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What’s the Difference between a Smile Makeover and Full Mouth Reconstruction?

What’s the Difference between a Smile Makeover and Full Mouth Reconstruction?


Many cosmetic and restorative dentists offer both smile makeovers and full mouth reconstructions. This can be confusing because at first glance, the two treatments seem like the same thing. Both are customizable options that allow you to choose two or more procedures and address several dental issues at a time. The difference between the two lies in the nature of the treatments involved. Smile makeovers focus on cosmetic enhancements, while full mouth reconstructions are primarily designed to restore damaged or missing teeth.

Smile Makeovers

Smile makeovers can completely transform your appearance and give you a huge boost of self confidence. There are really no limits to a smile makeover; the procedure is entirely dependent on your goals and budget. Of course, a cosmetic dentist will be able to make important recommendations about which procedures will be most beneficial, and you should have a thorough consultation with your dentist before beginning treatment. Options will vary slightly from dentist to dentist, but certain procedures are routinely offered as part of a smile makeover. They include:

  • Dental veneers: If you have uneven, worn, or chipped teeth, these thin shells of porcelain can completely mask structural flaws. Veneers are also a good option if you have severe stains or discolored fillings.
  • Teeth whitening: Less severe stains can typically be treated with in-office or at-home whitening treatment, which uses peroxide-based gel to chemically break down stains.
  • Bonding: A dentist can use dental composite to mask flaws and cover stains. Bonding is often a cost efficient alternative to both veneers and teeth whitening.
  • Crowns: Though typically a restorative procedure, cosmetic dentists will occasionally use these tooth-shaped caps to cover large structural flaws on molars.
  • Gum reshaping: If you have large or uneven gums, your dentist can remove excess tissue and even out your gum line, either manually or using a surgical laser.

Full Mouth Reconstruction

Like a smile makeover, a full mouth reconstruction depends on your preferences and the advice of your dentist. This process can target both your teeth and gums, and in some cases, you may be able to treat jaw issues such as teeth grinding or TMJ disorder. To achieve the best results, you will typically have several consultations with your dentist or oral surgeon. Again, the procedures can vary, but some of the most common treatment options include:

  • Dental implants: These permanent custom made teeth are often the best tooth replacement option since they protect oral health and look nearly identical to natural teeth.
  • Root canals: If you suffer from decayed teeth, your dentist may perform a root canal to remove all bacteria and clean out the inner chamber of the tooth. He or she will then place a dental crown.
  • Crowns: In addition to being used in root canals, crowns have a variety of uses. Your dentist may use them to repair broken teeth or strengthen weakened teeth.
  • Bridges: Bridges are another method of tooth replacement. These synthetic teeth attach to crowns that flank the gap left by missing teeth.
  • Inlays and onlays: If your molars are decayed or have structural flaws, your dentist may attach thin pieces of porcelain to the chewing surfaces of your teeth, covering up blemishes and preventing further damage.
  • Scaling and planing: This is the most common and effective treatment for gum disease. During this procedure, your dentist will remove bacteria from the gums and smooth rough patches on the tooth roots.
  • Orthodontia: Your dentist may also recommend braces or a mouth guard, particularly if you have a misaligned bite, TMJ disorder, or sleep apnea.

Talk to a Dentist

Every dentist offers slightly different procedures, but with such a wide array of treatment options available, you are sure to find something that fits your needs. To learn more about smile makeovers and full mouth reconstruction, find an experienced cosmetic or restorative dentist in your area.

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