100 West Dental

What Goes Into a Smile Makeover?

One of the patients at 100 West Dental

It's all too easy to let your dental health get away from you during a busy time in your life. If you realize that your smile is starting to look less than sparkling, there's no need to worry. Just like a home renovation, you can address all the major issues affecting your teeth in a process known as a smile makeover. Even minor health issues like early stages of gum disease or cavities are often included in this kind of combination treatment. Only you and your dentist can decide what will work best to help you achieve your dental health goals. Each smile makeover is tailored to the needs and preferences of the patient. With the help of your cosmetic dentist, Dr. Prior in Ballwin MO, you can make a plan to tackle it all in as few visits as possible. Get the brighter and whiter smile you've been dreaming about before your next big event by starting on the makeover process today.

Smile Makeover vs Full Mouth Rehabilitation

A makeover is considered a step below the full mouth rehabilitation process. If you're missing many teeth, experiencing more severe stages of gum disease, or otherwise dealing with oral health problems, you'll need a more advanced treatment plan. The smile makeover largely addresses cosmetic issues like discoloration, stains, misshapen or mildly chipped teeth, and a few missing teeth. While fillings and crowns can definitely help improve decay issues as well during the process, most of the focus is on improving the appearance of your smile. This means that the process usually takes fewer visits than a complete mouth rehabilitation. You'll also have more options to mix and match the right procedures to get the results you want. While no one will likely know what work you’ve had done, they'll definitely appreciate your sparkling new smile! 

Why Get a Smile Makeover?

There's more to getting a better-looking smile than you might realize - it goes beyond just how your smile looks, studies have shown that people with whiter and better-aligned teeth enjoy a higher level of self-esteem. Having good self-esteem helps you achieve more in your life, both toward your career goals and in personal endeavors. Becoming more comfortable smiling with your teeth exposed builds trust with others and portrays a sense of confidence. You may be surprised at just how life changing it is to achieve the smile of your dreams! 

The Parts of a Smile Makeover

Each smile makeover is unique and only includes treatments that you want or need. To achieve your oral health goals, your cosmetic dentist, Dr. Prior in Ballwin MO may recommend one or more of the following procedures.

Teeth Whitening

Almost all smile makeovers will include teeth whitening at some stage. Even if you mainly need crowns or implants to close in gaps, whitening is needed to help match the new material to your existing teeth. This is because leaving stains and yellowing from aging in place may make it more obvious that you've had dental work done. Professional whitening from your dentist has a lower chance of side effects like sensitivity than home treatments, in addition to working much faster and giving more even results.

Dental Veneers

Covering up stubborn stains that remain after whitening is easy enough for the dentist skilled at placing veneers. Veneers are thin layers of material like resin or porcelain that are attached to the front of the most visible teeth. These veneers can not only create the appearance of smooth and white enamel, but they also change the shape of the tooth and can disguise chips and other minor forms of damage. Most veneers last over a decade before they need replacement, and they resist staining better than your natural teeth.

Dental Bonding

Bonding is a process similar to placing a veneer, but there's no solid piece of material to attach to the tooth. Instead, a thick coating is applied similarly to how nail polish is applied to nails. This layer of enamel-like material creates a bright, white, and smooth appearance without requiring the prep work needed for veneers. Veneers must be placed on teeth that have a small amount of enamel polished away to make space for them. Since bonding involves a liquid material that clings to the surface, there's little to no enamel removed first. Bonding can disguise damage like cracks, but it has less hiding or shaping power than veneers.

Crowns and Dental Implants

Bigger dental problems call for bigger solutions. Crowns are a good choice for teeth too damaged for veneers or bonding. This dental device sits over the top of the shaped and reinforced tooth, protecting it from further damage after cracking or chipping. It's also a good compliment to teeth that need a root canal due to extensive decay and infection. If a tooth can't be saved, a dental implant will fill in the gap and restore your smile. These implants are based around titanium posts that connect to your natural jawbone much like a tooth's roots. They're more stable than partial dentures and can last the rest of your lifetime with care.

Gum Contouring

If you feel like your smile has changed because of spreading or receding gum tissue, your dentist may be able to contour the tissue to improve the appearance of your smile. In the case of gum recession, it may be necessary to protect your teeth from decay as well. The dentist will first identify what's causing your gums to recede or grow so that the problem doesn't return over time. Gum contouring is only a minor surgical treatment, requiring a few weeks of healing before other makeover steps like teeth whitening can be completed.

Composite Fillings

Rather than old-fashioned mercury amalgam fillings, most patients and dentists alike prefer composite fillings for their enamel-matching color. Having older fillings removed and replaced with "invisible" fillings can improve the appearance of your smile while also protecting your teeth from future decay. Older fillings need replacement every 10 to 20 years depending on their composition and placement. It's always a good idea to upgrade while having them replaced, and disguising the work you've had done is always a great way to build your self-confidence.

Invisible Aligners

Alignment issues don't have to require the use of bulky and visible metal braces. Invisible aligners slowly move your teeth into new positions with less discomfort. Because of their discrete appearance, likely no one will even notice that you're undergoing this treatment. Many aligner programs take under 2 years to complete, leaving you with a straighter bite pattern to go with the rest of your smile improvements.

You can get started on your journey to a better smile today by scheduling an appointment or virtual consultation at 100 West Dental! Our team can outline all the steps we can take to deal with alignment, discoloration, and damage issues affecting your smile. If you need a full mouth rehabilitation instead, we can also help guide you on that process. We pride ourselves on supporting our patients through their dental health challenges with compassion and care!

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