Cosmetic Dentistry: The Same Day Smile Makeover, Issue 4

In this new series, The Same Day Smile Makeover, the goal will be to share how recent advances in dental technology can help your patients have a more self-confident smile in one easy visit. 

In this new series, The Same Day Smile Makeover, the goal will be to share how recent advances in dental technology can help your patients have a more self-confident smile in one easy visit. 

There is one caveat that I want to share with you about providing same day smile makeover services for patients. Quite frankly this is not always possible and you will find that careful patient selection is the key in performing a same day smile makeover.  

It also requires fine-tuning your patient education systems to inform, educate and motivate patients about the benefits of this new treatment modality. Once you learn how to both perform the technique and educate your patients about its benefits, you will notice a surge of interest / demand from your patient population pool.

Getting started

Incorporating the same day smile makeover system into your practice requires several new skill sets. The first key starts with attitude. If you are stuck in a traditional mind-set, offering patients same day smile makeover services may be a challenge for you. That does not mean that traditional cosmetic dentistry is better, or worse, for your patients. It simply means that traditional cosmetic dental services are more familiar and thus, more comfortable for you.  

Here is one example of how the same day smile makeover requires a new mind-set. I will take you through a brief clinical scenario. When a patient is interested in brightening his or her smile and having one or two teeth transformed relative to the size, shape or appearance, which service do you typically offer first to your patient?  

After doing a thorough examination and checking for periodontal, restorative and other considerations you will probably agree that if you are like many of our colleagues, you would start with “tooth whitening." That is fairly traditional treatment for a case like this. Whiten the teeth first and then place veneers to match. I have done many cases like this with outstanding results as well.

After the whitening is completed, the patient will most likely return in two weeks for an evaluation of regression. If the color is stable and the patient is pleased with the results from whitening, you will most likely instruct your patient to continue to maintain excellent oral hygiene, not use any tooth whiteners during the next two weeks and return for their veneer appointment in fourteen days.

Watch Dr. Harvey Silverman discuss the Same Day Smile Makeover with radio personality Trapper Jack below.

Once the desired whitening has been achieved, the traditional approach would be to treat the teeth with porcelain veneers. After the patient returns you will probably use / do many of the procedures listed below to provide the patient with a veneer to complete their smile makeover:

  •     Wax-up

  •     Computer imaging

  •     Tooth preparation

  •     Depth cutters

  •     Indexes

  •     Soft tissue retraction    

  •     Impression

  •     Articulators

  •     Face bow transfers

  •     Temporaries

  •     Shade selection

The list goes on and on. Unless you have an in-house laboratory, most patients will be seen again for a try-in appointment in about two weeks. After the veneer is returned from the laboratory, you will try it in to check for size, shape and color considerations. If it matches the bleached teeth and the fit is good, you will probably bond the veneer to the tooth that day. If there is a problem with any of the above, the patient will have to return for another try-in appointment.

Having had the privilege of refining and developing one of the original porcelain veneer systems for the dental profession in 1983, I have successfully performed numerous smile makeovers and placed many porcelain veneers using this traditional approach. I have also taught this technique at many CE programs. It is a good system. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that approach.

However, I always thought that it would be so much better for my patients if a system was available that made it simpler, easier, faster to obtain more natural looking, esthetically pleasing veneers with predictable, almost guaranteed results before beginning. Combined with the benefits of in-office tooth whitening, instant smile transformations might be possible. That was a lot to accomplish but having refined several bonding systems for dental manufacturers, having invented / patented one of the original OTC tooth whiteners that started today’s whitening explosion and knowing the technical and procedural issues with porcelain veneers placed me in an unique situation to tackle that challenge. Over the past twenty years I worked on developing exactly that system, which allows dentists to provide patients with same day smile makeovers.

Does this mean that I never use the “traditional” approach and don’t do the whitening first? The answer is absolutely not. I still do in-office whitening prior to placing LifeLike Veneers™ when it is indicated. As I write this article I am in the process of treating one patient using the traditional approach. However, I am finding that in approximately 75 – 80% of all cosmetic cases, that the same day smile makeover system has become the treatment of choice.  

The same day smile makeover gives me more control of the final outcome with long lasting, durable, aesthetically pleasing results. It also provides my patients with what they always desired. A self-confident smile with a combination of gorgeous veneers and tooth whitening all done in one day – without compromising bond strength and creating the appearance that my patients were “born” with this beautiful smile. That has been very gratifying to both my patients and to me.

My suggestion is to read the series over the next several months and try to maintain an open mind and attitude. Let’s be honest, when confronted with a new system we often tend to defend our previous habits. It’s only natural and I, too, tend to resist change as well. However if we can think outside the box for a minute and become open to how technological advances can provide simpler, more natural looking and affordable solutions for what was previously thought to be a complex problem, we might discover a true breakthrough in creating self-confident smiles for our patients. Over time, once you have an open mind, you might find that you will be doing more same day smile makeovers than you originally thought possible.