Many people worry that cosmetic and restorative dentistry will make them lose the character of their smile. They are afraid that when a cosmetic dentist works on their teeth, they might end up with a generic Hollywood smile. 

This might have been true in the past, and there are plenty of cosmetic dentists who do this type of work. However, Las Vegas cosmetic dentist Dr. James B. Polley works hard to make each individual smile unique, and he can retain the character of your smile so that it still looks like the same smile that you, friends, and family, identify as uniquely yours. 

Collage of multi-generational people smiling, showing off their character

Not Restoring Your Smile Will Damage Its Character

If you’re considering restorative dentistry, it’s likely that the character of your smile is already threatened. If you do nothing, it is likely that your smile will lose its character. 

Decay Will Discolor and Destroy Teeth

Tooth decay is one of the most common reasons for restorative dentistry. It’s also a serious threat to the character of your smile. As your teeth decay, the white enamel will turn dark: brown or black. The enamel will develop holes that speed decay. Soon the entire tooth will turn black, likely because it’s infected, which will require either root canal therapy or removal of the tooth and replacement with a dental implant

If you want to preserve the character of your smile, you need to stop decay in its tracks. This may require a simple filling or perhaps a dental crown if decay has badly damaged a tooth.

Teeth Continue to Drift

There are many minor tooth alignment problems that people actually like about their smile. Perhaps you have a gap between your teeth, or maybe you have a little snaggletooth that you like. 

Unfortunately, these features might not be as attractive in the future. Problems like rotated teeth, gapped teeth, crowded teeth, or crooked teeth occur because the forces in  your mouth and the space in your jaw didn’t encourage the development of straight teeth. However, those forces aren’t finished working on your teeth. They act every time you bite and chew. This means that crowding and crooked teeth are likely to get worse in the future. 

Gum disease also attacks the gums, bone, and ligaments that secure your teeth, which makes them more likely to move. Treating gum disease can help stabilize your teeth, but it doesn’t always stop movement. 

Wear Changes Your Teeth

Another problem that can destroy the character of your smile is tooth wear. Biting and chewing has a tendency to wear your teeth down, and it can be especially hard on aspects of your smile such as large central incisors. 

Because crooked teeth don’t experience the same bite forces, you might find your teeth getting more uneven over time. This can make you unhappy with your crooked teeth, even if you used to like them. 

Restoring Your Smile to Maintain Its Character

On the other hand, restoring your smile can be used to maintain its character. First, we can stop many of the damaging processes by removing decay and recommending better prevention, including hygiene and interventions like CariFree. We can also treat gum disease to help stabilize teeth and bite guards to help slow down wear from bruxism.

But we can also take steps to make sure your restorative dentistry keeps the character of your smile. 

Tell Us What You Like about Your Smile

First, it’s important that you tell us what you like about your smile. It’s common for people to get so focused on what they want to do about certain problems in their smile that they just forget to tell us what they like and want to preserve. 

Dr. Polley is a great listener, and he will take the time to find out what you want from restorative dentistry or cosmetic dentistry procedures like a smile makeover. But he can’t know anything you don’t tell him. 

Restoring the Smile of Your Youth

One common request we get is that people want to love their smile as they did when they were younger. This is usually achievable. Bring us pictures of your smile when you were happy with it. We will be able to analyze the features of your youthful smile and can usually restore them. 

We want to note that this is even true for people who no longer have any natural teeth. Dentures can also be customized to give you the appearance you desire, including restoring your youthful smile. 

Preserving Natural Teeth When Possible

One technique for maintaining the character of your smile is simply trying to maintain your natural teeth. We will use only the number of restorations necessary to repair your damaged smile, so you can preserve the natural character of your teeth.

Precise Color Matching

When your smile is a combination of natural teeth and restorations, it’s critical that we closely match the restorations with your natural teeth. You don’t have to worry that you’ll get a smile that looks fake because it’s too white: the restorations will be the same color as your natural teeth. If you want, we can whiten your teeth so they look brighter, but still natural. 

CEREC helps get this precise color matching. Dr. Polley has precise control over the color of restorations and can adjust them to get it just right.

Restorations with Character

Dr. Polley can also design restorations that match the unique character of your smile. Do you really like how your canines really look like fangs? Your restorations can be designed to give that effect. Do you like the natural shape of your teeth, such as having rounded tops? If so, then your restorations can have that shape, too. 

You can also add features you’ve always wished for, but never had, including things like a gap between your teeth. 

Your Smile Can Be Healthy, Beautiful, and Unique

We understand that you might think restorative dentistry can eliminate some of the character of your smile. The real threat to the character of your smile, though, is the destructive forces of erosion and decay. Restorative dentistry can help preserve the character of your smile–it can even restore the youthful smile you used to love. 

Want to learn more about preserving the character of  your smile? Please call (702) 873-0324 today for an appointment with Las Vegas cosmetic dentist Dr. James B. Polley.