used to describe tooth whitening, dental bonding, porcelain veneers or crowns and other cosmetic dental procedures that can be performed to create a better smile.
These procedures are most often chosen by people who are dissatisfied with the appearance of their teeth, but they can also be used in conjunction with orthodontic procedures.
At the heart of every beautiful smile are healthy teeth. However, suppose you want to improve your appearance but address underlying dental problems first. In that case, your cosmetic dentist may suggest using these procedures in combination with tooth-straightening methods like Invisalign or braces.
A smile makeover can involve several procedures or just one, depending on your individual needs and desires. Some of the most popular treatments people choose include:
- Tooth whitening: This cosmetic dental procedure uses professional-strength bleaching agents to lighten discoloured, stained or dull teeth. Whitening typically makes such marked improvement that patients often don’t need to undergo other treatments during their smile makeover; they enjoy dazzling new smiles right off the bat.
- Dental bonding: This minimally invasive treatment is used to close up gaps between teeth, effectively eliminating dark empty spaces and providing a more aesthetic appearance for the entire mouth. Dental bonding is so conservative that it typically doesn’t significantly alter tooth structure or colour, which means that patients can resume regular oral hygiene routines right away.
- Porcelain veneers: Made of ultra-thin shells of tooth-coloured porcelain (or ceramic), these custom-crafted coverings are designed to be both attractive and functional. They permanently adhere to the front surface of teeth, masking flaws like chips, stains and spacing problems. In addition, veneers don’t require alteration to the underlying tooth structure, so they deliver precise results with virtually no discomfort.
- Crowns (caps): If you’ve broken a tooth or lost one due to decay, your dentist can use a crown or cap to restore its size, shape and function. While crowns are typically reserved for teeth in the back of the mouth, they can be used on any tooth to improve its appearance or strength.
- Orthodontics: Braces are often combined with other treatment methods, which represent the most popular orthodontic option for straightening teeth. Whether you’re working toward straighter front teeth, more even gum lines or a clean set of gnashers (or all three), today’s braces provide comfortable results that can last a lifetime if well cared for.
- Dental implants: When teeth are missing due to injury, disease or lack of development, dental implants offer an ideal replacement solution. Implants consist of small titanium posts that bond permanently to your jawbone and act as anchors for replacement teeth to be secured to the posts by way of tiny post-like “abutments.”
- Zoom! Whitening: Made popular by celebrities on talk shows everywhere, this in-office treatment can deliver whiter teeth almost instantly. A proprietary solution is applied directly to the patient’s teeth with a special whitening pen, then activated with a special light that causes it to work its magic. Patients love its convenience and cosmetic benefits because this procedure does not require heat or a longer appointment time.
- Lingual braces: While conventional braces used behind the teeth may be less noticeable, some people want their smile makeover to make a big statement from day one. Lingual braces provide an ideal solution for anyone seeking a bolder, more beautiful smile. These braces are bonded to the back of teeth, so they’re practically invisible from the front—but don’t let this fool you into thinking they lack strength or quality. Unlike other hidden appliances, lingual braces are just as effective at straightening teeth and moving them into proper alignment.
- Smile design: Once your treatment is complete (and only if desired), your dentist may be able to use computer imaging software to generate a 3-D model of your final smile makeover result. This advanced technology creates highly accurate simulations that give patients an idea of how their new smile will look when it’s finally made in real life. Of course, you can also see yourself smiling on video before any work is done!
- Partial dentures: If you’ve experienced a recent tooth loss, partial dentures are often used to restore your smile. These devices are attached to the mouth to replace missing teeth, creating an attractive new smile that can improve chewing, speaking and appearance.
- Laser therapy: Dentists have long relied on lasers to perform various dental procedures, but this technology is now used before treatment starts! If you’re unhappy with your gums’ colour or shape, laser therapy can be used to gently remove unwanted tissue, providing a more aesthetic look for your overall smile. This minimally invasive procedure usually requires no anaesthesia or numbing medication—a great option if you don’t want anything interfering with workday productivity!
- Cosmetic bonding: This minimally invasive teeth-whitening procedure uses tooth-coloured resin to fill in unsightly gaps, cracks, chips and other minor cosmetic defects. It’s ideal for anyone who wants an inexpensive way to improve the appearance of their smile without investing in veneers or crowns. However, since it isn’t as sturdy as dental restorations made with porcelain or metal, this procedure may require multiple applications before you achieve the desired result.