Smile Makeover Requirements
by Lance Timmerman DMD
“I want a new smile, what will it take?!” Seattle cosmetic dentist Lance Timmerman in Tukwila gets this a lot. The challenge: an answer. If I asked you to paint my house, could you give a fee? Probably, but at first you may only give me a range and after you learn about the condition of my house you can give a better estimate.”
Proper Diagnostics First
While some offices (including ours) offer “free consultations” it is important to know what that MEANS. A consult is simply talking, in many ways similar to how a conversation at a cocktail party would be. Generalities would be explained, but no exam is done. This would be discussing, “what is a veneer,” or, “how implants work.” If you want to know if you are a candidate for something, then Dr Timmerman needs to LOOK. This means exam, and exams are incomplete without x-rays, photos and often diagnostic models. It is vital to know if the supporting tissues (gums, bone) are healthy and what it would take to get healthy if not. At THAT point, a fee can be discussed. Just like a carpenter, motto: measure twice, cut once. ALL data must be collected and THEN everyone is on the same page.
Assessment of Smile Makeover Requirements
When evaluating for a smile makeover, Dr Timmerman looks at:
- Overall facial appearance (relaxed and smiling)
- Retracted view of teeth to evaluate gums, teeth
- Occlusal view (“view from above”) of teeth to evaluate teeth and existing restorations
- Panoramic x-rays for supporting bone evaluation
- Individual tooth x-rays to determine decay or bone height supporting teeth
- Other photos to evaluate airway management Within all of this data are other things being evaluated, including midline, cant (slope), size/proportions and color.
If you are considering a smile and all of this was NOT done with you, I would question the training and ability of the dentist you are seeing.
Easy as 1-2-3!
When the light is green, it is fairly simple (in concept. It still takes skill and experience) and is usually done in two visits. Before these visits, impressions are taken for a diagnostic waxup. When ready, the teeth are prepared for the veneers and impressions taken. Two to three weeks later, the veneers are bonded in place. Voila!
Smile Makeover Options
Often people don’t really know what is involved in a smile makeover, including the fee. For those that have no limits it is simple to say what you want the end result to look like and we can quote a fee. For many, a $70,000 investment for 18 dental implants and full mouth reconstruction is simply not an option, so alternatives need to be explored. Sometimes this means fewer teeth are treated and sometimes teeth whitening ONLY is considered. Whatever the budget, something can be done. Lance Timmerman Find us on Google+