Some estimates show that as many as 30 million Americans have an eating disorder. An eating disorder can affect your overall health and your oral health. If you’re in recovery, a smile makeover can improve your appearance and your journey to better health.
How Does a Smile Makeover Help?
1. Makes an impression
Your smile is an expression of your personality. It’s one of the first things people notice when they meet you. And it can make a lasting impression.
2. Boosts your confidence
An attractive smile can also boost your self-confidence. Your smile will enhance your facial appearance and help you feel better about yourself.
3. Improves your oral health
Throughout an eating disorder, poor nutrition can affect your teeth and gums. Regular exposure of acid on your teeth—whether it’s caused by vomiting from an eating disorder, a medical condition, or acid reflux—can damage your teeth and gums. Teeth can become brittle and erode. Gums can become irritated, inflamed, and infected. A smile makeover restores your teeth, gums, and your oral health.
What Treatment Is Recommended?
If your smile has been damaged by an eating disorder, cosmetic dentistry can help. But the type of cosmetic dentistry needed to restore your teeth depends on the extent of damage to your teeth and the position of the damaged teeth. Your smile makeover can include one or more of the following:
- Periodontal (gums) treatment
- Dental implants
- Porcelain veneers
- Porcelain crowns
- Dental bonding
If you have swollen, irritated, or infected gum tissue, it needs to be treated. If gum disease is significant, you might be referred to a periodontist (gum specialist) for treatment before your smile makeover begins.
If an eating disorder has damaged your teeth and resulted in tooth loss, replacing missing teeth is a vital part of your smile makeover. A dental implant can be used to replace each missing tooth. An artificial root form will be placed in your jawbone, and after a healing period, a dental crown will be attached on top. Dental implants mimic natural teeth and are healthy for your jawbone and gums. They are the most effective form of tooth replacement, but they are also the most expensive.
If you have minimal damage that is limited to the fronts or edges of your teeth, porcelain veneers might be a treatment option for your smile makeover. A custom-made veneer is bonded to the front of each affected tooth. Porcelain mimics the color, translucence, and gloss of natural teeth, so the results will look amazing.
A dental crown covers an entire tooth. A tooth that is extensively damaged may be weak and require the protection of a crown. A skilled cosmetic dentist can restore your smile with lifelike ceramic crowns. The crowns will conceal the damage to your teeth from an eating disorder and help you smile with confidence. Dental ceramics can be manipulated to look like beautiful natural teeth.
In cases of a short-term eating disorder that caused minimal damage to your teeth, chairside dental bonding might be an option for your smile makeover. Dental bonding can conceal discoloration and minor chips in teeth. This treatment can often be completed in a visit or two.
Unlike porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns, dental bonding is not stain resistant. Depending on how well you take care of it, bonding will need to be replaced every five to ten years. A skilled cosmetic dentist can blend shades of dental composite and make the results look natural.
If your budget is limited and you’ve experienced extensive damage to your teeth, or if you have lost many teeth, a partial or a full denture might be recommended. A skilled cosmetic dentist can give you a great smile makeover with natural-looking dentures. Implant overdentures will keep your dentures stable and help them look and feel more like natural teeth.
What Can You Expect with Your Smile Makeover?
The results you get from your smile makeover largely depend on the skill of your dentist. We recommend that you schedule consultations with at least two cosmetic dentists. If there is an accredited cosmetic dentist in your area, you can receive amazing results. Otherwise, search for a dentist with extensive post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry. Check dentists’ websites to learn about them. Ask to see before-and-after smile makeover photos of the dentist’s actual patients.
Cosmetic dentistry is an art. So expect to invest money in your smile makeover. But if it’s completed correctly, a smile makeover will be a worthwhile investment that lasts many years. See the example below.
This post is sponsored by Baton Rouge accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Steven Brooksher.