Standards for gleaming smiles are high for Southern Californians because the stars of the silver screen and TV all seem to have been born with a perfect set of teeth. Of course, they were not and almost all of them have had a cosmetic smile makeover. Fortunately, you don’t need to have a celebrity budget to be able to afford a really great smile upgrade.
Hollywood comparisons aside, the truth is that people do make judgments about us and if we are too embarrassed to flash a full smile, that can be interpreted as being unfriendly (or that we don’t bother to take care of our oral health).
The easiest first step is to have your teeth whitened. If you have moderate discoloring, you can try doing it yourself, but over-the-counter whitening kits typically need 2-4 weeks of daily application to remove at most two shades. The strength of their whitening gel varies and it may not be very effective or could be too strong and burn your gums and erode tooth enamel. Contrast that with being able to remove eight or more layers of darkening in just an hour or two in the dental chair if you receive a professional dental whitening.
COSMETIC SMILE MAKEOVER
Another very popular part of a cosmetic smile makeover is the application of veneers, which are thin slices of dental porcelain that are customized to your needs. They can be bonded to the front of teeth one at a time or for all that show when you smile, such as those that are too discolored to be whitened, some that need to cover a chip or crack, to close a gap between teeth, or change the appearance of misshapen ones.
First Visit | Planning and Consultation
The first step in your smile makeover is an initial consultation. With your dentist, you’ll take a look at your smile, discuss what you want to improve, and make a plan for how to achieve it. We seek to create a smile that complements your facial structure and enhances your natural appearance, supporting the lips and following the rule of thirds. At this first visit, in addition to making sure your teeth are clean and healthy, we take any pictures, X-rays, or molds that are necessary.
Second Visit | Temporary Appliances
In this visit, we place any temporary appliances that you have selected, such as crowns or veneers. That way, you can assess your new look and make adjustments before we make any permanent installations. Each patient’s smile makeover is different, so this visit may also include fillings, teeth whitening, or other cosmetic procedures. Our philosophy is to preserve as much of your original tooth structure as possible, so temporary appliances allow us to proceed with care.
Third Visit | Perfecting Your New Look
This visit usually occurs a few weeks after the second visit. By now, you’ve hopefully gotten the chance to get used to your temporary appliances and gotten feedback from others about your new look. We can make adjustments based on your notes before taking molds for your permanent appliances, and also select the final shade so your appliances will blend in with your natural teeth.
Fourth Visit | Permanent Appliances
Now it’s time to get your permanent appliances. For veneers patients, this visit is particularly important, as your new veneers are meant to last for many years. This visit will probably be the lengthiest, as we operate with the utmost skill and care to realize your smile makeover goals. Be sure to keep up your oral hygiene, brushing and flossing daily before and after your procedures. Veneers, crowns, and fillings can wear down just like natural teeth, and taking care of them lessens the chance that you’ll need to replace them down the road.
Fifth Visit | Final Check-Up and Assessment
Finally, you’ll come in for a post-op visit. We’re eager to make sure that your new appliances are fitting comfortably and that you’ve achieved the results you wanted. We take a final set of photos so you can see the drastic difference that your smile makeover has made. If all has gone well, you’ll walk out the door with a whole new smile and greater confidence to live the life you want.
What is a smile makeover?
What treatments are involved with a smile makeover?
Smile makeovers can involve any of the following treatments in different combinations:
- Teeth whitening
- Dental implants
- Fillings and dental bonding
Why would I need a smile makeover?
Smile makeovers are most helpful when you have multiple aesthetic issues you’d like to fix. For example, if you have missing teeth and the remaining teeth are discolored, you can get both teeth whitening and dental implants as part of your smile makeover.
What issues can a smile makeover fix?
Potential issues that a smile makeover can address include:
- Yellowed, stained, and otherwise discolored teeth
- Decayed or worn teeth
- Crooked or crowded teeth
- Missing teeth
- Chips, cracks, and gaps
How does my dentist visualize a new smile?
You are also encouraged to bring in pictures of your ideal smile, such as celebrities or even pictures of yourself when you were younger. Any visual reference helps your dentist plan your course of treatment.
When is a smile makeover recommended?
The answer is up to you. Each patient’s situation is different, and the point at which you decide you’re ready for a smile makeover may be different than someone else’s. The one procedure we do recommend right away is filling in missing teeth with dental implants or dentures, since the longer those gaps go unfilled, the greater the risk of bone decay.
How long does a smile makeover take?
That depends on which procedures you’re having done. A simple filling can be done in a single office visit, while dental implants can take months to place. Your dentist will plan your course of treatment to minimize the number of office visits. Often, it’s possible to do more than one procedure in one visit (i.e. doing fillings on the same day as installing a crown). If there’s an event you’d like your smile to be ready for, like a holiday party or graduation, we can take this deadline into account.
How can I get started?
Contact us to set up your smile makeover consultation. We’re eager to help you achieve your ideal smile.
WHY CHOOSE US?
Invisalign nearly invisible plastic trays or aligners make the orthodontic process of straightening crooked teeth much easier, quicker, and more comfortable than traditional braces. The biggest advantage is that you can remove the aligners before you eat and place them back in afterwards, eliminating the need for dietary restrictions and difficult cleaning procedures. You will receive new Invisalign aligners every couple of weeks as your teeth are gently moved into their new positions and you will come in for regular checkups on progress. Typically, the process takes a year, instead of 2-3 years for braces.
Dental implants are the best solution for teeth that are missing, whether due to an accident or poor oral hygiene that causes them to fall out. Replacing them is critical, since otherwise the response of the mouth to gaps is to cause the neighboring teeth to lean in to close it, resulting in more loose teeth. Implants will stop the misalignment because they are anchored into the jaw, while dentures are not and so need to be adjusted to loss of bone about every five years. Of course, from a cosmetic standpoint, you can’t have an attractive smile with a tooth that is missing.
There are other elements of a smile makeover, from dental bonding to cover gaps and discoloring to contouring and reshaping teeth. Call for an appointment to have a full examination and explore your options to get to your personal perfect smile. We serve patients all over the Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Thousand Oaks, Santa Monica, and other cities.