Risk Assessment

Image of woman having teeth laser-whitened.

Before you can have your teeth fixed, your dentist will need to do a risk assessment on your mouth. He will check for many things in your mouth, including how healthy the teeth and gums are and the jaw and bone structure. This assessment is good for multiple reasons, the biggest being that it determines if your mouth is structurally sound enough to handle certain kinds of cosmetic procedures. If it's not, other procedures will be considered to fix your smile. If it is, you and your dentist will decide what kind of procedure you would like to undergo to fix your smile.

Looks and Functionality

Image of woman's smiling mouth.

Once the structure and health of your mouth has been ascertained, your dentist will want to take a look at the appearance and functionality of your mouth. These risks are referred to as aesthetic and functional risks. Aesthetic risks are risks involving the appearance of your mouth and smile. This is based more on your opinion than on your dentist's. What parts of your smile and mouth do you like? What needs to be changed? When you have a cosmetic procedure, part of your appearance changes, and you want to make sure that the changes are ones you want. Functional risks are risks involving the bite of your teeth and jaw. If you have an overbite or an underbite, that affects the functionality of your mouth. Teeth wear also does, so if you have a habit of grinding your teeth at night, you will need to break that habit.

Structure and Health

Image of dentist smiling in front of happy family.

Your dentist will first check your mouth for structural or health risks. The structure and health of your mouth is critical to assess before any decision can be made about dental cosmetic procedures. The different types of risks are called biomechanical and periodontal risks. Biomechanical risks are risks involving the structural integrity of your mouth. If your teeth are decaying at all, that would affect the structure of your teeth, and your dentist would need to fix the decay. Periodontal risks are risks involving the health of the gums and bone tissue. If you have a periodontal disease, like gingivitis, you will need to get rid of the disease before your teeth can be fixed.

Ways to Fix Your Smile

Image of dentist examining woman's mouth.

There are many different ways your dentist can fix your smile. One of the oldest ways is through braces and retainers. These are still a viable option, and many people are opting for them. It's the surest way to fix your mouth. Invisalign is an option of braces without the metal and bracket. They are able to move the teeth like braces but don't work as well for crossbites. Other options include veneers, which are increasingly popular. Veneers are much faster than braces, but they are also a lot more expensive and don't actually move your teeth. Bonding works similarly but is less permanent. If excess gums are your only problem, laser treatment can work. And if your teeth are stained, you may opt for a whitening procedure.

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