More and more these days, instant sorts of makeovers are shown on television shows and in the news. It seems that once a person makes the commitment to proceed, they want to get moving quickly. Our practice has noticed that too, and we are doing many more “makeovers” where we finish the entire treatment in a short period of time.
It seems like many people just hit a point where they have “had it” with their smile or their appearance, and decide it’s time to look better. The next steps are important, because how happy a person is with the results, depends on how the treatment is approached and accomplished.
Here is what we do when someone presents with some true esthetic concerns and is ready to do something about them:
• First of all, we interview the patient to determine their true desires, needs and wants. Everything starts with getting a good understanding of what the patient wants and expects.
• We have to do a complete exam to understand the underlying health of the teeth, gum and bone, and how the bite, or occlusion, is working.
• We take photographs, and impressions of the teeth for what we call study models. Sometimes we ask the dental lab to create the desired appearance in an ideal wax smile. It is a fun process.
Once we know where we want to be at the finish, the process of getting there is usually just a couple of long and relaxed appointments.
In the First Visit the teeth are prepared and impressions are taken; the patient leaves with plastic temporary restorations that are an actual preview of the desired end point. These provisional restorations allow us to personalize shape, size and color so that before the final porcelain restorations, we know that the patient is going to love their smile. This works really well, relieving much of the anxiety of someone not knowing how they will look.
The patient generally receives the final restorations in the Second visit, where we take off the temporary crowns/veneers and try in the permanent ones. If they are fitting and looking like we want, these restorations are permanently bonded to the teeth. Subsequent visits are made as necessary for any follow up or adjustments.