I often have patients that are overall very happy with their smile but just want to improve a tiny aspect of it. There are also patients that want a complete change but either cannot afford to do comprehensive esthetic treatment or do not want to go through the process. There are options for whatever your desire, ranging from a very small treatment to full mouth reconstruction. While larger cases allow more artistic opportunity to completely change a person’s smile, it’s the smaller options that patients sometimes don’t realize can make their smile a more improved version.
When I meet a new patient at my office and am performing my clinical exam, I will often find a chipped tooth. This is not uncommon and is sometimes of no clinical significance other than being sharp to the tongue or annoying. There are some patients who tell me it has been that way for years and it does not bother them at all. What patients are really telling me is that is does not bother them in the sense of function; they have no pain, can eat and drink whatever they like and life goes on. What they sometimes don’t tell me is that they wouldn’t mind for their smile to be improved but factors such as cost, time and options may not be feasible. I can compare it to going to the dermatologist. We know we should see the dermatologist at least once a year to check the health of our skin. Are there any dangerous looking moles? Skin lesions? Abnormal growths? What if the dermatologist told you all your moles were fine? That includes the one on your face that you have learned to accept even though you would love to have it removed. Would you ask the dermatologist if there was any treatment option available to get rid of that mole? My hope is that you would. Why live with something you don’t like that could easily be changed?
As part of the new patient experience at our office, we take a series of digital photos and we look at your teeth together. The purpose is to be able to better visualize any functional dental needs but to also go through the a co-discovery process. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what may be desirable to you may not be desirable to someone else. My job is not to critique your smile but to look at your smile with you. I want you to tell me what it is you like or dislike about your smile. My job is to offer the options available and explain to you the risks/benefits of each option.
Let’s take a look at some small changes that made a big impact.
The above patient had a chipped tooth that was not bothering her on any functional level, however, she didn’t love the way it looked. With some direct bonding and mild recontouring, her smile was enhanced. She still has some imperfections in her other teeth but that front tooth was what she disliked the most.
The above patient disliked the irregularity of her upper teeth, with the small chips and misalignments. With just some simple direct bonding and recontouring of teeth I was able to give her a more balanced and harmonious smile.
The above patient had a gap between her two front teeth and a midline that was canted. While she had some craze lines down her front teeth, it was not the part of her teeth that bothered her. The treatment was direct bonding to close the gap and create a straight midline and recontouring to create symmetry between her teeth. She has always disliked that part of her smile and never knew it could be achieved with little treatment.
Do you have something that bothers you about your smile? Are you worried that it may be too extensive or expensive a procedure to achieve what you want? Ask me how I can improve your smile next time you are in the office. You may be surprised to learn that it often takes very little to make huge difference!