If you are unhappy with your current smile, cosmetic dentistry can help. From veneers to bonding, and bridges to dental implants, modern techniques can completely revolutionize your smile. However, a complete smile makeover will transform your entire look in ways you might not have considered. To be sure you are happy with the results, sit down with the dentist before you begin to make a comprehensive plan. Here are 5 things to consider.
1. Natural vs. Perfect
Many people claim to want a “perfect smile,” but teeth that are too white, too straight, and too objectively “perfect” can actually look extremely fake. If you are sure you want this type of smile, talk to your dentist about your lips, cheeks, and other facial details, which may need to be restructured or plumped up to better support the “perfect” look.
Many people actually want the best natural smile that they can achieve. This is a straighter, whiter, more symmetrical version of the smile you already have. It retains your natural character and quirks, fits your face, and enhances your existing look. If this is what you are looking for, be sure to clearly communicate your preferences to your dentist.
2. Tooth Alignment, Spacing, and Replacement
After settling on the type of smile makeover you want, the next step is to consider the current alignment and spacing of your teeth, as well as options for replacing any missing teeth. If your teeth are healthy but crooked, braces or Invisalign might be recommended. If you have stains or discoloration that cannot be fixed through whitening, your dentist might suggest veneers. Tooth lengthening can improve a gummy smile. Missing teeth might be replaced by implants, bridges, or partial dentures. Of course, if you have any existing cavities or decay, these problems must be treated before your smile makeover begins.
3. Individual Features
The shape of your face, as well as your skin tone and coloring, dramatically influences the look of your smile. To create a natural look, your dentist will work hard to design a smile that “fits” your face. The size and color of the teeth, as well as the shape of each individual tooth, are carefully crafted to blend with your unique features.
It is easiest to design a smile makeover when both you and your dentist have a starting point. Bring in photos of your own childhood smile, and be prepared to explain what you liked and didn’t like about it. Also bring photos of smiles that you admire, from celebrity smiles to those of your friends and relatives. Tell your dentist about any smile quirks you particularly like, such as a small front gap or slightly pointed canine teeth.
5. Digital Design
With all of the above information in hand, your dentist will design a digital version of your future smile. It begins with a photograph of your existing smile, which is then morphed into your post-makeover smile via digital technology. You are an equal partner in this process, so please do not hesitate to speak up about anything you would like to change. Of course, your dentist will make recommendations as well, based on both your existing oral health and your individual features. Designing a new smile is truly a team project.
Once you and your dentist are happy with the look of your new smile, we will create models of your teeth and try out the new design in wax. This allows us to be sure that your teeth come together properly and that your new smile is as functional as it is beautiful. Only when we all agree that the new smile is exactly right will we begin to make changes to your teeth.
A smile makeover is a complex process that takes numerous factors into account. Everyone’s features, dental health, and goals are different, and you deserve the smile that is uniquely designed for you. Be open and honest throughout the process, have patience, and work as a team with your dentist. The results of a great smile makeover are worth the wait!
At Family Dental Care of Bellevue, we are committed to providing quality dental care to our patients and their families. We are proud to have been voted one of the best dental offices in Washington State. If you are ready to take the first steps toward improving your dental health, we invite you to call 425-643-5778 today to make an appointment for your initial consultation.