Smile makeovers combine multiple treatments for remarkable, confidence-boosting results that can completely overhaul a person’s appearance.
What is a smile makeover?
A smile makeover has wide-ranging possibilities. Ultimately, it can be defined as anything that improves a patient’s smile and gives them more confidence to smile, says New York cosmetic dentist Irene Grafman, DDS. “A smile makeover can run the gamut from bonding and veneers to crowns and gum repositioning, along with implant placement,” adds New York cosmetic dentist Jason Kasarsky, DDS. According to New York cosmetic dentist Victoria Veytsman, DDS, it could “involve one procedure or a series of procedures that work to restore the function and aesthetic of the smile, as well as overall oral health.” Beverly Hills, CA cosmetic dentist Kourosh Maddahi, DDS says that any treatment that alters the color, shape, length, or form of the teeth in the smile line—the 10 upper and lower teeth—can be considered a smile makeover.
Some dentists may employ the Golden Proportion Principle to achieve a smile that’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser, at least in the eyes of the ancient Greeks. The Golden Ratio is a widely researched art concept that some dentists study and apply to smiles. “We follow, with proper judgment, a ratio of length and width of the teeth, gums and smile of 1.618:1. For example, the length of the upper front teeth should be 1.618 times longer than the width,” explains Rockville, MD cosmetic dentist Joe Kravitz, DDS. “We measure with a digital caliper in our in-house prosthodontics laboratory. I work closely with a dental artist to customize a smile makeover.” He says the treatment is direct and collaborative, which allows for instant gratification.
Which concerns can be addressed with a smile makeover?
Give dentists your yellow Chiclets and misaligned teeth, and they will create a makeover plan that will turn your frown upside down. Dr. Maddahi says smile makeovers can address gummy smiles, gaps, worn-out teeth, and short or small teeth. Damaged or chipped teeth and receding gums can also be fixed with a smile makeover performed by a qualified dentist, adds Cranberry Township, PA cosmetic dentist Brian A. Klaich, DMD.
“Along with creating a magnificent smile, restoring appropriate form and function is a must,” says Dr. Kasarsky. “Years of chips, tooth fractures, discoloration, grinding, weak enamel, gum tissue height disproportion, and structural damage can be reversed through a smile makeover.”
“We can address anything that bothers the person about their smile,” adds Dr. Grafman, who prefers to begin with more conservative options to correct a smile before moving to more drastic treatments.
Which treatments are commonly used to achieve a smile makeover?
Think of smile makeovers like the archaic glow-ups in ‘90s movies. With a bit of new clothes and a renewed sense of personal care, self-described geeks’ true beauty is revealed thanks to their more popular ally. Similarly, smile makeovers can involve tiny tweaks that transform the overall appearance. Treatment options vary depending on the patient’s needs and goals. In-office whitening, bonding, crowns, and veneers are solutions to many common smile woes. Dr. Veytsman says tooth-colored fillings, onlays and contouring are also popular.
In the case of a gummy smile, Dr. Klaich explains that a laser treatment or periodontal surgery is often required to shift the position of the tissue heights. There are a handful of options if teeth need straightening, but Dr. Grafman prefers Invisalign. “Sometimes just widening the smile or straightening the two front teeth makes a great improvement,” she says. According to Dr. Kravitz, custom dental implants and removable dentures can be great options for those with a missing tooth or teeth. “Custom ceramic crowns and fixed bridges can also help in these cases,” he adds.
How does a new smile reinvigorate a patient’s confidence?
“When a patient is not confident in their smile, they tend to hide it without even realizing,” says Dr. Klaich. “People train their lips and mouth to mask discrepancies in their smile subconsciously. When people are confident after a smile makeover, they tend to smile bigger and brighter, which affects their overall mood.” In Dr. Kravitz’s practice alone, he reports positively affecting more than 300,000 people in the Washington, D.C. area with life-changing smile makeovers. “A new smile reinvigorates a patient’s confidence immensely.”
Dr. Grafman always recommends options that not only improve the patient’s smile, but also their overall appearance. “We look at the teeth, as well as the whole face,” she says. “A new smile is one of the most powerful tools. Most people don’t realize how much of a difference it makes until they actually do it.” Dr. Veytsman says smile makeovers help “patients let go of lifelong insecurities that have prevented them from things like jobs, dating or moving to a new phase in life.”