While performing a smile design or smile makeover, a dentist will first consult with the patient to establish his or her aesthetic goals and to determine whether these goals are reasonable. The dentist will then consider a variety of factors that contribute to a "perfect" smile, such as tooth length, tooth texture, tooth proportions, alignment and spacing, tooth color, and even missing teeth.
There are a number of aspects of a person's smile that can be improved with a full smile design treatment from a qualified cosmetic dentist. For example, if the patient has teeth that appear stained or yellowed, tooth whitening, dental bonding, or porcelain veneers may be employed. For teeth that are misaligned or improperly spaced, orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign® may be employed, while porcelain veneers may be just as effective in less extreme cases. If a patient is missing one or more teeth, a cosmetic dentist may suggest a dental bridge, dentures, or even dental implants. When the patient's smile appears to be "gummy", laser gum contouring may be employed to better highlight the shape of the teeth. In some cases, a patient may opt to undergo oral or facial surgery to improve the shape of his or her jaw, face, or lips.
Many people are unhappy with the appearance of their smile, but are hesitant to investigate cosmetic or restorative dentistry treatment because they believe the cost may be prohibitive. It is true that most smile design procedures are considered elective, and thus are not covered by dental insurance plans. However, patients can now choose from a variety of convenient financing and credit options, making the perfect smile within every patient's reach.