When you look in the mirror and smile, does it leave something to be desired? Depending on the issues you need to resolve, you may want a smile makeover or you may need a full mouth dental reconstruction. Though the terms may seem the same, there are fundamental differences between the two. A combination of cosmetic dental procedures is used in a smile makeover. These procedures help enhance your smile so it is more aesthetically pleasing. The full mouth dental reconstruction involves a variety of dental procedures to restore the function as well as the aesthetics of your smile. The end result with both is a smile of which you can be proud.
The Smile Makeover
There are several cosmetic dental procedures to enhance a smile that is less than ideal. For example, one of the most popular procedures worldwide in dental cosmetics is teeth whitening. This simple procedure brightens your smile and can make you look years younger.
- Teeth Whitening – Over time your teeth can become stained and dingy looking. Certain habits, foods and beverages can make this worse. Tobacco use is notorious for staining teeth, causing them to look yellow and dingy. Dark colored foods and beverages such as berries, red wines and some highly colored spices can also affect the whiteness of your teeth.
Even a professional cleaning will not remove deep-set stains from the teeth. Whitening products are used to bleach the teeth and remove the stains that cause discoloration. Over-the-counter products can be used; however, a professional whitening procedure ensures that the teeth will be whitened safely and to the degree that has the most impact.
- Porcelain Veneers – Some teeth may be discolored for other reasons and may not respond to the whitening process. This can be disappointing; but there are solutions. Porcelain veneers can be used to cover up badly discolored teeth. These thin, shell-like porcelain facings are placed over the teeth to give them a new fresh look.
Porcelain veneers are used to mask a variety of dental imperfections. They can hide small gaps between the teeth, misshapen and crooked teeth and they can be used to help small teeth look larger. They are also used to lengthen short teeth.
- Invisalign® – This system of orthodontics uses clear plastic aligners instead of metal brackets and wires to gently move teeth into the desired position. While not advisable in all situations for misaligned teeth, Invisalign is used in many situations for mild to moderate misalignments.
- Dental Crowns – Dental crowns are used both as a functional treatment and cosmetic treatment. The dental crown is a manufactured prosthetic that fits over the part of the tooth that is above the gumline. They are often used to cover a tooth that has an imperfection.
- Dental Bonding – This procedure is used in a variety of ways. Dental bonding can be used to repair a chipped tooth. It can also be used to change the appearance of discolored teeth. Dental bonding is also used to close tiny gaps between teeth.
- Enamel Contouring – This procedure, also known as enameloplasty, changes the look of teeth that are irregular in shape. The teeth or tooth may be too long or pointy or it may be mismatched in size. Enamel contouring is also used to reshape chipped or grooved teeth. This procedure is simple and efficient and is perfect for those small flaws. Not everyone is a good candidate for this procedure, but for those who are, the simplicity can provide you with a more pleasing smile in a short period of time.
Full Mouth Dental Reconstruction
You may be an individual that has several dental problems that need to be addressed in order to achieve your best smile. A full mouth dental reconstruction is a process that includes different procedures to restore the function of your teeth, as well as the aesthetics of a beautiful smile.
Full mouth reconstructions may be suggested for patients who have several missing teeth, advanced gum disease and/or other dental issues that require treatment. This procedure restores your ability to chew your food sufficiently, and in some cases, it may even improve your speech.
Each full mouth reconstruction patient is different. There are several procedures, some or all of which can be used to restore the functionality and beauty of the teeth. These procedures include:
- Root Canal Therapy – This is used when a tooth is badly infected and the nerves and blood vessels in the tooth need to be removed in order to save it.
- Extraction – Sometimes a tooth is so badly damaged or decayed that it cannot be saved by root canal therapy and must be removed. Extraction is also used to remove tooth roots that may be present after the crown of the tooth has been broken off or is missing due to decay.
- Dental Implants – These dental prosthetics are used to replace missing teeth. One implant can be used to replace a single tooth or four or more can be used to support a full denture. Implants are sometimes used to support dental bridges. The implant is a titanium screw-like post that is placed in the jawbone to fuse with the bone. Next, a piece is affixed to the post to hold the crown, which is made in the likeness of the natural tooth. Dental implants provide a more natural-looking replacement for missing teeth.
- Dental Crowns – A dental crown is sometimes used to cover imperfections of a tooth. The crown is also used to provide stability, strength and protection for a tooth with a large filling or one that has undergone root canal therapy.
- Dental Bridges – The dental bridge is used to replace one or more consecutive missing teeth. The two teeth on either side of the space (called abutment teeth) are crowned and used to support the pontics, or artificial teeth, that create the “bridge” between the teeth. Sometimes a dental implant may be used to provide one or more abutment teeth.
- Dental Veneers – Also used in cosmetic dentistry, veneers can be used in a full mouth reconstruction if there are healthy teeth that are chipped or discolored.
When you have missing teeth or badly damaged teeth, your smile suffers. A full mouth reconstruction can restore your smile. A beautiful smile also restores your sense of self-confidence and self-esteem.
Desiring a beautiful smile does not have to be a matter of vanity. In fact, a nice smile has been shown to have great impact. It can open doors for you, improve your social status and it may even help you in your career aspirations. The condition of your smile says a lot about you, so make sure it says the right things.
Whether you only need a simple procedure like teeth whitening or something more extensive like a full mouth reconstruction, it is time to consider acquiring your very best smile. You can find out more about the procedures that will help you achieve your very best smile by contacting Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta.
Our prosthodontists are skilled in providing the very best of cosmetic dentistry and full mouth restorations. Learn about the difference a prosthodontist can make in providing you with the best smile you can have. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for consultation with one of our dentists.