A smile makeover includes different dental treatments for each patient because these makeovers are designed to maximize your smile based on the specific issues you're experiencing. Small or undersized teeth are a common complaint that causes patients to seek out a total smile makeover. You'll likely need a combination of the following five dental treatments in order to get a smile with even, gap-free teeth.
The main way to give an undersized tooth a larger and more shapely appearance is to cover it with a durable and natural-looking veneer. Veneers are very thin pieces of porcelain or composite resin that the dentist adheres to the front of each undersized tooth. Every veneer is customized for the perfect fit so the entire smile looks natural. The veneers easily fill in spaces between undersized teeth while giving them the size and shape you desire. Veneers also cover stains and other visible imperfections, reducing the need for secondary treatments on the teeth covered by them.
Many people that have undersized adult teeth also find that their bite pattern is off due to the size or placement of the teeth. In these cases, orthodontics may be needed in addition to veneers to realign the teeth. While small teeth require more care when the orthodontic appliances are installed and adjusted, they can still be aligned and brought into proper tilt with the help of an experienced orthodontist. Better results are often achieved by adding veneers before or during orthodontic treatment so the final alignment can be matched to the full-sized teeth. The dentist handling the smile makeover will let you know if there's a need for additional specialized dental treatments like braces or jaw widening.
Sometimes undersized teeth are also slightly misshapen, resulting in the need for more adjustments than just installing a veneer over the surface. Re-contouring the exterior of the tooth helps to smooth down any protruding edges that might be visible around the edge of a veneer-covered tooth. When you already have undersized teeth, you may be wary about the idea of removing any amount of tooth material. However, almost all veneers require some light removal of the front of each tooth so the new layer of material fits naturally with no visible edge. Committing to a smile makeover means being willing to undergo re-contouring in order for each tooth to achieve a perfect shape and alignment.
Sometimes it's not that the teeth are actually undersized, but rather that gum tissue has covered up some of the tooth surfaces and made them look smaller. Even truly undersized teeth can look smaller than necessary before the gums are sculpted to reveal more of them. Gum sculpting requires minimal adjustments to the gums, and you just need to take care when brushing and flossing for a few weeks to recover. You'll be surprised at how much your smile can change just from gum sculpting alone, although it's almost always combined with other techniques for a more complete smile makeover.
Finally, teeth that aren't covered by veneers should be whitened in order to match with any teeth covered with veneers. Even the most natural looking shade for veneers is still whiter than the average tooth color of an adult, so whitening brings everything to the same shade for the best visual results. Smile makeovers almost always involve some amount of tooth whitening, since it's rare to put veneers or similar materials on the less-visible pre-molars and molars. Yet they're still a part of the smile, so whitening at least the pre-molars provides an even look across all of the teeth.
To learn more, contact a dentist who offers smile makeover services.