A smile makeover is a process of improving the appearance of the smile through one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as dental veneers, composite bonding, porcelain crowns, and teeth whitening.
Some of the components taken into consideration include your facial appearance, skin tone, hair color, teeth (color, width, length, shape and tooth display), gum tissue and lips. Smile makeovers are performed for many reasons and customized according to your unique considerations.
What is it that you like or dislike about your smile or your teeth? Some aspects of your smile that your cosmetic dentist will review with you and that could be improved include the following:
Silver or amalgam dental fillings can be replaced with natural, tooth-colored composite restorations, while teeth whitening can improve the color of stained or dulled teeth. Tooth color and shading are important considerations during the evaluation of and preparation for various procedures, including porcelain veneers, crowns, bridges, composite bonding and dental implants.
When considering the color of your teeth, keep in mind that dark or discolored teeth may suggest an aged mouth. A well-shaped smile comprised of bright, white teeth lends to a youthful appearance. The shade your Dr. Melchiorre selects for teeth whitening and veneers is carefully evaluated with special consideration given to the tone and color of your face and hair. Dr. Melchiorre is skilled at finding the right balance between providing you with a brighter, whiter smile and maintaining a natural tooth color.
Alignment and Spacing
Teeth that are crooked, overlapping or have gaps between them can be straightened and aligned when necessary through orthodontics or Invisalign and improved with veneers.
Missing Teeth: One or more missing teeth can negatively affect the appearance of your smile – as well as affect your bite and increase your risk for tooth decay – making replacement an integral part of oral health and facial esthetics. Missing teeth can be replaced by dental implants, bridges or partial dentures.
Harmony and Balance
Uneven, chipped and cracked teeth can be cosmetically bonded for an improved appearance, and a gummy smile can be re-contoured to help improve the overall look of the smile.
Fuller Lips, Smile and Cheeks
An unshapely or aging face can be improved or rejuvenated with certain procedures in the smile makeover category, including orthodontics and/or oral maxillofacial surgery.
Dr. Paul Melchiorre, DMD will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan designed to achieve exactly what you want from your makeover. This treatment plan may consist of many cosmetic and functionally restorative procedures, potentially including teeth whitening, composite bonding, veneers, dental crowns, orthodontics (braces), oral maxillofacial surgery and gummy smile reduction.
Aesthetic Components of a Smile Makeover
In addition to the color, alignment and balance of your teeth in the aesthetic zone of your smile (the section of upper and lower teeth that show when you smile), there are several attributes of your teeth and smile that your cosmetic dentist will evaluate with you when planning your makeover. These include:
Long teeth lend a youthful appearance. Aging produces wear and tear that often results in shorter teeth, and a gummy smile also can make teeth appear shorter. A treatment for shorter teeth may include reshaping and lengthening the two front central teeth with composite bonding or porcelain veneers. If you have a gummy smile, your cosmetic dentist may provide treatment to modify the gum line and lengthen the appearance of the teeth using laser dentistry procedures. You may also be referred to a periodontist for crown lengthening if necessary.
Teeth lengthening may also impact your overall facial appearance. For example, shapely, long, square teeth on a round-faced individual can provide a slimming effect.
The smile line is an imaginary line that follows the edges of your upper teeth from side to side, which ideally should be the same as the curve of your lower lip when you smile. This standard point of reference may be used to help determine how long your new teeth should be.
Dr. Melchiorre will examine your teeth to determine if they are in correct proportion with each other. Most people recognize a pleasing smile as one in which the two central front teeth are dominant and have a width-to-length ratio of 4-to-5. This proportion guides the length and width of other teeth in the aesthetic zone so that the smile line appears balanced.
Tooth Texture and Characterization
Dr. Paul Melchiorre is an artistic dentist who can characterize your crowns or veneers to create a more feminine or a more masculine appearance, in addition to matching the look and feel of natural teeth or those you’ve seen in photographs.
Cost of a Smile Makeover
The duration of treatment and cost of your smile makeover will vary depending on your dentist, your location, your level of dental insurance, the state of your oral health and the extent of your customized makeover plan.
Your treatment may be more expensive and take longer if your dentist identifies any underlying oral health issues before beginning treatment. Although these restorative procedures may be covered in part by your dental insurance carrier, you may pay more for treatment than someone with immaculate oral health.
With proper care and regular dental visits, your smile will look good and your crowns, veneers, and other restorations will last for many years. In fact, resin-based restorations (such as tooth-colored fillings) can last anywhere from three to nine years or longer with proper care. Porcelain restorations can last 10 years or more before they need to be replaced.
Dr. Melchiorre will provide instructions to ensure the long-term beauty of your new smile. Be sure to keep all follow-up and regular cleaning appointments!