Have you heard of a digital smile makeover? I saw something about it on television. It looks convenient and really easy. From what I understand, I just need to upload a photograph of myself and it will generate different looks to improve my smile. I can try different shapes and colors and actually see what they will look like.
I am sick of hiding my smile and am ready to make a change. Would this work and it is legit?
-Carrie in Missouri
Yes, you likely saw a digital smile makeover. This software will take a photograph of you and alter it to show you what your new smile will look like with varying looks. Digital smile makeovers have improved over the years. Many cosmetic dentists have some version of this software available in their practices, to help patients better visualize how porcelain veneers look or how other cosmetic dentistry restorations will look before they make a decision.
That said, we are unaware of private companies that offer this service directly to the patient. Therefore, you should be leery of a company like this that says they will do it without a dentist. Typically, you need to visit a dentist who offers the service and they will be able to show you exactly the way your new smile will look. With dentistry, the end product is what matters and it would not be recommended to skip the step where you consult with a dentist. Many cosmetic dentists will offer this smile visualization service for free. It is a powerful tool and one worth using. Price shopping or cutting corners with dentistry isn’t recommended. If it doesn’t turn out, there is no personal liability and you could end up paying much more in the long run.
Some cosmetic dentists will offer a provisional smile makeover, which is even more lifelike than a photograph. It does take more work to create something like this, and it may not be a free service. The dentist creates a model of the new smile, often with a plastic material that you snap onto your teeth. Then, you can actually see and envision the new smile physically.
It is also important to mention the difference between a general dentist and a cosmetic dentist. Cosmetic dentistry is not taught in dental schools. In fact, less then two percent of dentists actually have the training, skill and passion to create a beautiful smile makeover. So, you need to do some research and find an experienced cosmetic dentist in your area. Otherwise, you may be dealing with a big headache if you choose someone who is not qualified. Your general, family dentist likely has more of a functional mindset, one where they set out to fix a certain functional problem. Contrast this to an aesthetically-minded dentist, who will settle for nothing less than you absolutely loving your beautiful new smile.
Thank you for your question. The bottom line is that it would not be recommended to use a digital smile makeover company. If you want results you will love, you really need to find an expert cosmetic dentist in your area.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS.