Smile Design in Scripps Ranch
Smile design is the process of improving the esthetics of your smile through a combination of cosmetic dentistry treatments. The goal is to design and create the smile you’ve always dreamed of. Dr. Jennifer Santoro will work one-on-one with you to identify what bothers you about your teeth and smile, and then customize a treatment plan to improve each element.
Because smile design is a highly customized process that blends math and science, you want to work with a highly talented cosmetic dentist that takes the time to understand you and your goals. Dr. Santoro has a keen eye for the finer details, which is a valuable asset for creating gorgeous smiles that leave a lasting impression.
What Does a Smile Design Entail?
Every patient’s smile design experience is unique. Your smile design will involve treatments to address your individualized concerns and goals and develop a harmonious, balanced smile.
Generally, the smile design process can accomplish any of the following:
- Whitening the teeth and concealing stains or discoloration
- Closing small spaces between the teeth
- Improving the size, shape or alignment of the teeth
- Repairing damaged or decayed teeth
- Replacing old metal restorations
- Improving the way the upper and lower teeth fit together (i.e., the bite)
- Improving the ratio of gums to teeth, or evening out the gumline
Smile Design Treatment Details
The first step of the smile design process is to sit down with Dr. Santoro to discuss what bothers you about your smile and what you want it to look like after treatment. She will perform a thorough dental examination and gather records like X-rays and digital images to help her plan out your treatment.
Together, the two of you will determine the treatment(s) necessary to fix what bothers you and create your dream smile. As you build out your treatment plan and design your dream smile, Dr. Santoro will consider the overall appearance of your smile as well as the finer details, like the ratio of tooth width to height, the horizontal alignment of your smile and the amount of gum tissue that shows when you smile. All of these elements are integral to a balanced, symmetrical and harmonious smile.
Once you have determined what is needed to create your dream smile, you and Dr. Santoro can build out your treatment plan step by step. Some patients have their entire treatment performed in one day, whereas others opt to space out treatments because of their schedule or their budget. Smile design treatment plans that require restorations such as veneers or crowns normally require several weeks for the creation of the pieces, although in some cases, Dr. Santoro can place same day crowns with the CEREC system. The total treatment time and number of appointments depends on the scope of your smile design and how you space out the process.
Frequently Asked Questions About Smile Design
What is digital smile design?
Digital smile design is the process of using computer technology to analyze your unique facial and dental structures and simulate the outcome of planned cosmetic dental work. This takes the guesswork out of a smile makeover and makes treatment outcomes more predictable. As a smile design patient, you are heavily involved in the entire process and have the opportunity to offer feedback to Dr. Santoro before committing to a treatment plan.
How does digital imaging work?
Digital imaging involves taking photos and videos of all angles of your mouth. The images are then imported into a software program and digitally manipulated to preview the effect of different cosmetic treatments.
Who are the best candidates for smile design?
You may be a good candidate for smile design or smile makeover if you desire a more appealing smile that looks healthy and youthful. You should have concrete, reasonable treatment goals that you can share with Dr. Santoro during the planning process. You should have good oral health, brush and floss regularly and see our team at least twice a year for cleanings and exams.
When should you not opt for smile design?
If you have tooth decay, gum disease or other dental problems, you should delay smile design until those issues have been properly treated. If you habitually grind or clench your teeth but plan to get veneers or other dental restorations, you should be fitted for a custom mouth guard to protect the integrity of your restorations.
What services are offered in smile design?
Your smile design involves any cosmetic or reconstructive services needed to improve the elements of your smile that bother you. That could include any combination of the following:
- Placement of porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns
- Teeth whitening
- Dental bonding
- Gum recontouring
Is there an age limit for these procedures?
Adults of any age can be excellent candidates for smile design treatment.
Do any procedures not go well together?
Dr. Santoro can offer specific feedback regarding the combination of procedures that is right for you.
One factor to consider is that traditional tooth whitening does not work well on teeth with older restorations. The bleaching agent lightens natural tooth enamel but not dental restorations, which can result in an uneven-looking mouth.
If you wish for whiter teeth but have a lot of existing dental work, Dr. Santoro may recommend replacing your restorations with lighter ones and then performing teeth whitening treatment on the rest of the teeth to match.
Is there a limit to how many treatments I can incorporate into my smile design?
There is no limit to the number of treatments you can incorporate into your smile design.
What are the most commonly combined procedures?
Many smile makeovers involve placing veneers over the front teeth that show when smiling. The remaining teeth can be whitened after the veneers are placed to create an evenly whiter, brighter smile.
Other smile makeovers require a combination of porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns. Veneers are placed on healthy, strong teeth, whereas crowns are recommended for teeth that are weak or have old, large restorations (e.g., large metal fillings).
Learn More about Smile Design
For more information about the smile design process, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Santoro, please contact Village Center Dentistry. You can reach us by calling 858-566-8510 or sending us an email.