A smile makeover consists of different dental care treatments performed cumulatively as part of a specific plan. While it may help to improve dental health overall, often the primary purpose is to enhance smile appearance. The treatments involved may not always be necessary to optimize tooth function.
Nevertheless, there can be value in a smile makeover. For better or worse, people may judge others based on appearance, perhaps even without realizing it. When employers make unconscious judgments about employees and applicants on the basis of appearance, it can affect prospects related to employment, raises or promotions.
Smile makeover treatments that improve aesthetics
A smile makeover consists of two basic types of treatments: Those that only improve the appearance of one's smile, and those that improve both the aesthetics and function of the teeth. The former may include the following.
Contouring involves changing the shape of one or more oral structures. Contouring can be performed on either teeth or gums. For patients who feel that too much of the teeth show due to gum recession, contouring can restore the lost tissue. Gum contouring can also trim away any excess tissue that may develop and obscure the teeth.
Reshaping or contouring of the teeth can eliminate small cracks or sharp edges. It can also produce the desired tooth shape and size by shaving away some of the enamel.
The color of a tooth has no effect on its function. Nevertheless, some people find whiter teeth more attractive. The following techniques can be effective at whitening the teeth on either a temporary or permanent basis:
- Veneers: Thin porcelain surface that improves appearance by adhering to the front of the teeth
- Bonding: Natural tooth-colored resin painted on the surface of the teeth
- Bleaching: Chemicals applied to change the color of the teeth
Smile makeover treatments that improve function
The following techniques may improve tooth function as well as the appearance of one's smile.
One or more missing teeth not only cause noticeable gaps in the mouth, but they can also make tasks such as speaking and chewing more difficult. Implants function almost identically to natural teeth and imitate the appearance of those nearby so effectively that observers usually cannot recognize them as artificial.
Crowns are similar to veneers in that each crown fits over a tooth, improving the appearance in the process. However, crowns cover the tooth completely, restoring function to decayed or damaged teeth.
Malalignment or malocclusion of the teeth can cause difficulties. At the same time, many people do not like the way crooked teeth look. A course of orthodontic treatment, which may include braces, retainers or oral appliances, may be able to bring teeth into better alignment. Realignment trays custom fitted to the teeth may provide straightening without being noticeable to observers. However, not everyone is a candidate for this treatment.
A smile makeover may do more than bolster the opinions of others. It may also help to improve one's own confidence and self-esteem, which can also assist one professionally.
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