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A smile makeover is a generic term for a series of dental treatments aimed at one thing: improving your smile.
Smile makeover procedures may benefit you if you are unsatisfied with your smile for any reason. The treatments are purely cosmetic in nature. However, some smile makeover treatments could improve the functionality of broken or damaged teeth as well.
You should first consult with a dentist regarding improving your smile. You can make your smile brighter, with more even teeth, with makeover procedures. Your dentist will recommend treatments suited for your unique condition. Here is a list of procedures that might be used in your smile makeover:
Want to make your smile brighter? Then your dentist may recommend professional teeth whitening as part of your smile makeover. Professional teeth whitening is recommended if your teeth are severely discolored or stained.
Our teeth naturally stain as we age. Some foods we consume, like coffee, and exacerbate this condition. However, certain lifestyle habits like smoking can also discolor teeth beyond redemption.
Using store-grade teeth whitening products may help improve the color slightly. In some cases, such products would be completely ineffective in treating the condition. For example, some teeth become discolored if the nerves connecting the tooth to the gum die. In this case, you would need a smile makeover to improve the condition.
Professional teeth whitening is significantly different from using a whitening toothpaste or a gel. The process involves a qualified dentist using a bleaching agent, like peroxide, in a clinical setting to make your enamel much brighter. The dentist will cover your gums to protect them from potential harm.
Most dentists approach professional teeth whitening with a shade guide. You will be presented with a printed strip of white-like shades to choose from. The dentist can bleach your teeth to match the color that you choose, at least closely.
Professional teeth whitening procedures are not serious or time-consuming. You can get one done with a single appointment at the dentist’s office. The procedure takes only about an hour to complete.
Dental veneers and lumineers can also give you a bright, white smile. These cosmetic dental products might be used as an alternative in case professional teeth whitening doesn’t work out for a patient.
Veneers and lumineers can do more than improve the color of your teeth. These cosmetic dental products can change the looks of your teeth. For example, veneers can make crooked teeth appear straight or make teeth in a row appear evener.
Dental veneers and lumineers are often used interchangeably by some clinicians. Veneers are thin shells made out of porcelain or a porcelain mix material. These thin shells are shaped like your teeth, and they can mimic the appearance of enamel quite well.
Lumineers are just like veneers, but these are thinner. Your dentist will recommend whether veneers or lumineers are the best for your condition.
Veneers are pasted onto the top of your teeth that require vision correction. There’s a bonding process involves to permanently affix a veneer to a tooth.
Veneers can last decades in your mouth and they don’t require special maintenance. But getting them is not as quick as having your teeth whitened.
If you want veneers or lumineers, you must first visit a dentist and have your teeth examined and x-rayed. If you qualify for veneers, your dentist would make impressions of your teeth. Then he or she would discuss how you want to improve your teeth, such as choosing a new tooth color.
Veneers are only typically applied to front teeth that are visible when you smile. These are not typically used for back teeth. Veneers, though, can minimize the risk of decay on back teeth.
After your initial visit, your dentist would send your teeth impressions for a laboratory to sculpt porcelain dental veneers. There’s another material you can use: composite resin. Dental veneers made from this material don’t require lab design. The dentist would do it right next to you as the procedure occurs.
You will have to go in for a second visit to get the veneers bonded to your teeth. During this process, the dentist would remove a razor-thin layer of enamel off your teeth. Then a special “cement” would be applied to paste the veneers or lumineers on. The dentist uses laser light to harden the cement and bond the veneers or lumineers to your teeth.
You may need to take a local anesthetic during this procedure. Also, the bonding process could take up to a week, during which you would have to be on a liquid diet.
Once bonded, your dental veneers would be there for life. There are some minor risks associated with the procedure. Veneers can make your teeth more sensitive to hot or cold consumables. Porcelain veneers could shatter because of hard bites. But such complications are rare. You should discuss risks verses rewards with your dentist.
Dental crowns are commonly used as part of dental implant treatments. But crowns can be part of a cosmetic dental treatment to improve your smile.
Dental crowns are like caps for your teeth. A crown can cover up a malformed, crooked, or an otherwise unsightly tooth. Crowns can be designed to emulate the real appearance of your tooth as well.
You can obtain dental crowns as full or partial, 3/4 versions. Full crowns completely cover the natural enamel. Full crowns are the most commonly prescribed. These are often part of dental implant procedures as well.
The 3/4 dental crowns are used to partially cover a tooth. These are the most commonly prescribed for cosmetic improvements of teeth.
You can discuss dental crown options with your dentist. Crowns are generally made from either metal alloys or ceramic. The latter is best for making your crown look a lot like natural teeth. Metal alloy crowns stand out. Think pirates with gold teeth here.
You can use dental crowns to improve the color of your teeth in case veneers or lumineers fail. If you are replacing missing teeth, crowns would make up the visible part of an artificial tooth. The dental crown placement procedure is relatively straightforward. You can ideally receive a dental crown with two or three visits to the dentist.
Sometimes, it’s not the teeth that’s affecting your smile, but the gums. When the gums are placed either too high or too low, it affects how your teeth appear. Your smile can significantly become affected by the placement of your gums.
You inherit your gum line from the genes you get from your parents. But certain life conditions can alter your gum line too. Taking prescription drugs, gum disease, or senior age could make your gum line recede, making your teeth look garishly bigger.
Whatever the cause is, you don’t have to stuck with an unsightly gum line for the rest of your life. It can be altered by a surgical procedure known as gum contouring. You may also know this procedure as gum reshaping or sculpting.
Gun reshaping is a surgical procedure performed by a qualified oral surgeon. It is largely a cosmetic procedure not covered under necessary dental procedures. Your dentist would first examine your gums for issues. If your gums are disease free, you will be referred to an oral surgeon for the procedure.
The oral surgeon would use various tools during the procedure, such as scalpels and lasers. Scalpels contour the gums, while a laser is mostly used to seal the tissue and retain the new shape. Using lasers can minimize bleeding, and also aid in preventing bacteria from getting under the gums.
Gum contouring surgery involves various techniques, which you can discuss with your surgeon. The procedure can be moderately to heavily invasive. In some cases, the oral surgeon may need to remove the bone at the front of a tooth root to properly contour gums and retain the effects on the long term.
The procedure is not painful in process. You will be given a local anesthetic or a sedative during the procedure. You may experience some pain as you begin to recover. It could take days or weeks to fully recover depending on how invasive the procedure was.
Gum contouring has risks, but it’s the only solution to fix smiles affected to protruding or receding gums on a permanent basis.
Is your smile ruined because of broken or damaged teeth? Inlays and onlays can help restore the appearance of damaged teeth and thus improve your smile.
Inlays and onlays are often confused for fillings. These are like fillings but aren’t the same. Regular dental fillings use a filler material to cover up damage on enamel, typically a hole created by a cavity. Inlays and onlays, on the other hand, are designed first in a lab before inserting in your mouth.
Inlays and onlays last longer than fillings. These can completely restore the normal appearance of a tooth damaged by physical forces or cavities, unlike fillings. Traditionally, inlays and onlays were made with metals like gold. But these days you can have inlays and onlays designed with porcelain, which mimic enamel surprisingly well.
Your dentist assesses the damage of a tooth and has the inlay or onlay fillings designed in a lab. Then they will be fitted onto the tooth with a specific bonding process. Your dentist may use a cement to permanently bond the inlay or the onlay to the tooth. This process also strengthens the tooth and immediately improves its appearance.
A dental facelift is a nonsurgical and noninvasive procedure that promises to make your smile appear younger.
As we age, our facial structures can begin to sag. The jawline may recede and our teeth begin to wear down. This has a domino effect on the overall facial structure, where it appears as if the lower part of the face is sagging. Dentists call this the decrease in facial height, which makes your facial proportions look much different than it used to.
Facial sagging was traditionally treated with invasive procedures like plastic surgery or Botox injections. Dental facelift promises to prevent age-related jawline sagging with a novel use of veneers.
Dental veneers are typically used to improve the color and appearance of front teeth. The dental facelift procedure uses many veneers on both front and back teeth in an effort to prevent facial sagging.
This procedure is not without controversy. Some dentists dismiss it as a fad, while others embrace it as a novel technology. The proponents of the procedure say that improving the structure of teeth using veneers can slow down age-related sagging. Skin elasticity can be affected by collagen levels, which decrease with age. But for the facial area, the structure of teeth is also important.
Clever use of veneers in dental facelift procedures may make your cheeks look plumper and overall face appear more uplifted. This procedure may not be for everyone. Therefore, first, discuss the specifics and suitability with a dentist experienced with this procedure.
You can use one or a combination of above cosmetic dental procedures to improve the appearance of your smile. However, you will have to be cautious regarding costs. Regular dental insurance plans don’t cover cosmetic procedures.
There are, however, ways to reduce the cost of your smile makeover procedures. Receiving treatments in a country where dental costs are cheaper will bring the overall costs down, even including travel fees. The best country to travel for dental care is Turkey. As a member of the EU, Turkish dentists are held to the same standards as dentists in Germany or the UK. But the cost of care in the southern European country is much cheaper in comparison.
In Turkey, you can benefit from the same quality dental products as in sold in western Europe. But the dentist fees will be a lot less costly compared to a country like the U.S. Therefore, it’s worthwhile considering this option if a smile makeover is too expensive for you right now.
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