In the world of cosmetic dentistry, the term “smile makeover” refers to the process of improving one’s smile. However, the methods for making those improvements vary depending on a patient’s unique issues and wishes. Before a patient decides on the treatment or treatments they want to use, there are certain considerations to be made.
Factors to consider before undergoing a smile makeover
Though a cosmetic dentist would never recommend a treatment that would put a patient’s oral health at risk, patients can maintain control of the situation by carefully considering certain factors before undergoing treatment. Those factors generally have to do with the health and appearance of the existing smile.
The health of the teeth
Before agreeing to undergo any cosmetic dental work, patients should have their teeth evaluated for decay, bone loss and other issues that could render a smile makeover either dangerous or impossible. Dental X-rays can grant patients a visual representation of the health of a smile and serve as guides for dentists when developing a treatment plan.
The color of the teeth
Sometimes, all a patient needs to do to achieve a dazzling, magazine-worthy smile is whiten the teeth. Severely discolored teeth can detract from even the straightest of smiles. Professional teeth whitening is relatively inexpensive and results in an immediate, difference and the results can last for as long as one year. For this reason, patients should consider whether discoloration is the underlying issue.
The health of the gums
Gum health is just as important as teeth health, as the gums provide the stability and support the teeth need. Gums that are unhealthy may develop gum disease, which could lead to tooth loss and other health issues. If a patient has gum issues, a dentist will need to correct them before the patient can undergo any cosmetic dentistry procedure. Without healthy gums, any smile makeover attempts may be fruitless.
Tooth bite also plays a role in a patient’s treatment plan and how long the results last. Ideally, a patient should correct any bite issues before undergoing cosmetic procedures such as veneers, bonding, gum contouring or even whitening. Failure to do so could render any makeover efforts short-lived or unsuccessful.
The teeth’s shape and alignment
Like bite, tooth alignment and shape can drastically affect the longevity of any smile makeover results. It is difficult to create a beautiful smile from teeth that are crooked, have deep bites or are poorly shaped or deteriorated. Like with a bad bite, patients should correct tooth shape and alignment before asking a cosmetic dentist to perform any work. Sometimes, simple procedures such as Invisalign® or braces may be all a patient needs to get a restored smile.
There are several considerations a person should make before agreeing to a smile makeover. Though many have to do with the health of one’s existing smile, others have to do with time, healing and levels of invasiveness. Patients should always discuss questions and concerns in depth with a dentist before agreeing to any procedures.
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