Friday, June 24, 2011
Who could benefit from a smile makeover?
I have many patients who come in admitting that they do not smile or cover their mouth because they are embarrassed. Smiling changes your attitude, whether you realize it or not. You can’t help but have a better attitude when you smile. Smiling also raises your confidence. Smiling affects our emotions because of a brain-body connection. If you are self conscious about your smile, you need a smile makeover.
What is a typical smile makeover?
A smile makeover consists of changing the shape, position and/or color of the teeth in the smile creating harmony with the face. A smile makeover can include many techniques to get the right balance of white (tooth) and pink (gums) for a pleasing effect.
What is involved?
Someone comes in to see me saying they hate the look of their teeth and are afraid to smile. I find out what about their smile bothers them. Let’s say they have dark, crooked teeth. I determine what their goal is, what the budget is, and what time frame need (is there a special event coming up). I collect take the needed records.
Develop a plan
After reviewing the records and patient goals, I will come with a few ideas to give the patient a plan. I go over the steps in order with the patient, review the cost, and get consent to proceed.
Execute the plan
Susan works in the public and hates her smile. She does not like the color of her teeth and they are crooked. Sue also wants to have the treatment done in a less than a year because she has a special trip planned next year. Susan has researched different cosmetic solutions and knows she wants veneers.
After listening to Susan, I agree that veneers will give her the best color and long term wear. Susan's teeth are too crooked for veneers alone to correct. I suggest braces to align the teeth first so veneers can be placed properly. I also suggest whitening the teeth to help blend the teeth not receiving veneers. I tell her that I will place clear braces. Susan is concerned about the length of time she would be in braces. Short term braces will correct just the upper teeth which are less crowded. At the same time one of her lower teeth is completely crowded. I can remove it and close the space with veneers. I tell her that I will place a tooth colored filling to fill in the area while it heals.
1) Place braces and extract lower tooth.
2) Place composite filling in extraction site.
3) Remove braces and whiten teeth, give pt invisible retainers.
3) Place veneers.
4) Make bite-plane to wear at night continue clear retainer in daytime for 1 year on top.
5) Wear bite plane at night only.
Treatment time 7 months.
We begin treatment
I place clear braces on the upper teeth, extract the lower tooth and fill in the space with composite. Six months later, the upper teeth are straight, the braces are removed, and Susan wears clear retainers. Susan does home whitening for two weeks and the color improves on all of the teeth. I prepare the teeth for veneers and place temporary veneers. For the first time Susan can see what the new smile is going to look like.
Finishing the smile makeover
Two weeks later the veneers are placed. I take impressions for a bite-plane to wear at night. Susan wears a clear retainer in the daytime for 1 year. She wears a bite-plane at night to protect her teeth and prevent shifting and protect the veneers from any night bruxism..
Susan has a great new smile, and renewed self confidence. The treatment time is less than one year and she is able to go on her trip with her smile makeover complete.
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