The Smile Design Process
The Design Consult:
First, you will meet with Dr. Barnes to discuss the changes you would like to make to your smile. It is helpful to consider beforehand exactly what you like and don't like about your teeth; we want everyone to be on the same page about what you hope to achieve.
Diagnostic x-rays and additional testing may be required to confirm your teeth and gums are healthy before beginning any cosmetic work. We will take photos, match your tooth shade, and take impressions of your teeth for diagnostic casts. Dr. Barnes will use your casts to create a wax "mock-up" of your treatment plan.
At your next appointment, you will discuss treatment options and view your study casts. You can even "try-out" your smile design in-office with temporary materials placed over your teeth. This will allow you to see and visualize future changes before you commit to treatment.
Preparations for your smile design will vary based on your individual treatment. Most often, having cosmetic work performed will not seem substantially different than getting a filling but often, due to the extent of work planned, you appointment may take longer than you are accustomed to at the dentist. (If you anticipate difficulty tolerating a longer appointment, you may want to discuss the option to complete this appointment under Sedation to minimize stress and jaw strain.) When prep work is finished, Dr. Barnes will usually take impressions of your prepared teeth to send to the lab.
The next step is to make any temporary restorations needed for teeth that must wait on lab work completion. Dr. Barnes and her dental team will spend time adjusting your temporary smile with your input and then take photos and impressions of your finalized smile design for the lab to imitate. You will leave the office with your temporary smile in place. (It is important to understand that temporary restorations are not bonded as strongly as the permanent restorations. This means you will have to treat them gently and follow any care instructions carefully.)
In a few weeks, your case will return from the lab for try-in. Dr. Barnes may make artistic modifications to ensure that your case meets her (and your) high standards. After she has confirmed proper fit, she will permanently bond your new smile. A final adjustment of your bite is the last step.
Then it's your time to show off and celebrate your new smile!