Dental Smile Makeovers – Why, what, how & the results

Posted by: Mark Oborn

Dental smile makeovers have had a lot of press over the years, the TV show Extreme Makeover very often used dentistry as a way to radically improve and enhance a person’s smile, after all, everyone wants a great smile.

Why does a dental smile makeover make such a difference?

One of the key reasons is that your teeth provide support for your face, particularly your lips and cheeks. Many people like to have a youthful look with no lines and wrinkles around their mouth, if teeth are lost or are not in the correct position then they may not be pushing out from the inside of the cheeks quite so much, this leaves the skin slightly looser which then has a tendency to become wrinkled.

A dental smile makeover will very often push out the teeth slightly, stretching the skin on the cheeks and lips making a more youthful look.

Why are dental smile makeovers so effective?

Another key reason is that as we age the distance (Known as vertical dimension) between the bottom of our nose and tip of our chin reduces, this is due to natural tooth wear as the teeth erode. This has the same effect as the teeth not pushing out from the inside, the skin becomes looser and more wrinkled as we lose this vertical dimensional between our nose and chin.

It’s amazing how much impact our teeth have on the shape and perceived age of our face!

Dental smile makeovers can address all of these issues by rebuilding the teeth to their youthful size (thereby increasing the vertical dimension), plus plumping out the lips to give a more youthful look. Dental magic in action…

What is included in a smile makeover?

Treatments and smile makeovers can include:

  • Teeth whitening-to whiten natural teeth
  • Dental veneers-a thin covering over the surface of your teeth made by a highly skilled dental technician.
  • Dental bonding-tooth coloured composite resin material which is bonded to the front surface of your teeth, very often used to repair broken teeth.
  • Dental crowns-a full covering for your tooth (not just the front like veneers), this can be used to rebuild back teeth to open up the vertical dimension.
  • Orthodontics-used to straighten crooked teeth to a more ideal position, sometimes used in combination with dental veneers, whether orthodontics move the teeth to a better position which are then restored to be brighter or different shape with veneers.
  • Dental implants or dental bridges-used to replace missing teeth.
  • Soft tissue surgery – this can be used to treat a gummy smile.

There is no single treatment, things are very often used in combination with one another to create the desired result.

What is a mini smile makeover

Mini smile makeovers are becoming increasingly popular, particularly in the local Chelsea, Belgrave and Victoria area. A mini smile makeover usually only involves the front teeth and is very often a combination of:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Dental bonding
  • Rapid orthodontics

Now that you know how a smile makeover works you will be able to see that sometimes a mini smile makeover is not able to fully produce the results desired. The mini smile makeover cannot open up the vertical dimension and increase the distance between the tip of the nose and chin (remember this often reduces as we get older as the teeth wear), if you have lost vertical dimension which has impacted the profile of your face then it may only be a full smile makeover which can make a difference.

Mini smile makeovers can however be an excellent way to rapidly brighten up your smile, making your teeth and face look more youthful.

Am I suitable for a smile makeover?

Every dental treatment always starts with the primary question, are you dentally fit and well? There is absolutely no point in spending money on a dental smile makeover if you have underlying dental problems. This is because these underlying dental problems could result in compromising the work that is done on your smile makeover and also because the problems could get worse due to the treatment undertaken.

For example, if you have gum disease this can be aggravated by the treatment process required for dental veneers. The process could aggravate the gums even more and thereby exacerbate the gum disease making it worse.

Another possibility is that you might have early signs of dental decay. If the decay (and the cause of the decay) is not addressed first then you run the risk of spending money on a smile makeover, only to have the restorations removed in order to treat the decay.

It simply does not make sense to place restorations such as veneers, crowns or composite bonding over the top of a tooth which is already compromised. You absolutely need to be dentally fit prior to going ahead with a smile makeover.

Even teeth whitening is included in this principle. The action of whitening teeth can cause an irritating effect to the gums if they are already inflamed. If you attempt teeth whitening with inflamed gums you can make the gum inflammation even worse.

If you answer YES to all of the following questions then you are most likely to be suitable for smile makeover.

  • Are your gums a light pink colour with no red inflamed areas?
  • When you clean your teeth, is the toothpaste you spit out always completely white with no red blood visible?
  • When you clean in between your teeth using an interdental brush or floss, is this done with absolutely no bleeding?
  • When you look in between your teeth are they completely free from plaque? (If this is the only question that you cannot answer yes to, then this can be fairly quickly remedied with a visit to the hygienist plus a slight change to your daily health care regime)

If you answered no to the first 3 questions above when you are likely to require a short course of hygiene treatment in order to address the underlying dental health issues. HOWEVER only by having a full dental assessment can we be absolutely sure that you are clear of any dental decay and disease. If any decay or disease is spotted then this must be treated prior to any smile makeover treatment.

Summary of dental smile makeovers

A dental smile makeover can help you feel confident and make a huge difference to your life, with 0% finance often available this can make them highly affordable and achievable for many people.

What are you waiting for?