Many Singaporeans get their photo taken every day by cameras on mobile devices but not everyone feels confident about their smiles.
When we smile, we want to express friendliness, confidence and energy. However, we might not have the perfect set of teeth that can exude these characteristics.
As a result, some people do not smile in photos or actively avoid taking photos. Underlying this involves a lack of confidence in their smiles.
The good news is that getting a smile makeover in Singapore is easy, comfortable and you can even preview your perfect smile.
Do you hesitate when you want to smile?
Getting a smile makeover is increasingly important these days especially if you have to meet a lot of people daily or have a public-facing role like being an influencer, public speaker or video host.
One way to know whether or not your smile is holding you back is to test whether you have to actively suppress your smile. For example, if you want to smile wide with your teeth showing, but somehow your logical brain tells you to hold that back and only move your lips.
This happened to British TV presenter Saira Khan who felt self-conscious when she smiled which led her to seek a smile makeover treatment involving Invisalign. She told Dentistry UK that,
‘I am finally going to get my teeth straightened and gain the confidence to smile without feeling self-conscious or nervous’, she said.
‘I love smiling and laughing, but have found that in photographs I don’t smile as much and tend to keep my mouth closed and cover up my teeth.
Saira was 45 when she did the treatment, which reflects an increasing trend of career-oriented people looking to improve themselves as they succeed in their careers.
What is a smile makeover?
When we look at people, we can unconsciously know who would be considered attractive.
It might seem like it's magic and unexplainable, but there's actually a science to it involving proportionality, symmetry and alignment.
For example, smiles that expose too much gum (over 3mm) tend to be rated as a less-attractive smile. Darker gums and yellow teeth also rate lower in attractiveness.
Dentists know the signs to look out. At the initial consultation, dentists will find out what your goal is and then select the appropriate treatment.
This may involve a combination of different treatments, including teeth whitening, dental veneers, dental implants, and orthodontic treatments such as braces or clear aligners.
The three principles of a smile makeover are, "Realign, Reshape and Brighten".
Here are the most common procedures involved in a typical patient's smile makeover.
Teeth straightening with braces or Invisalign
Singaporeans can mistakenly associate teeth straightening with the braces that some of their peers wore during primary and secondary school. It might look very out-of-place for a career professional in their 30s and beyond.
However, one of the most popular cosmetic teeth straightening options is clear aligners, such as Invisalign. Clear aligners are custom-made trays that fit over the teeth and gradually shift them into the desired position. These aligners are virtually invisible and can be easily removed when you don't want to be seen with them.
Another option for cosmetic teeth straightening is traditional braces, which involve metal brackets and wires that are affixed to the teeth. For adults, braces do have their place in dental treatment because they are more effective at tackling complex cases of misalignment.
In addition to improving the appearance of the teeth, cosmetic teeth straightening can provide other benefits as well. For example, straight teeth are easier to clean, reducing the risk of developing cavities and gum disease. Straight teeth can also improve the function of the jaw and reduce the risk of jaw pain or other discomfort.
Dental veneers are the "touch ups" to teeth that bring perfection to your smile makeover.
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite material to the front surface of the teeth to enhance their appearance.
Smile makeovers use veneers to address a range of cosmetic issues, including chipped, stained, or uneven teeth, as well as gaps or misalignments.
Veneers are designed to match the natural color and shape of the teeth, providing a seamless, natural-looking result. They are custom-made to fit each patient's teeth and with proper care and maintenance they can last for many years.
Dental implants are primarily used to replace missing teeth and enhance the appearance of a smile.
They blend into natural teeth well because they are shaped to look like natural teeth and also matched to suit the colour of the rest of your teeth.
As the perfect smile requires a coherent set of teeth, dental implants provide a durable, long-lasting solution for missing teeth that can help to restore a patient's confidence in their smile.
Updating old silver fillings with natural-coloured fillings
If you had dental fillings done in Singapore a long time ago, you might still have some grey-coloured fillings made of a dental amalgam (also known as a "mercury filling" or "silver filling").
These fillings are a blemish in what would be perfectly white teeth but the good news is that they are easily updated to a more modern, more naturally-coloured filling,
Teeth whitening can bring the shine out of your smile, which is why a lot of Singaporeans opt for it as part of their smile makeovers.
Dentists have access to special tools that can whiten your teeth beyond what you can do with whitening strips or toothpastes.
In order for teeth to sustain its brightness, we recommend you to avoid drinking tinting liquids, quit smoking and ensure regular dental hygiene.
How we create your Trial Smile
While every dentist has their own approach, this following represents the approach we have been using for almost a decade.
We start with our consultation that ends in the creation of a Trial Smile.
To start, it is essential to comprehend what the client wants to enhance about their smile.
We create a balanced smile that takes into account the client's gum-to-teeth ratio with a particular emphasis on improving their teeth.
After confirming that our analysis of the smile aligns with the client's goals, we develop a personalized plan.
We use Digital Smile Design (DSD) software to offer a preview that enables the client to visualize the final outcome before commencing their orthodontic treatment.
After these four steps, we create a physical Trial Smile that you can wear and have a real life preview of how you will look after the procedures recommended.
Your trial smile is a removal and reversible physical mock up where we put the designed smile over the real teeth
Timelines for a smile makeover
A smile makeover's timelines vary depending on the procedures that you need in order to achieve the smile that you liked in your Trial Smile.
If your teeth are simply yellowing but are otherwise in perfect condition, then whitening them takes almost no time. One sitting at the dentist and you are out.
If you need implants, crowns or veneers, then your timelines lengthen to up to two weeks. With some procedures like dental crowns, this can be sped up with a same-day crown.
If your teeth need realignment, then the timelines would be about 18 months to two years before your perfect smile arrives.
Experience a smile makeover at our clinic
In this video, our dentist, Dr. Kelvin Chua talks about how he consults and interacts with his smile makeover patients.