Thursday, November 8, 2007

How to do a Smile Makeover at Home

So our favorite procedure in the office is the Smile Makeover. On "Smile Makeover Day" everybody in the office is giddy with joy and excitement. If you've ever seen the movie "Empire Records", it is kind of like Rex Manning Day.

Anyway, here is a photo/dialogue of how to do a smile makeover, in case you wanted to try it at home.

Warning: Some of the pictures of the prepared teeth may shock you but just look at the end result!

This is our patient "Robin" (name changed to protect the innocent.
She didn't like the color and shape of her existing crowns and natural teeth.

Step 1: We put her picture in the computer and design a smile simulation so she can see what she could look like with a new smile. I love how much younger patrients look!

Step 2: Recontour the teeth to make room for the new all-porcelain crowns and veneers. When we started taking off her crowns we found that one had a fracture through the root and so the entire tooth needed to be removed! We replaced the tooth with a porcelain bridge.

Step 3: Once the teeth have been recontoured enough to make room for the new porcelain crowns, we use color mapping to determine the shade of the teeth and how to blend the porcelain colors to give her the desired color she wants.

I know it doesn't look pretty at this stage. This is usually when patients ask to go to the bathroom and I tell them not to look in the mirror but they do anyway and then they come back all freaked out and start to wonder if I am legit or just some guy off the street with a drill.

Step 4: Next, we put on her temporaries that are roughly the shape her permanent crowns and veneers will be. This way she can get a preview and still make any changes she wants to. Some patients cry when they see their temporaries because they look way better than what they had.

Before: After:

Step 5: Two weeks later, we put in her new smile and, voila!, a happy patient! (No, the small band-aid is not from where I slipped with the drill.) Look at how much more natural and pretty her smile looks in the final picture.

So there you have it; the easy, at-home, do-it-yourself, step-by-step procedure manual for your very own smile makeover. Call your friends and have a smile makeover party. As you can see, it is an easy 5-step process.