If you have friends that are close enough that you can talk to them about wanting cosmetic dentistry, they probably respond with all kinds of statements about how they like your smile. They’ll say it’s “cute,” or that it’s “unique,” or that it has a lot of “character,” or how it’s so “you.” Your friends are probably being honest in their statements, but you may not be reassured. In fact, their statements may give you more doubt than before.
Where your friends see cuteness or character, all you can see are flaws that make you unhappy every time you look in the mirror. You see your smile differently, and want the problem fixed, whether it’s a small gap between your teeth, some crooked or rotated teeth, or a small tooth like a peg lateral or retained baby tooth. But now you’re afraid that a smile makeover might take away something good about your smile.
So how do you manage this dilemma? It’s tough, but you can get through it.
Own Your Smile
There’s nothing wrong with talking to friends to get their advice about how to proceed with your smile. But in the end it’s important to remember that your smile belongs to you, not anyone else, and it’s up to you to decide whether you should keep it as it is, or if it should be changed.
While other people may see your smile more than you do, it’s you who has to live in it, you whose identity is partly shaped by it, and you who has to see it in the mirror first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
So it’s only you who can make decisions about whether to keep it or change it.
Talk about What Your Smile Means
Which is not to say that you shouldn’t listen to what other people have to say about your smile. Talk to people who say they like your smile and find out what they like about it. Find out what these features of your smile mean to them, and what makes them think you shouldn’t change your smile. This will not only help you separate people who genuinely like your smile from those who are just being polite, but it might help you see your smile differently.
Don’t forget to share what you see when you look at your smile. Talk about why some things bother you. Talk about what you want your smile to look at. It’s possible that once your friends know what your smile means to you, they will change their minds about it.
But whether you can agree or not, having talked about it will clarify how you feel and can actually help you get better results from cosmetic dentistry.
Consult with a Cosmetic Dentist
Before you commit either to getting cosmetic dentistry or living with your smile, get a professional opinion. Cosmetic dentists know what makes a smile attractive and what kinds of things can look unhealthy or may make people leery of your smile.
A cosmetic dentist also knows about all the options available to you, and how a smile makeover can be done to retain the character of your smile while fixing things that may bother you. It is possible to have a unique smile that’s also beautiful.
Try It On
Here’s something you may not know: you don’t have to commit to a major procedure to see what your smile could look like. We use digital imaging to capture the appearance of your current smile and can show you what your results might look like. This can definitely help you make your decision, but if you’re still unsure, we can often go a step further.
If you are considering porcelain veneers, we can do a shorter-term procedure known as dental bonding that can give you an idea about what your results might look like. The procedure is minimally invasive, can be completed in one visit, and the results can last for a couple years.
Don’t Commit until You’re Comfortable
In the end, we want you to be happy with your results, and the best way to do that is to be good and sure that it’s what you want before you commit to cosmetic dentistry. It’s also easier for us to do cosmetic dentistry later than it is to undo what we’ve done, so if you’re not completely sure it’s what you want, just take some time and think. Then come back when you’re sure.
If you are looking for a dentist to help you with your “cute” but imperfect smile, please call (914) 526-2144 for an appointment with a Westchester County cosmetic dentist at Advanced Dentistry of Mohegan Lake.