Before & After a Smile Makeover

Anatomy of a Recent Smile Makeover

What is a Dental / Smile Makeover?

A smile makeover is a process of improving the appearance of a patient’s teeth and smile, applying one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures. Those procedures can include anything from crowns and veneers to dental implants, composite bonding, teeth whitening and more.

It’s not uncommon for me to see patients who are embarrassed and self-conscious about the poor condition of their teeth. Fortunately, as a dentist, I have the unique ability to not only improve the look and health of a patient’s teeth but of their self-esteem as well.

I this article, let’s explore a recent dental makeover procedure we successfully performed to the delight of one of my patients.

I Hate My Teeth!

As a dentist, I hear that statement all too often. I find it helpful to follow up with a “why” question of a “tell me more.” When I look at someone and their teeth, frequently I can find areas that can be improved or need attention. However, if they are causing no harm or are not a concern for the patient, I don’t bring it up. 

In this week’s case, when I queried the patient as to the source of her discontentment, she showed me many notches on her teeth. These notches or holes were near her gum line. The areas were on the upper teeth. She has a very wide smile, and her lips ride up toward her gums. To add insult to injury, so to speak, these areas were stained a dark color. I now had a clear understanding of why she hated her teeth.

Assessing the Condition & its Possible Causes

Allow me to take a few moments to discuss the reason this occurred, and then we can discuss how we fix this cosmetic concern. These holes or notches on the teeth can result from one of two causes.

Excessive Brushing

One possible source is excessive brushing. 

Yes! Too much of a good thing can turn out to be harmful. 

This brushing damage can be even more of a problem if we use bristles on the brush that are hard. Frequency, pressure, and abrasive bristles all come together to create the perfect storm. The area of the tooth with the notch is close to the root. Sometimes there is sensitivity associated with it along with staining.

Fracture of the Tooth

The other cause of these notches is a fracture of the tooth. This fracture is typically a response to grinding or clenching. 

I was just at a seminar recently where several dentists were discussing how prevalent the grinding problem is. Equally as widespread was the unawareness on the part of the patient. 

In addition to the visual hole on the tooth, the dug-out areas will catch more food and liquid with the result being a stained tooth. It is no wonder that she was not enamored of her teeth.

Treating the Condition

Composite Bonding Procedure

Depending on how the rest of the tooth looks, the fix can be quite straightforward. Treatment typically will not involve any numbing or anesthesia. If the rest of the tooth is broken down or crooked, then we may consider veneers or crowns to improve the situation. However, if the only area of unsightliness is toward the roots, then the solution is simple. These areas can be bonded and restored to their original shape and appearance. Modern dentistry has this ability without requiring removal of any tooth structure.

Whitening The Teeth

But remember, she began with “I hate my teeth.” Not only were the “holes” discolored but the entire tooth was off in color. 

I suggested that before we do our bonding procedure, we should whiten the teeth. The beauty of our whitening process is that the patient is in control. They brighten and whiten their teeth to the point that is aesthetically pleasing to themselves. We then match our bonding to the new and fresh color of their teeth.

The Result? A Beautiful Smile Makeover!

We created a beautiful smile makeover and turned disdain into excitement. We transformed the ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. All of this resulted in a new self-appreciation. 
If you are getting upset with the appearance of your teeth and are considering getting a smile makeover,, please call Megan and 440.951.7856 and set up a visit to discuss your concerns and your situation. There is no charge to talk to me as I present you with solutions to solve your problem.  I look forward to meeting with you.

Jeffrey Gross, DDSFAGD is an Ohio licensed general dentist and is on the staff of Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine.

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