What is a Mini Smile Makeover?
Mini Smile Makeovers are small groups of treatments that, when combined, create a big difference to people’s smile. There are three parts to a mini smile makeover; teeth whitening, tooth reshaping, and teeth stain blasting. Let’s go through each one in turn:
Teeth whitening – this is a hugely popular treatment in itself. Just as the name implies, it is a process to brighten and boost the colour of natural teeth. It is worth noting that it only works on your own natural teeth, not on any dental work that you may have.
The chemistry behind this is that by using a specific concentration of peroxide, you create a chemical reaction that neutralises the ‘internal’ stain within the tooth. Once neutralised it is removed from the tooth, leaving the tooth structure itself untouched. This makes it very safe as there is no reduction or loss of your natural tooth.
Tooth reshaping – this has several names including teeth contouring or enameloplasty. It refers to a reductive method of improving the appearance of teeth by contouring them. There is a risk of over contouring, so it is important to see a dentist experienced with contouring. Unlike with our hair, our teeth do not grow back if we go too far!
Enameloplasty is a dental term to describe the same procedure. ‘Enamel’ refers to the hard outer shell of teeth, which is what gives teeth their whiteness and smooth texture. ‘Plasty’ originates from Latin, meaning to modify or reform. And there we have enameloplasty!
Stain blasting, as the name implies, is a high-pressure cleaning system to remove surface stains. It aims to remove surface stains only, whereas whitening removes ‘internal’ stains. Coffee and smoking are the main culprits of surface stains. Usually, the sand particles abrade the stain, leaving the enamel ready for whitening.
I have never experienced such an amazing result in such little time. I also have to talk about how I felt inside. I almost didn’t realise how much my two crooked teeth had bothered me until they didn’t look crooked anymore. I felt like skipping down the road afterwards and my standard smile has been reinstated.
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What is a Mini Smile Makeover?
A smile makeover in London at our smile clinic can be performed in one pain-free, 60-minute appointment.
The first stage is to send in your photograph to be analysed for suitability. Following this, we prepare a simulation to show you what results you can expect. If it looks good to you, we will then arrange your treatment appointment.
On the appointment day, we start by clarifying the details of your mini smile makeover and if you have anything to add since your virtual consultation. The dentist will then conduct a dental health examination, ensuring good gum and tooth condition as well as your annual mouth cancer screen.
We usually start off with a full mouth professional clean and stain blast which sets you up well for contouring. Tooth reshaping is performed with a series of aluminum oxide impregnated discs. They rotate at high speed and is similar to an extremely small sanding machine. The discs are designed to remove a specific increment of tooth structure before wearing out. This helps to remove the risk of going too far when contouring.
Our dentist will do a little first and then show you the initial results. It is vital that you are in control; therefore, we will likely go back and forth over the appointment to optimise the results. You will have the opportunity to ask questions to the dentist and assistant as to their opinions on how far to go and they will offer their advice. Occasionally, some decisions relating to tooth size/shape/character are very personal, and they may defer to you to make the final decision.
Following this, we take moulds of your teeth to make bespoke whitening trays. It is important to take care during this stage, as the success of whitening is determined by two factors: the fitting of the trays and strict adherence to the instructions. We make all of our trays in the clinic using a quality-controlled system developed with over 10 years of experience.
The final stage is for us to issue the instructions for the whitening system. A home whitening system is advisable if you want longer lasting and more stable results without needing to frequently visit teeth whitening dentists.
As a purely cosmetic procedure, it is not taught at dental schools, and as a result most dentists are not aware of the treatment. Mini Smile Makeover is one of the safest and lowest risk treatments in existence. The only caveat to this is being sure you are seeing a dentist who is experienced with contouring and whitening.
No, the most you would feel is mild sensitivity during the contouring process. Home whitening does cause sensitivity, and this is something to prepare yourself by using sensitive toothpaste, such as Sensodyne Repair and Protect, or Pro-Namel. Tooth Mousse is also an excellent addition.
During the cleaning process, we would be removing any plaque/debris caught between the teeth, which depending on the overall health of your gums, can be slightly uncomfortable. If your gum condition is good, you will have less sensitivity.
For a mini smile makeover, local anaesthesia is usually not required. That being said, if you would like to feel nothing throughout, it can be discussed with your dentist on the day.
If contouring is performed with an aesthetic goal in mind, no it will not damage your teeth. There is a sacrifice of tooth structure in order to bring about a change, and it is your decision based on the advice you received as to whether it is worth the sacrifice. As mentioned previously, minor modification of the enamel, ‘enamleoplasty’ has no long-term side effects.