Cosmetic dentistry is really designed around patient goals, so having a good idea of what you would like to achieve is an important first step. Think about what changes you would like to make—do they involve correcting crowding, filling in spaces; do you want to change the colour of your teeth? How extensive is the work—does it involve just one or two teeth or is it all the teeth in the smile line that you wish to correct? Once we know what the patient wants to achieve, we can design options that meet those needs.
These days it is unusual for people to walk in with the brief that we make them look like a Hollywood star—though occasionally it happens, especially here on the Gold Coast. Usually, clients come in with a specific or main concern—whether it's short teeth or teeth that are crowded, or gappy teeth, or the colour of their teeth, or large fillings in the teeth that create an inconsistent appearance.
Often an upcoming occasion is the driver for cosmetic dentistry. An upcoming wedding or special occasion is frequently the reason. And it's one of these things—designing a smile is a bit like designing a house. To get the best possible results for the patient, we need time.
If we rush, we are often making assumptions and those assumptions may not be correct. We like to be able to show the patient before we start, as much as possible, what our end result is going to be. For this reason, if you've got that big event coming up, arriving just weeks beforehand could be too late. You want to get ahead of things to make sure you achieve that big result.
For many clients, there’s no particular event—they have simply spent their whole lives wanting a particular change, and now they've either saved up the money or built up the courage or just run out of patience with having teeth they’re not happy with; that happens a lot. A long-term desire becomes pressing. Sometimes a big event like a wedding can be the catalyst for cosmetic dentistry, but most of the time it is an aim in itself.
Some outcomes are harder to achieve than others—everything we do is within biological limits. In this day and age, most things are possible, but they might require extreme treatments.
An example of something that we can improve but may not be able to correct fully without extreme treatment is a very gummy smile. A very narrow smile might take orthodontic treatment to correct rather than just veneers or crowns.
When the change we want to make is more significant, that pushes the extent of the cosmetic dentistry—it can be more complex and take more time. And there are still biological limits to observe.
The most common cosmetic treatment is tooth whitening. The majority of our patients whiten their teeth. Previous work done on the teeth can present limits to how far we can go with whitening, which will only work on the natural tooth structure. It won't whiten fillings or crowns and things like that. Sometimes tooth whitening is the first step in a process of achieving a better smile—but it means that previous work may need to be replaced. For those lucky adults who are happy with the position and shape of their teeth, tooth whitening can sometimes be the entire treatment required to improve their smile and make them feel better about the way they look.
Want to get the best smile you can? Click here to learn about our $150 Smile Package for new patients! Contact our friendly team at Robina Town Dental for more information on cosmetic dentistry, call us 07 5575 9100 or send us a message.