Patients consider a smile makeover for many different reasons. Sometimes it can be replacing missing teeth or changing the shape and size of the teeth. In other cases, patients are interested in correcting alignment issues. Common complaints include the front teeth not being centered in the smile, spaces between teeth and crowding of teeth. These can often be corrected with restorative techniques in modern dentistry.
Types of treatments
Depending on a patient's oral health status, different options can be explored to recreate a smile. Orthodontics have traditionally been used to address alignment problems and are a valuable part of a smile makeover. However, for patients wanting to steer clear of lengthier treatments, other options can be explored.
Braces consist of brackets cemented to each tooth and wires that are manipulated to move teeth. While braces used to be silver-colored and bulky, newer braces are less noticeable. There are clear brackets that some patients find more agreeable. Braces can be a good option for patients looking to correct severe alignment issues or for patients who have problems with an overbite, underbite or crossbite.
Orthodontics have come a long way in recent years, and clear aligners are more popular than ever. These are custom-fit retainers that the patient wears all day and at night; they are only removed for eating. This type of appliance can be used to fix minor alignment issues for patients who do not want to change the shape or length of the teeth. It is also a less noticeable option than braces due to the retainers being made of a transparent material.
For patients wanting to change the shape, color or size of the teeth, crowns can serve multiple functions in a smile makeover. Dental caps can help mask alignment issues while giving the patient the cosmetic changes they desire. Crowns do remove the most tooth structure of all the options for changing the alignment of teeth, so the treatment should be carefully considered and discussed with a dentist before pursuing.
Similar to crowns, veneers can change the appearance of the natural teeth while filling in gaps or masking crowded teeth. These porcelain covers tend to require less tooth structure removal than crowns but are still a restorative option that should be well-researched by the patient. Veneers do not cover the entire tooth but rather just the front surface. They are more commonly used on top teeth than bottom teeth, so for those wanting to change the alignment of the bottom teeth, another option may be preferred.
Changing the alignment of teeth can be a key step in restoring a person's smile. Not only does it benefit the patient by addressing issues with the patient's bite, it can make for a dramatic cosmetic transformation. Patients wanting straighter, more evenly spaced teeth can explore the many options now available. For those hoping to begin a smile makeover, a consultation with a dentist is the recommended first step.
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