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A guide to Smile Makeovers

First impressions last. When you meet people for the first time – whether it is a first date, a new business prospects, your partner’s parents or your next-door neighbour – a smile helps to break the ice and make people warm to you.

The problem is that most of us do not have a perfect smile. In fact, perfect smiles are usually only found in Hollywood films. The majority of us, when we look in the mirror, will spot something that we would like to change. It could be the colour of our teeth. It could be crooked teeth. It could be the shape of our teeth or our gums. It could be chips or cracks. But whatever the issue, most of us dream of being able to change it.

Now, however, dentistry is changing. The days when you would only visit the dentist for a check-up or a filling are long gone. High street dentists offer a wide variety of new treatments and modern techniques. So high quality cosmetic dentistry is now more affordable and more accessible than ever before.

If you are interested in a smile makeover, your dentist now has a lot of options at their disposal. Some people are only interested in a single specific treatment and may even choose their dentist because of they use a certain type of branded product. Other people see their dentist as a consultant, with the expertise to recommend a programme of treatments that will combine to create the perfect smile.

There are four key areas where your dentist can recommend improvements to your smile. These areas consist of: the colour of your teeth; repairs to your teeth; straightening of teeth; and shaping your gums. Most smile makeovers will consist of one or more of these treatments.

So let’s begin with tooth whitening. There are lots of tooth whitening products currently available and what you choose will depend very much on your time and budget. Laser whitening techniques can take just one single appointment and show an improvement immediately. Other techniques may require wearing a gumshield each evening for a number of weeks, as well as a number of visits to your dentist. So ask yourself: what sort of results do you want and how soon do you expect them?

Another approach to whitening discoloured teeth is to have porcelain veneers fitted. These can be more expensive than other whitening techniques. However, they can be suitable if you have other issues with your teeth, such as gaps, chips or slightly crooked teeth. Veneers will cover all of these and create the impression of whiter, straighter teeth.

Talking about veneers leads onto the second type of improvement: general repairs to your teeth. Veneers are one option for correcting chips and cracks. However, dentists also have the capability to replace missing teeth with dental implants and correct individual chips and abrasions with tooth-coloured bonding materials.

Veneers will help to cover up slightly crooked teeth so that they present a more uniform look. However, for more extreme cases, dentists have an array of orthodontic products to choose from. Nowadays, traditional ‘train track’ braces are being superseded by products which are far more lifestyle-friendly. You can get ‘invisible’ braces that attach to the back of your teeth, removable braces and tooth-coloured braces. You can also get braces which are fast-acting, so you wear them for a much shorter period of time than conventional braces.

The end result is that you can now wear braces without feeling self-conscious in front of other people. Finally, many people who want their smile adjusted choose to do so because they show too much gum when they smile, or think that their teeth are too long. A technique called ‘gum contouring’ means that dentists can now easily shape your gums in just one visit. Dentists can also shape individual teeth if required, to improve your smile.

Therefore, your smile makeover is now much more of a possibility than ever before. If you are interested in any of these treatments, arrange a consultation with your dentist. In some cases, if you are interested in a certain product or brand, you may need to find a specialist dentist. Possibly, your current dentist may be able to offer you an alternative option.

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