Cosmetic Dentistry for a Winning Smile in Century City, CA
You go to the dentist on a regular basis for checkups and x-rays, and you get your teeth cleaned twice a year. Aside from the occasional cavity, your teeth are in good shape—so why aren’t you completely satisfied? Your smile is not quite as bright or as straight as you would like it to be, and you’ve been thinking of what your teeth would look like with a smile makeover. But then you start thinking about the cost, and you put it off.
It doesn’t have to be that way. More and more dentists now offer “Full Smile Makeovers.” That’s great news for patients looking to up the wattage on their smile. With more and more professionals entering the field of cosmetic dentistry, competition has driven costs down and quality up.
What to Know Before You Choose a Cosmetic Dental Procedure
Anybody considering cosmetic dentistry should know the reason why a smile makeover is worth the time and expense. Think of your makeover as an investment in your health and your professional and social lives. A new smile not only makes you feel better, but it also makes others feel good about you. The confidence you gain will radiate outwards in both personal and professional settings. Whether it’s a date or a job interview, a great smile is a sign that you care about your personal appearance, and that translates into trustworthiness, professionalism, and financial success. A winning smile is a key ingredient in a positive first impression. Invest in that first impression. Once you complete your makeover, you and your dentist should come up with a game plan to preserve and maintain your investment—hopefully for the rest of your life.
Important Aspects of a Cosmetic Procedure
The most important thing to do is find the right dentist. Ideally, you want a cosmetic dentist—a specialist—rather than a general dentist. Just like your general practitioner wouldn’t perform open-heart surgery, a general dentist is not the best choice for cosmetic work. Check the credentials of your cosmetic dentist because anyone can label themselves a “cosmetic dentist” and not be truly qualified for the job. Find a cosmetic dentist with excellent reviews and positive testimonials from current and previous patients. Even if you’ve found your dream dentist, it pays to get a second opinion. Don’t settle for the first person you meet but don’t confuse yourself with too many opinions. Speak with at least one, but no more than two, other dentists before deciding on a course of action.
It’s important that you realistically manage your expectations. If you have photos of how your smile used to look and you want to duplicate it, show them to your dentist. It’s also a good idea to bring cut out pictures from magazines or other sources to illustrate to your dentist what you are looking for. Use these tools as a guideline of what you want and let the dentist determine how close he or she can come to your expectations.
Be open and frank with your dentist and ask that they return the favor. The key to a successful cosmetic case is to involve you, the patient, in the process. Ask for a wax-up. This is a trial run that allows the patient to “try on” the smile before making a final decision. A wax-up is a mold that replicates what the finished smile will look like. Once you and the dentist decide on the work you want, impressions of your teeth are taken and sent off to the lab. There, they will create the ideal smile based on the description the dentist and you agreed on. The dentist will then present you with the wax-up.
If you like the smile design, you will then move to the next phase. The dentist prepares the teeth and places provisional restorations on them. This step is a “test run” so you can see, wear, and feel your new smile outside of the dental office before you make a definitive decision. Generally, the dentist will request that you wear the provisionals for one to two weeks. Once you decide that this is the smile you’ve always wanted, the dentist asks the lab to fabricate the final restorations and bring you back to fit and bond the restorations in place.
Once you’ve completed treatment, it is important not to skip regular check-ups and cleaning appointments, as this is when the dentist can check to make sure your investment is intact. If there is a problem developing, the doctor can usually catch it early, with x-rays and probing, and fix it before it becomes a big problem.
How Much Does It Actually Cost?
Full mouth makeovers vary in price. Some factors that determine cost are:
- How many teeth are involved in the makeover?
- Does your makeover require other specialists such as a periodontist, oral surgeon, or orthodontist?
- Missing teeth: Will implants be necessary? Will you need surgery to remove teeth?
- Periodontal disease: Will you need extensive gum treatment or surgeries?
When doing an initial consultation, dentists can offer a general pricing structure based on a visual exam or what you’re asking for. A good financial coordinator will be clear at presenting you with different payment options. Contact Kelly Smile for more information today.