What is a smile worth? Research may suggest that in pure monetary terms it is difficult to put a price on a smile. However, when it comes to social value and the power that a genuine and attractive smile has to influence people then the value of your smile shows its true worth. So if you’re not happy with your smile what can you do about it?
How to improve your smile?
The ‘before ‘ photograph shows damaged teeth, not diseased teeth. These upper front four incisors have lost some of their enamel. It obviously can’t ‘grow back’. There are a few reasons for treating these teeth, but let’s focus initially on ‘aesthetics’. Would you definitely have these teeth treated to look like on the ‘after’ photograph? Most people looking at the two photographs side by side would almost certainly say yes.
Would you say ‘yes’ no matter what, or would it depend on a number of factors?
1) At what age?
Does it matter? If you were 25, 45, 65 or even 85? The treatment, in essence, is the same. In any situation, correcting the appearance of these front four teeth should mean making them look indistinguishable from their adjacent neighbours. It’s obvious you wouldn’t make these teeth look as if they belonged to a twenty year old if you are seventy.
2) Does the treatment damage the existing teeth?
No it doesn’t. The treatment involves bonding colour matched synthetic material to the existing tooth structure. The teeth ‘under’ the dental material in the ‘after’ photograph are the same as in the ‘before’ photograph.
3) Does the treatment hurt?
Absolutely not. No, or almost no drilling of the natural tooth is required. You don’t even need local anaesthetic (‘the needle’). Almost all adjustments done with the ‘dental drill’ only touch the synthetic material placed and not the natural tooth.
4) Does it ‘cost the earth’?
Well that is relative … If it was you, and you did want to correct that appearance, how much would you think it should cost? How much would you pay?
So for example, would you pay?
- £ 840? That is actually the fee this lady did She had Quartz Composite veneers placed on three incisors and some very minor re-shaping of the fourth one. She also had some similar minor re-shaping of her lower front incisors (have a good look at the before and after photographs).
- £ 3,200? This was the alternative treatment offered, that this lady did not chose. The difference would have been in the material used: porcelain. Porcelain is harder, stronger and much longer lasting than composite. Also, unlike composite, it doesn’t degrade over time, so it looks the same after fifteen years as the day its placed. In that time period, composite may have needed to be replaced two or three times.
What’s involved in improving your smile?
The surfaces of the three front teeth upper 1st incisors and upper left 2nd incisor) were treated with a mild acid solution to micro roughen the existing tooth surface.
The colour of the natural adjacent teeth was evaluated and a colour matched putty-like composite material was placed on the prepared tooth surface. Three different colour shades were used to achieve a completely matching look.
The material was hardened using a small lamp shining a light of a particular frequency onto the material for less than a minute.
The adapted and bonded material was shaped to the perfect size, contour and appearance using fine diamond burs, lightly applied to the material surface. Finally the material was highly polished using very fine miniature polishing discs. The other (almost undamaged) upper right 2nd incisor was lightly re-shaped only. The lower front teeth were also slightly re-shaped to make them look much straighter.
The entire procedure took about one and a half to two hours of pain free cosmetic dentistry.