Smile Makeover: What Does It Involve and Why Might You Need One?

You’ve definitely heard that smiling is contagious. But did you know that that’s actually a proven scientific fact?

Your smile is one of the first facial expression you ever make, and it has an impact on how approachable you appear. Because it’s such an important aspect of your appearance, people who aren’t happy with their natural smile may want a smile correction.

If you’re one of many individuals who aren’t satisfied with their smile, a smile makeover can help you turn that frown upside down. This cosmetic dentistry makeover can fix everything from broken teeth to the fullness of your face.

If that sounds like the smile you’ve always wanted, keep reading to find out all of the details.

What is a Smile Makeover?

A smile makeover involves the use of cosmetic dentistry procedures with the aim of improving the appearance of the smile. The various procedures that can be involved include:

  • Composite bonding
  • Dental implants
  • Dental veneers
  • Whitening

Smile corrections are the best option for individuals who require more than just a single cosmetic dentistry treatment to achieve their desired smile.

When considering a smile makeover, you’ll work directly with a dental professional to customize a treatment that enhances your smile in accordance with your physical appearance as well as your desires.

What’s Involved in a Smile Makeover?

Your customized treatment plan will be developed between you and your cosmetic dentist. This combination of treatments will improve the aesthetics of your smile. But they’ll also employ functionally restorative procedures that improve how your teeth function.

Treatment plans will address the following dental concerns in restoring and improving your smile.

Tooth Alignment

One of the more obvious signs of an imperfect smile is crooked, overlapping, or unevenly spaced teeth. Part of a smile restoration might involve correcting any issues with straightness or alignment. This can be achieved with orthodontic treatments such as Invisalign or with veneers.

Missing or Broken Teeth

Having missing or broken teeth not only affects your outward appearance. It can also cause problems with your bite and puts you more at risk for tooth decay. Fixing these issues means avoiding potential problems that can arise down the road.

Implants, bridges, and partial dentures can be used to treat missing teeth depending on the severity. Cosmetic bonding can be used to correct unevenness as well as repair chips and cracks.

Tooth Color

For many of the smile improving procedures involved in a smile makeover, the color and shade of your teeth is an important consideration in your evaluation.

If you’re in need of porcelain veneers, bridges, crowns, composite bonding, or dental implants, then your cosmetic dentist will have to consider your tooth color. This should be evaluated in relation to your skin tone and hair color. An experienced and skilled cosmetic dentist will be able to find the exact right match for your physical characteristics.

Whitening is a great option for reducing the appearance of stains on teeth. They can also improve the appearance of dull teeth. Composite restorations can also replace silver or amalgam fillings for a cleaner and more uniform look.

Gum Recontour

Most people don’t realize how important your gum line is as it relates to your smile. Both recession of the gums and prominent gums can throw off the proportions of your smile and negatively impact your appearance.

A cosmetic dentist can use gum augmentation or gum contouring to balance your gum line with your teeth and smile. Gum augmentation is used for treating gum recession whereas gum contouring is best for prominent gums that need to be reduced.

Maintaining Your Smile Makeover

Once you have the smile you’ve always dreamed of, you have to maintain it. Maintaining your smile correction involves regular treatment and preventative care. It’s practicing good hygiene and avoiding activities that could damage the work you’ve had done.

Your particular maintenance routine will depend on the procedures you’ve had done. Your dentist can help you develop a maintenance and treatment plan that will give you the best results for your particular situation.

Hygiene

Brushing and flossing your teeth are 2 key components of maintaining your new smile. You should be brushing at least twice per day. Flossing can be performed once per day and no more than twice per day (to avoid gum irritation).

Brushing

Avoid using a highly abrasive toothpaste or toothbrush. These can cause scratches on the surface of your teeth, implants, or veneers and, eventually, it will cause them to lose their polish and luster. Instead, look for a fluoride toothpaste that’s non-abrasive. 

Flossing

Nobody likes to floss – except when it’s 1 hour before your next dentist appointment and you’re trying to trick the dental assistant. But it’s a hugely important part of your dental hygiene and maintaining your smile.

Flossing removes plaque and built-up debris from between your teeth and gums. Beyond preventing gum disease and tooth decay, regularly flossing will increase how long your new smile lasts. And because veneers require good gum health, flossing is an essential task for patients receiving this treatment. 

Mouthwash

A note about mouthwash: don’t use it if you have composite fillings, crowns, or veneers.

Why?

Because mouthwash that contains alcohol (i.e. the majority of mouthwashes), will degrade your restorations as well as your teeth. If you can find alcohol-free mouthwash, that’s a much safer option for someone who has had a smile makeover.

Diet and other Precautions

You should know that the food and drink you consume affects your teeth. For example, drinking a lot of coffee can stain teeth and leave them looking yellow. Smoking has the same effect.

So after having a teeth whitening or any other smile correction procedure, you want to avoid anything that can negatively affect the color or structure of your new teeth.

That means staying away from high-sugar foods and drinks. This can help prevent cavities. You should also stay away from coffee, soda, and tea – all of these have a tendency to stain tooth.

Alcohol also has an effect on dental work. As such, alcoholic beverages should be limited and never consumed in excess.

Try not to chew or bite on hard objects that could crack or chip your teeth. And in the case that you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding), you should get fitted for a nightguard.

Cosmetic Maintenance

Some dental treatments require follow-ups to ensure they continue performing.

If you have your teeth whitened, you may have to repeat the procedure to maintain the whiteness and brightness. That’s especially true if you don’t kick old habits that led to staining in the first place.

Veneers can chip and break. When this happens, you’ll be required to visit the dentist and have them fixed or replaced. 

Crowns generally need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years regardless of how well you’ve taken care of them. Composite bonding is prone to staining and the occasional enhancement or replacement can fix that promptly. Even gum contouring may require upkeep.

Are You a Good Candidate for a Smile Makeover?

If you’re in good dental health overall but you struggle with cosmetic issues, you might be a good candidate for a smile makeover. A good candidate will also have realistic expectations as to what can be accomplished in their smile restoration. They should be aware of, and accept, the risks and recovery process as well as the potential maintenance requirements.

If you’re not happy with how your smile reflects what’s inside, a smile makeover gives you a chance to correct that. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

The Dental Implant Process: What to Expect

Have you been debating getting dental implants?

Nobody wants to have surgery. It’s normal to be nervous about the procedure and the recovery afterwards. 

Going under the knife isn’t anyone’s favorite way to spend an afternoon. However, the numerous benefits to getting implants is worth it for most people.

If you’ve lost teeth to injury or disease, you could get dentures.

With that route, you don’t have to bother with a procedure or recovery. But, you will have to deal with slipping, soreness, and impeded speech. You have to take them out often to clean, so they’ll always be on your mind. 

On the other hand, after you’ve recovered from dental implant surgery, your new teeth will feel natural to you. They look better than dentures and there’s much less maintenance. 

Though the benefits are huge, you might still be feeling tentative about undergoing surgery. Knowing exactly what to expect can make you less worried and will allow you to make an informed decision as to whether this is right for you.

If you’re considering this surgery, you should understand what the procedure involves. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the dental implant process. 

Before Surgery 

After your initial consultation, your dental surgeon will put together a surgery plan for you. This will be tailored to you and your situation. It will depend on how many teeth you’re replacing, the health of your gums, and more. 

Your surgeon will also give you pre-surgery prep instructions. It’s important to follow these directions to the letter so you have a smooth and successful procedure.

These instructions may include rinsing with an anti-bacterial mouthwash. You could be given antibiotics to take in the days before surgery. Depending on whether you’re going under anesthesia or not, there could be additional directions. 

Before your surgery, your surgeon will explain the process of what they’ll be doing. But generally, most dental implant surgeries follow the same steps. 

During Surgery 

Dental implants require two separate procedures. After the first surgery, you’ll require some time to heal which can be anywhere between six to twelve weeks. 

First Procedure

Depending on your treatment plan, you could be put under anesthesia. Another option is that your mouth is numbed and then you’re sedated for your comfort. 

Once you’re ready, the dental surgeon will make an incision in the gum where the implant will go. Then, a hole will be drilled into the jawbone to make room for a titanium post. 

The post will be inserted and secured. Then, the gum is stitched back up. 

Over the next few months, the bone will heal around the post. This will lock it securely in place. 

You will also have dental impressions taken so crowns can be created. Using a computer model, crowns will be designed so they have the right bite for your mouth. Additionally, they will be made to match the exact shade of white of your other teeth.

Length of Surgery

The amount of time this surgery will take depends on the patient. One consideration is the health of the mouth. 

Another consideration is the number of posts that will be implanted. The more teeth being replaced, the longer the surgery will take. Someone who is getting one post inserted can expect the surgery to be around an hour long. 

Whether or not you are sedated or put under general anesthesia will also affect the time frame. Your surgeon can give you the closest estimate for how long they expect the surgery to take. 

Second Procedure

In the second procedure, your custom made crowns will be secured to the titanium posts. The amount of crowns put in the mouth depends on the needs of the patient. 

You might have one singular crown attached to replace one missing tooth. Another option is a three tooth crown. 

This type of crown might be used if a cluster of three teeth are missing. It can also be used if only one tooth is missing but the surrounding teeth are damaged or diseased. Then those other teeth will be extracted in the first procedure. 

The benefit of have a three teeth crown is that they can support each other making the implants more secure. 

A full arch implant is the final option. This is for someone who needs crowns for the entire upper or lower row of teeth.

After Surgery and Recovery 

After surgery, you’ll be given some time to bounce back from the sedation or anesthesia. When you’re fully awake and coherent, you will get some aftercare instructions. 

Prior to your procedure, you likely arranged to have someone accompany you or to pick you up after. As with any surgery, it’s unsafe to drive yourself home after because you’ll be impaired. 

When you get home, the recovery can begin. 

Medication and Pain Management 

To minimize the risk of infection, you will probably be prescribed an antibiotic. 

Your doctor might also prescribe you some medication to ease any discomfort or pain after surgery. This could be a narcotic or a prescription level dose of Ibuprofen. If you’ve been prescribed something, you will probably want to take it that first day or two.

But, the more posts that were implanted, the longer you can expect to be sore or need the prescribed painkillers.

When the bulk of the pain subsides, keeping up a regiment of over the counter Advil or Tylenol should take the edge off. You can also ice your jaw to keep any potential swelling down.

Eating 

It’s important to keep your mouth clean after surgery. That means avoiding foods that could get stuck in incision areas, like popcorn or nuts. 

You can brush your teeth to keep things hygienic and get rid of food particles. But, you must be extremely careful and gentle.

The food you eat for the next few days should be soft and require minimal chewing. This will minimize soreness and will keep you from opening up the incision areas.

Save the well-done steak and corn on the cob until your mouth is healed!

You might want to comfort your mouth with a nice, cold milkshake. But be sure to avoid drinking it with a straw, as they can create painful dry sockets. 

Additional After Care 

To deal with any bleeding, you can gently bite down on gauze for 20 or 30 minutes. Don’t exercise or do anything strenuous as that can make bleeding worse. 

But rest assured, the recovery process for dental implants is brief. You should be good to go back to work the next day. 

However, if the next day you’re worse off than you were before, it could be a sign of a complication. 

Possible Complications 

Installing a dental implant is a routine procedure. But every surgery presents potential risks, no matter how unlikely they may be. 

If you’re going under general anesthesia, that presents its own possible complications. It’s important to be upfront with your dental surgeon about your medical history so they can decide if you’re safe to go under. 

You might think that some of your history won’t affect your dental surgery. For example, having a history of seizures might seem irrelevant. But, that can actually affect your risk level in regards to the anesthesia. 

Other complications include infection around the implant. Your body could also end up rejecting the implant. 

It’s important to be aware of these possibilities so you can look out for warning signs. If you do sense that something isn’t going as it should, get back to your dental surgeon right away. 

But again, these are unlikely scenarios. The vast majority of people recover quickly and go on to have a satisfying relationship with their new smile. 

Taking Care of Your Implants 

After your crowns have been put on, you’ll still schedule additional follow-up appointments. Your dental surgeon will want to check on you to make sure that the implants are feeling and looking good. 

Your dentist might give you additional instructions for how to brush and floss around the implanted tooth. But mostly, you’ll be taking care of it like your natural teeth. That means seeing a dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months

What to Expect From the Dental Implant Process

No one likes to have work done on their teeth. But, knowing what to expect from the dental implant process will set your mind at ease. Once it’s over, you’ll have the beautiful and confident smile you want. 

Want to find out if you’re a good candidate for dental implants? Then request an appointment with us today!