Planning a smile makeover is an exciting process. If you’ve been considering various cosmetic dentistry options and are ready to take the steps to make them a reality, it starts with a consultation with your cosmetic dentist.
While most people think of a consultation as a brief informative process before the real procedure starts, it’s one of the most important parts of your smile makeover. You might even say that it’s the most important part.
Scheduling Your Consultation
The first part of your smile makeover experience will be a sit-down consultation with your cosmetic dentist. If you choose, you can make this visit brief and simple to see if you’re a candidate for a particular procedure or find out if your dentist can address a specific concern. If the answer is yes, your consultation will then progress into…
A Comprehensive Dental Examination
Your exam can take place at the consultation appointment or you can elect to schedule a longer, follow up visit. During this particular phase of the consultation process, you will receive an extensive examination to evaluate the overall health of your teeth and gums, existing dental work, issues that need to be addressed/corrected, along with a series of X-rays and impressions.
Depending on how complex the process is, your models may need to be studied by the dentist before presenting viable options for you to consider.
Be sure to:
- Let your dentist know which teeth are bothering you
- Have an overall idea of how you would like your smile to look
- Remember a healthy, stable environment must come before aesthetics
- Communicate openly with your dentist about your needs, short- and long-term goals, and budget
Exploring Your Options
Now that your dentist has a full assessment of your teeth and smile, you can discuss which types of cosmetic treatments are best to meet your aesthetic goals. In some cases, a “wax up” might be prepared on a model of your teeth, so that you come back in a week or two to look at the suggested changes to your smile before agreeing to a specific treatment plan.
If the makeover isn’t that extensive, you can look in a mirror and at other patients’ before and after photos as your dentist explains which minor to moderate changes are recommended.
In most situations, a variety of different cosmetic dentistry procedures can be considered or combined with one another for maximum aesthetic results. Depending on the teeth being addressed and the particular needs of your smile, some of your options might include:
Teeth whitening — Lighten your teeth by several shades, for a brighter and more youthful looking glow.
Composite bonding — Erase the signs of minor chips or misshaped teeth with non-invasive tooth colored bonding.
Custom dental veneers — For dramatic, fast results that give you a whiter and straighter looking smile, porcelain veneers are second to none.
Porcelain crowns — If a tooth is too badly damaged to mask with a veneer, a functional crown can offer both functional and aesthetic improvements at the same time.
Dental implants or bridges — Replace missing teeth with a durable, aesthetic restoration that restore your self-confidence.
White fillings — Consider replacing old metal fillings or treating visible decay with a restoration that blends in with your teeth.
Tooth and gum recontouring — Uneven gumlines or teeth can make your smile appear lopsided when it really isn’t. Adjusting the contours of your teeth and gingiva offers fast results.
Braces or orthodontic aligners — Aligning a few gapped or crowded teeth can have a huge impact of the overall appearance of your smile, as well as its health.
Sticking to Your Budget
One of the biggest misconceptions about getting a smile makeover is the cost. In fact, most people put their cosmetic dentistry consultation off longer than they want to because they’re nervous about the financial investment. Only after their consultation do they realize the flexibility available in planning cosmetic dentistry treatments.
Thanks to the ability to combine more affordable types of procedures with custom financing options, a smile makeover may be much more affordable than you had originally anticipated.
Going Over the Treatment Plan
Now that you know which treatments are feasible for your smile, you will sit down with a patient coordinator to go over the comprehensive written treatment plan and review the specific costs of each procedure.
As you walk through which treatments are best, you will rank them as to which take place first and how long the procedures are to perform. Then, you will map out the number of appointments necessary to make your new smile a reality.
Your treatment plan is the formal outline that you take home with you to consider, before scheduling the treatment to start; getting one doesn’t lock you into a commitment unless you’re actually ready to move forward. But your consultation isn’t complete until you have this information in your hands.
Financing your Dental Needs
Being that cosmetic dental treatments are usually elective procedures (not medically necessary, that is,) most of them won’t be covered by your insurance plan. The only excepts would be restorative treatments like porcelain crowns or bonding that’s necessary for repairing damaged and decaying teeth.
Most people choose to finance their smile makeover rather than pay for the entire thing out of pocket. To simplify the process, a lot of dentists will offer in-house financing or 0% interest financing for a specific length of time. This makes it easier to fit treatment into your monthly budget or start your smile makeover sooner than you had anticipated.
Starting the Treatment
Now that your cosmetic dentistry consultation is concluded, you can get to the fun part: scheduling your treatment. As part of your treatment planning process, you’ll already know how many appointments to expect, how far apart they will be, and the overall costs involved.
You can start to see why the planning phase is perhaps the most complex and important of any cosmetic dentistry case.
Now is the chance to finally achieve the “look” you’ve been wanting for so long. To learn more about cosmetic dentistry options in Scottsdale and North Phoenix, schedule your smile makeover consultation at Lernor Family Dental today!
Planning a smile makeover is exciting! Dr. Lernor, a top cosmetic dentist in Scottsdale, has decades of experience helping patients improve their smiles to achieve the look they have been dreaming of. Give us a call today at 602-483-4112 or contact us online to schedule your cosmetic dentistry consultation.