Want that Great New Smile?
Here are five things to consider before beginning treatment.
Choose the right Doctor for you.
There are many qualified Dentists for you to choose for your smile makeover. Take the time to speak to the Doctor and the staff about the treatment you are about to undertake. The Doctor should be able to present cases similar to your own situation for you to see. He or she should be comfortable answering all your questions without you feeling like you are bothering them. It is acceptable to ask about the expected costs without being embarrassed. Always remember that just because an office is on Park Avenue in NYC or Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, this doesn’t make the Doctor great at cosmetic dentistry. Offices in many modest communities have dentists that do fabulous cases (and often at far less cost). Ask friends, family, or even other patients that are in the office about the Doctor. You will know when you have found an office that makes you feel comfortable and confident with your decision.
What don’t you like about your teeth or smile?
This is an important question to have answered in your own mind. Expressing exactly what it is that you are not happy about will go a long way toward achieving results that you want. Whether your teeth are discolored, poorly shaped, spaced, rotated, etc., why did you decide to seek help? When you inform the Doctor of YOUR concern, your Doctor should offer you specific solutions to correct YOUR concern. I have seen many doctors create the same smile makeover’ for each of their cases. Not all of us have the same problems, and not every patient wants the same result or the whitest teeth available. The treatment that is decided on should be one that makes sense to you and will make you happy with your new smile.
How white do I want my smile to be?
This question is extremely important because the number of teeth to be treated will vary depending on your answer. If you have ‘normal’ colored teeth, your treatment may be to correct spaces, rotated, short, or long teeth. If the final shade you choose is near your original shade, you may not have to alter teeth toward the back of your visible smile, or your teeth on the opposing arch. When you are looking for that super white ‘Hollywood’ smile, you should expect to treat about 20 teeth for the average person’s smile (10 on the top and ten on the bottom). However, depending on how many teeth you show when you are smiling, this may be more or less for you, and the fewer teeth you treat, the more money you can save.
Are my teeth and gums healthy?
It is very common for patients to come to my office asking for whiter teeth, or to close a gap. Most patients believe if nothing hurts, then their mouth must be healthy. This is far from the truth. Unfortunately, our bodies don’t always tell us when something is wrong. It is extremely important to allow your dentist to do a full examination and evaluation of your mouth before any cosmetic treatment is to begin. If your Doctor does not mention this to you at a consultation, think twice before agreeing to treatment. The success of any cosmetic makeover is dependent on healthy teeth and gums.
How long will it take, and will I have discomfort?
Your Doctor should explain how the procedure will be done, how many visits it will take, how much time between visits, and what to expect after a treatment. Most veneer or crown cases are 2 or 3 visits; the length of each visit will depend on the number of teeth involved (expect between 1 to 3 hours). There are generally 2 to 3 weeks between the impression visit and the insertion visit. Post-treatment discomfort is typically much less than most patients anticipate. Our patients report very few problems. After the insertion visit, expect 1 to 5 days to get accustomed to your new smile! We generally schedule a follow up in 2 weeks to be sure everything is perfect and that you are extremely happy with your final result.