Q: What different procedures can you recommend for brides-to-be who want the perfect wedding day smile?
A: The easiest, non-invasive treatment for brides is an in-office bleaching or power bleaching. This consists of sitting under a laser with a high concentration of carbamide peroxide on the teeth for about an hour. Be aware though, that this is most effective for brides that already have decent teeth and only need a minor color change. The most effective treatment for brides who need a little more help is to have a smile makeover utilizing porcelain. Most of the time we can use veneers, which are wafer thin slivers of porcelain that mask the underlying tooth and are able to re-create both shape and color.
With a full set of veneers, we can achieve amazing results that will enhance your overall facial beauty. We can alleviate excess gums, fill out thinning lips, widen the smile, straighten teeth and bring an overall harmony to your face that will enhance your beauty. By changing the color of the teeth, we can add color to pale skin, bring our the color of your eyes, minimize dark circles under the eyes and again enhance overall facial beauty. I call this procedure Facial Esthetic Design. It is easy, painless and done in two visits less than a week apart. On your wedding day, your smile will light up your face, making you look your very best.
Q: How do I find and choose a cosmetic dentist?
A: The best way to choose a cosmetic dentist is to do your research. First of all, make sure they only do esthetic dentistry. The local dentist who does regular dentistry as well will not have the same experience as someone who is doing it all day long. Dentists who are affiliated with universities or hold teaching positions are usually on top of the latest research and techniques. Make sure you feel comfortable with your dentist. But most important- make sure they show you THEIR OWN before and afters (LOTS of them). On average, I will show my consultations at least 50-100 before and afters of patients I’ve done. It will give you a sense of their esthetic and what your case might look like. If the photography is poor, it’s not a good sign. A truly devoted, (I like to call myself an esthetic rather than cosmetic) dentist will take great photos. They can show you specifically how they would approach your case and the best of us can do a trial smile with some temporary material the day of consultation to give you an idea of what’s to come. Overall, I would say the most important factor is seeing before and afters, being critical of them and asking good questions.
Q: What can your veneers do for a face?
A: A lot more than the average person thinks. Teeth are the brightest feature on the face, and therefore, if they are not born into the right position, they actually cause a sense of asymmetry to the face. Symmetry is beautiful. That is not to say that the actual teeth should be symmetrical…that is a mistake. The idea is that the teeth should be balanced to the facial planes from left to right and front to back. Teeth control lip support, for thin lips or heavy long upper lips where the teeth don’t show, the teeth built out can actually roll the upper lip out making it fuller and giving more display to the teeth. A full smile can give a horizontal perspective to patients who have long narrow faces or who have lost that cheek fat that we loved when we were young. Teeth can build up the lower third of the face that collapses over time giving the lower third a mini facelift. Teeth can make the corners of the mouth fuller and erase frown lines. And we spoke above about the importance of color…teeth can do wonders for a healthy, youthful appearance. If understood, teeth can enhance the overall beauty of the face.
Q: If a bride wants to get veneers for her big day, how long in advance should she get the procedure, so she looks her best on the big day? And how long do veneers last?
A: She could get them as late as the week before the wedding. This is probably the easiest cosmetic procedure with the biggest impact. On average, assuming the patient takes good care of them, her veneers will last from 15-20 years.
Q: All brides would love whiter teeth, how successful is bleaching?
A: It’s more about patient expectations. If you have small, chipped dark teeth, crooked teeth, bad gums, etc. and bleach your teeth expecting a Hollywood smile, then you’re going to be disappointed. The truth is, bleaching works for those who already have nice teeth, it will brighten them up and make them healthy white…but don’t expect miracles from bleaching.
Q: What makes the perfect smile?
A: A smile that adds to one’s own beauty with character, health and confidence. The most beautiful thing about a smile is one that is given with confidence. A perfect smile has to have the elements of the person, one that looks healthy and one that you can tell that person is proud to flash.