How Long Does It Take to Get a Smile Makeover?

A perfect smile can improve more than your appearance. Having teeth that are free of damage, decay, and misalignment can also affect the way you move your mouth when you speak and chew. The result can improve your self-esteem and the way others perceive you.

If you’re ready for a smile makeover, then you first must consider the condition of your teeth, your overall health, your goals, and your budget. Often, the amount of time required for completion is also a concern, especially if you want to look your best for a special event. 

Smile makeover specialists John Vellequette, DDS, and Stephanie Fung, DDS, of Smile Center Silicon Valley in Sunnyvale, California, provide a full range of professional cosmetic dentistry services. Whether you want to correct discoloration, chips, missing teeth, or misalignment, the dentists at Smile Center Silicon Valley help you understand the treatments and timeframe necessary to reach your goal. 

A smile makeover consultation is the first step in planning your new look. Find out more about the timing involved in several common treatments used in smile makeovers.

Tooth whitening

Tooth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures that patients request. You’ll get the most dramatic results as quickly as possible with in-office professional teeth whitening. 

In contrast to at-home kits, in-office teeth whitening uses the strongest whitening solutions available. A professional-grade whitening treatment gives you the benefit of fast results without damaging your teeth and gums.

Professional teeth whitening can usually be completed in less than an hour, so you can do it over your lunch break and have whiter teeth for an afternoon meeting.

Dental veneers

Dental veneers are durable, wafer-thin covers for your teeth. These tooth-colored shells cover the front part of damaged teeth to correct flaws such as color, size, and shape.

Dental veneers provide natural-looking results because the ceramic or porcelain materials used to manufacture veneers are color-matched to your untouched teeth. 

The process of getting dental veneers typically requires several visits over a few weeks. After an initial consultation, your dentist preps your teeth by trimming off about half a millimeter of the tooth enamel. Molds and X-ray imaging are taken and sent to a dental lab where your customized veneers are made. Your veneers are returned to our office in a few weeks.

When your dental veneers are ready, the veneer is attached to the appropriate tooth with cement in one visit. You may have to return for a follow-up visit in a few weeks to ensure proper placement.

Crowns and dental bridges

Crowns and dental bridges can resolve the cosmetic and functional problems associated with missing teeth. A crown fully covers or “caps” a damaged tooth to protect it and improve its appearance, alignment, or shape.

A dental bridge holds one or more artificial teeth to fill in a gap left by missing teeth. It “bridges” the gap by using the natural teeth on either side of the space as anchors.

Both crowns and dental bridges require an office visit to prep the area before receiving your appliance. Both treatments also require initial X-rays and tooth molds for customization. 

It can take a few weeks for a dental lab to manufacture your crown or dental bridge. Your final step involves returning to the office for the insertion of your device. 

Dental implants

Dental implants solve both appearance and functional issues associated with missing teeth. They closely imitate the structure of your teeth by duplicating the way your tooth connects to your jawbone. 

Depending on the condition of your teeth, you may need a tooth extraction or bone graft before getting your implant. 

In the first step of your implant procedure, your dentist screws a biocompatible titanium post into your jawbone to create an artificial tooth root. The implant gradually fuses to your jawbone to create a durable bond, which can take three to six months. When this process is complete, you return to the office to have a tooth-colored porcelain crown attached on top of the post.

Orthodontic treatments

Orthodontic treatments correct crooked or crowded teeth by using pressure to move teeth into desired positions over time. The amount of time required depends on the type of treatment used and the degree of correction needed. Your cosmetic dentist recommends the orthodontic treatment and timeline necessary for your needs.

Invisalign® uses clear aligner trays that you change at home, which requires fewer and shorter visits than traditional metal braces. Most Invisalign treatment plans take about 12-18 months, though more time may be necessary for extreme corrections.

Self-ligating braces use a slide mechanism that doesn’t require regular tightening appointments. They may also provide results up to seven months faster than traditional metal braces.

Learn more about your options for a smile makeover and the amount of time required to achieve your goals. Call our office or book online to arrange a consultation.

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