Sometimes, those daily affirmations in front of the full-length mirror or a new shade of lipstick aren’t what you need for that extra boost of confidence. What might have a bigger impact and a longer lasting effect on your physical and emotional state is a smile makeover.

When you pair your beauty products with a beautiful smile, experts say, it not only improves your self-confidence and appearance, but your social life and business life, too.

“Anybody will tell you that not only in business, but in everyday life, people are constantly looking at your smile and making mental evaluations based on how attractive your smile is,” says Dr. Jeffrey Clark of Scottsdale Dental Excellence.

“We’ve had patients come back telling us they have received promotions and raises at work, or met new dating partners, or have renewed their existing relationships by making over their smiles,” he says.

A smile makeover can consist of minimal and simple procedures, such as teeth bleaching, or as procedures as complex as full mouth restoration. Procedures include:

  • Cosmetic bonding: An enamel-like material is applied to a tooth’s surface, sculpted into shape, hardened and polished.
  • Cosmetic gum lifts: Have short teeth or, as Clark puts it, “gummy smiles?” This is for you.
  • Invisalign clear braces: Avoid metal, and wear these clear, thin retainers all day, every day — except when you eat or brush. Invisalign helps correct the position of teeth due to poor alignment.
  • Procelain veneers or crowns: Ideal to rebuild broken-down teeth, normally due to grinding of the teeth.
  • Whitening or bleaching: Removes all dark aspects, dark spot and lines on the teeth, giving whiter, healthier-looking smiles.
  • Tooth-colored fillings: This procedure for those who need tooth restorations.

In order to determine whether you should consider a smile makeover, patients should start with a thorough diagnosis with photos taken of the mouth and teeth. The dentist can then fully evaluate every nook and cranny, determining if you need one or a combination of procedures to complete your makeover package.

Once you’ve taken a look at a simulated image of your smile-to-be, most smile makeovers can be completed in two visits or less. “The first visit is to make the necessary preparations, impressions and temporaries,” Clark says. “The second is to bond the veneers or crowns in place.”

As for side effects following the two-day makeover, Clark says the patient is helped through the changes with custom-fitted night-guards that will help prevent grinding.

Looking for a quicker route to a smile makeover? Opt for a two-hour visit to the dentist and have your teeth professionally bleached, says Dr. Mark Peck of Dental Studio 101 in Scottsdale.

The procedure can cost up to $700, Peck says, but the two-hour investment lets you leave the office with a smile that outshines Julia Roberts. You also take home the trays built from an impression of your teeth and you can use them for at-home bleaching and maintenance.

“Whatever route you choose to take, the key to making your smile makeover last in hygiene,” Peck says. “Plaque is what stains your teeth and plaque starts to develop within an hour after you eat. So if you brush after eating and keep that plaque from developing, you can eat whatever you want and your teeth are going to stay white.”

Once you have a brand new smile, the only other side effect you have to worry about include “sore facial muscles from excessive smiling,” Clark says.

Dental Studio 101
33739 N. Scottsdale Rd.
(480) 488-4852
dentalstudio101.comScottsdale Dental Excellence
8765 E. Bell Rd., Suite 201
(480) 585-1853


Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011