A smile makeover has the power to affect not only how people see you, but how you see yourself. Boulder, CO cosmetic dentist Priya Uppal, DDS says some of the roadblocks she sees patients encounter on their quest for an updated smile have more to do with misconceptions than real challenges. It’s easier than ever to get a smile upgrade quickly and comfortably, but there are a few common dental myths that hinder patients from starting their smile-transforming journeys. Here, she dispels the top five myths people typically get wrong about getting a new smile.
My Teeth Will Look Fake
The most common concern Dr. Uppal says she hears is that people are afraid of looking fake or like they have chiclet teeth. “This is absolutely not true,” she says. “The biggest factor in getting a natural-looking smile restoration is knowing the way that the veneers are done. We don’t necessarily want to change the way a person looks unless that’s something that they’re looking for. Your restorations should enhance your smile and we still want it to look very natural, like a better version of yourself.”
It’s Going to Hurt
The old mindset that going to the dentist is going to lead to pain is now outdated adds Dr. Uppal, as a smile makeover shouldn’t automatically equal discomfort. “That definitely doesn’t have to be the case,” she notes. “There are several measures we take to ensure patient comfort. We use proper anesthetic techniques and noise-canceling headphones, so they don’t have to listen to noise while we’re working.” As an added bonus, patients at Incredible Smile also get nice, warm blankets to keep them cozy throughout the process.
It’s Going to Take Up Too Much of My Time
Dr. Uppal shares that many patients come in and say they don’t want to spend years trying to get their ideal smile and it definitely doesn’t have to take that long. “Depending on the case, what we’re doing, and what that patient needs, it can take as little as a couple of weeks to get the final result. Because we plan our smile designs in our office, we actually design temporary veneers to look very similar to what their final veneers will look like, so they can try out that aesthetic to make sure that it’s going to be something they’re happy with long term.” She adds that if the end includes changing the color or shape of the teeth, it’s something they can try on that same day she begins working on the teeth.
I’m Too Old to Restore My Smile
“I just had a patient in her 60s ask me the other day if it was too late to restore her smile. You’re never too old to improve your appearance or the way that your teeth function, because these changes will also improve your ability to chew food, boost your self-confidence when you talk to other people, and improve your quality of life. For a lot of people, that relates directly to their smile and their teeth.”
I Don’t Want to Replace All of my Teeth with Veneers
Lastly, perhaps the most common misconception Dr. Uppal notices at her practice is the idea that a smile makeover includes replacing all of the natural teeth with veneers. Not so, she says, as the goal should be to maintain as much of the healthy, natural dentition as possible. “This is where a comprehensive consultation and exam comes into play,” she explains. “Not every patient needs that, but we really want to look at what’s behind the patient’s driving force. Are there issues with the bite? Is there misalignment of the teeth? If we can be very conservative and we can correct the bite with something like Invisalign, then we don’t have to treat each tooth and we can really just focus on getting the result that we want, but still being as conservative as possible.”
The most important takeaway Dr. Uppal shares is that a smile makeover needs to be very customized to reflect the needs of the individual patient. “We do want to focus on preserving what is already there, but we also want to give patients the best aesthetic and the best functional results. In order to do so, we need to start with a plan that is created specifically for you based on what you need and want.” With that approach, getting a brand-new sparkling smile is easier than ever.
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