Smile design, or smile makeover, involves a combination of cosmetic and restorative dental procedures that enhance the appearance of your smile and facial features.
The process is personal…and for many, extremely exciting. Ok, let’s be honest. This is a big deal. Frequently, our patients have waited years to make significant changes, and are anticipating the opportunity to address congenital abnormalities or reduce evidence of aging. Or to simply “fix” the aspects of their smiles that they just don’t like.
Cosmetic work, or even what appears to be a full “makeover” does not necessarily mean that every aspect of your entire smile is changed. Your desire defines the purely cosmetic aspects of your treatment.
The first step is a consultation to give you an opportunity to meet with Dr. Solow to describe your cosmetic goals and discuss the end results you hope to achieve. Dr. Solow will explain the feasibility of designing that new smile, take x-rays, or make study models, if needed. He will consider a variety of factors–the length of each tooth, texture, proportion, alignment and spacing, color, and even missing teeth in crafting your new look. And the best part is that your input is a major factor in your treatment.
Cosmetic dentistry may utilize any and, sometimes, nearly every resource in the dental toolbox. Porcelain veneers can be used to change the color and shape of teeth and fill in small gaps. For teeth that are misaligned or improperly spaced, orthodontic treatment such as lnvisalign@ may be employed, while porcelain veneers or crowns may be effective in less extreme cases. Laser gum contouring may be used to reshape the gum line to highlight the shape of your new teeth. Dental implants may be recommended to replace missing teeth.
How is this different from dentistry which is primarily restorative? Technique-wise, it isn’t very different. In restorative dentistry, a dentist shows off mastery by demonstrating skill at matching new restorations–crowns, veneers, fillings and the like–to the existing dental landscape. Where the focus is primarily or significantly cosmetic (restorative and cosmetic features undertaken as part of the same treatment plan), changing certain aspects of your smile can be affected by matching to a new idea.
In our office, procedures selected are always patient specific. There is no “typical” or “usual” cosmetic make-over and the final results will, in every respect, be unique to you.
Patients are sometimes hesitant to seek cosmetic treatment because they expect that cost may be prohibitive. Most smile design procedures are considered elective, and thus are not covered by dental insurance plans. We get it. If cost is a concern, some treatment plans may be undertaken in segments. We also offer our patients financing options, utilizing Care Credit, to help put that perfect smile within your budget.