It's impossible to overstate the emotional, social and even professional benefits that smiling with confidence can give you. If you find you cover your mouth when you smile, or even hold back your smile because you don't want to show your teeth, you should consider what cosmetic dentistry — the art of smile enhancement — can do for you.
There's so much that can be done these days to improve the appearance of a person's smile — at any age. From powerful, professional whitening treatments to amazingly realistic porcelain veneers to state-of-the-art dental implants, there's a wide range of exciting possibilities.
The first step in any smile makeover is a thorough dental examination to make sure that your cosmetic problems really are just that, and not a sign of underlying dental disease. Once your health has been established, your smile can be cosmetically enhanced in a variety of ways.
Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures
A successful smile makeover is a team effort between you and the dentists who treat you. Depending on which procedures you choose, other highly skilled professionals such as dental lab technicians may also play a crucial role. Some common cosmetic dentistry procedures include:
- Cosmetic Bonding, to repair small chips or cracks (Watch Video)
- Crowns & Bridgework, to replace large amounts of lost tooth structure and/or missing teeth (Watch Video)
- Dental Implants, for the longest-lasting tooth replacement available today (Watch Video)
- Inlays & Onlays, to fill teeth with larger cavities (Watch Video)
- Invisalign Clear Aligners, for highly discreet orthodontic treatment (Watch Video)
- Orthodontic Treatment, to move teeth into the right position (Watch Video)
- Porcelain Veneers, for repairing larger chips and cracks, and reshaping teeth (Watch Video)
- Removable Dentures, to help you smile again (Watch Video)
- Teeth Whitening, to brighten a faded or discolored smile (Watch Video)
- Tooth-Colored Fillings, for a completely natural, healthy look (Watch Video)
Your Smile Makeover
The most important job you have as a member of your own smile makeover team is to communicate exactly what you don't like about your smile and how you'd like it to be different. Before the first consultation, give some thought to the following questions:
- What do you like or dislike about the color, size, shape and spacing of your teeth?
- Are you pleased with how much your teeth show, both when you smile and when your lips are relaxed?
- Do you want teeth that are perfectly aligned and a bright “Hollywood White,” or would you prefer a more natural look with slight color, shape and shade variations?
- Would you like more or less of your gums to show when you smile?
It is extremely helpful for you to bring in pictures you have collected — of smiles you like, smiles you don't like, and/or photos of the way your own smile used to look, if that's the result you're aiming for. Now is the time to get started on creating a smile that will make you feel as good as you look!
We are living in an exciting era in dentistry. Today more than ever before, the healing arts are able to provide cosmetic change to meet the public's ever-increasing expectations. Join Dear Doctor magazine as we review the myriad of possibilities available to you for cosmetic dental change...