Are there things about your smile you wish you could change? Have old injuries or dental habits caused your teeth to have a lackluster appearance? Is it time for you to reinvent yourself through a new smile? If so, then it may be time for you to get a smile makeover.
Smile makeovers are becoming increasingly possible in cosmetic dentistry. Just as the name suggests, a smile makeover will completely change the appearance of your smile for the better. Depending on your aesthetic goals, smile makeovers can address issues such as:
Additionally, smile makeovers can vary from patient to patient. In some cases, all cosmetic concerns can be corrected with a single cosmetic treatment, while others may require multiple treatments to obtain the best results. If you are considering a smile makeover, here are five different smile makeover options:
Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dental treatment because it is easy, quick, and effective. Whitening procedures can be completed in one dental visit and results are almost immediately visible. During whitening procedures, a whitening agent is applied to the teeth and left for 30-60 minutes. Although it is rinsed off, the whitening agent will continue to work for the next 24 hours. The main downside of teeth whitening for a smile makeover is the fact that it only treats discolored teeth. Because of this, it may work best as a secondary treatment.
Following teeth whitening, porcelain veneers are another highly popular cosmetic dental treatment. Porcelain veneers are thin porcelain shells that are adhered to the front surface of visible teeth in order to correct their color, size, shape, spacing, and alignment. Their versatility is one of the reasons for their popularity. However, dental veneers require that a tiny layer of tooth enamel is removed for their placement. This makes them an irreversible treatment. On average, porcelain veneers can last 10-15 years after their initial placement.
Composite bonding uses dental composite resin to correct minor structural and spacing issues. In some cases, veneers can be made from composite. These generally do not require enamel removal for placement, but they only last half as long. Composite bonding is also commonly used to repair chips or cracks, as well as to fill small gaps between teeth. Composite bonding is valued for its affordability, however it lacks the longevity of other cosmetic treatments.
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are used to replace missing teeth. With dental implants, a titanium implant screw is placed in the jawbone with a connector piece protruding out of the gums. Eventually, a dental crown will be adhered to the connector piece to fill in the gap left by a missing tooth. In some cases, an implant-supported bridge can also be used to fill in gaps left by multiple missing teeth. Dental implants are valued for their aesthetic appeal, extreme strength, and longevity.
Implant-supported dentures are used to restore an entire arch of teeth that are severely decayed, damaged, or missing. They can be used for the upper or lower arches, as well as for both if needed. They are composed of an acrylic or resin denture that is fixed in the mouth by 4-6 dental implants per arch. Implant-supported dentures are considered to be the best option for full mouth reconstruction cases because they offer the benefits of dentures along with the benefits of dental implants. For more information, see “Why Implant-Supported Dentures May Be Right For You”.
As you can see, there are a variety of smile makeover options available. Depending on your individual case and aesthetic goals, teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, composite bonding, dental implants, or implant-supported dentures may be the best cosmetic dental treatment for you. Ultimately, however, only a cosmetic dentist can evaluate your case and help you determine the best smile makeover treatment for your needs.
Dr. Anthony Mancino is Monmouth and Ocean County New Jersey’s General and Cosmetic Dentist and has been practicing for over 25 years focusing on cosmetic and overall dental health. Dr. Mancino is a graduate of Villanova University and University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, New Jersey Dental Association, Monmouth & Ocean County Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry.