Smile Design Irvine, CA
Dr. Ursula Levine, DDS | Levine Dentistry, Inc.
For some people, just one cosmetic dentistry treatment is all that they need to feel confident in their smile. For others, more than one treatment is needed in order to satisfactorily address all of the problems with the smile. In this case, various treatments can be combined to produce the desired result. The process of transforming a smile with a combination of different cosmetic dentistry treatments is known as smile design (or a smile makeover), and it is one of Dr. Ursula Levine’s specialties.
Smile design is both an art and a science. Fortunately for her patients, Dr. Levine has studied both of these. Relying on her innate artistic sensibilities as well as her mastery of modern dental techniques, Dr. Levine can design and create a smile that reflects your personality in a truly beautiful way.
Understanding Smile Design
Smile design may be a good option for you if you are bothered by several cosmetic elements of your smile. Two or more cosmetic dentistry treatments are combined to comprehensively address the elements that bother you. Every smile design is unique, and is tailored to the individual patient’s needs and goals.
For example, imagine a patient who is bothered by discolored teeth and a small space in between two of the front teeth. Dr. Levine may use teeth whitening to address the discoloration, and then use dental bonding to close the gap, matching the bonding material to the newly lightened shade of the teeth.
Keep in mind that a smile makeover is appropriate for healthy, intact teeth only. This is an elective procedure, meaning that it is something that you choose to have done. (Contrast this with full mouth reconstruction, which is performed to address functional problems rather than cosmetic ones.) Dr. Levine screens every smile design candidate to make sure their teeth and gums are healthy and the teeth do not have significant structural damage. If a tooth is compromised or missing, or if there is active decay, those problems must be addressed before proceeding with the smile design process.
Components of Smile Design
The first step to a smile design is to identify your particular areas of concern and your goals for the treatment. After an examination, Dr. Levine will spend some time discussing with you the aspects of your smile that bother you. Common concerns including the following:
- Tooth color: One of the primary elements of a beautiful smile is bright, white teeth. If the teeth are yellow or discolored, or if there are visible amalgam (silver-colored) restorations, these issues can be improved with smile design. Dr. Levine can provide customized take-home whitening trays to remove stains and lighten the teeth. She can also replace conspicuous amalgam restorations with less conspicuous tooth-colored restorations.
- Alignment and spacing of the teeth: Teeth that are slightly crooked or unevenly spaced can be improved with a set of veneers. This is why veneers are sometimes referred to as “instant orthodontics.” For small spaces between the teeth, dental bonding can be used to close the gap. Orthodontic treatment may need to be considered if the spacing or alignment problems are of a more serious nature. Dr. Levine will refer you to a trusted orthodontist colleague if you need this type of treatment.
- Tooth shape and size: Teeth that appear too short, or a smile that is excessively “gummy” in relation to the teeth, can be improved. Composite bonding or porcelain veneers can extend the length of short teeth. In general, bonding is used when it is just one or a few teeth that are too short, while veneers are used when many or all of the teeth need treatment. Excess gum tissue can be removed to improve the proportion of gums to teeth.
When formulating your smile design plan, Dr. Levine will consider a variety of factors that can impact the appearance of your smile, including your facial appearance, skin tone, hair color, and lips. Each treatment will be carefully planned to complement the rest of your features, resulting in a beautifully unique smile that feels like yours.