You may have heard bits and pieces of information about cosmetic dentistry and smile makeovers through the years. Cosmetic dental procedures became hugely popular when the television show Extreme Makeover was on ABC. The starring dentist, Dr. Bill Dorfman, completed amazing smile transformations that changed the appearance and confidence of his patients. I think that Extreme Makeover showed America just how awesome cosmetic dentistry can be, and that’s how the procedures became so very popular.
There are a few key procedures most commonly used in smile makeovers. I’m going to give you brief explanations so that you can better understand what’s available to you in my downtown Denver dental office. I’ve been through extensive training in cosmetic dentistry, and I also teach courses on some of the following techniques. If you schedule a smile makeover consultation, I’ll be more than happy to answer all of your questions and provide you with options to address your main smile imperfections.
Purpose: Corrects chips, gaps, irregular or odd spacing, misshapenness, misalignments, discolorations; can replace bulky crowns on front teeth.
Material: High quality dental porcelain that looks like natural tooth enamel; very durable
Procedure: Prepare teeth. Take impression. Place temporaries. When veneers arrive from lab, remove temporaries and place permanent restorations.
Time: Three visits – consultation, preparation, placement.
Purpose: Erase stains caused by foods, drinks, medications, tobacco, and/or ageing. Results can be up to 10 shades difference from beginning to end of treatment.
Material for Home: Prescription-strength bleaching gel and custom fitted trays
Material for Zoom! Whitening: Patented gel that reacts when exposed to special light.
Procedure for Home: Home use – fill trays with gel and wear as directed.
Procedure for Zoom!: We will apply a gel to your teeth, then repeatedly expose it to a soft light. A chemical reaction lifts stains from tooth enamel so that we can wash them away.
Time for Home: Fourteen evenings of treatment; about two hours per evening.
Time for Zoom!: One visit; about an hour.
Purpose: To straighten teeth and/or remove or perfet spaces between teeth.
Material for 6 Month Smiles: Clear metal brackets and tooth-colored wires.
Material for Clear Aligners: Custom-made, clear acrylic mouth trays. Removable.
Procedure for 6 Month Smiles: Place brackets on teeth, thread with wire. Use gentle pressure to reposition teeth, as with traditional braces.
Procedure for Clear Aligners: Wear each aligner for about two weeks, then move to the next when I tell you to. The aligners emit gentle pressure to systematically reposition teeth.
Time for 6 Month Smiles: Six months. That’s pretty obvious, huh?
Time for Clear Aligners: Nine to 18 months.
Purpose: To reduce overgrown gum tissue and make teeth look longer or bigger.
Material: Dental laser.
Procedure: Precisely trim away gum tissue to reveal more tooth enamel. No stitches required. Healing time is minimal. Little to no bleeding.
Time: One visit.