Multistep Smile Makeover: Invisalign, Teeth Whitening, Gum Lift, Veneers

Dr. Brittany Dickinson is one of the finest cosmetic dentists in the city of Chicago. A graduate of the University of Florida, as well as the London School of Economics, Dr. Brittany loves continuing her education year after year. She holds degrees in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Business, and Medical Sciences in addition to her dental education. She has several publications in the field of Periodontal Disease research and is a graduate of numerous additional cosmetic programs including The Dawson Academy in Tampa, Aesthetic Advantage in Manhattan, and FMR Full Mouth Rehabilitation. She is also an American Academy of Facial Aesthetics certified injector for Botox and Fillers. Haute Beauty expert Dr. Dickinson explains what a smile makeover entails and how the results give you a transformative smile.

Dr. DickinsonPhoto Credit: Courtesy of Dr. DickinsonHaute Beauty: What does a smile makeover entail?

A full smile makeover typically involves several steps. In your initial consultation, I talk to you in length about what you consider to be a perfect smile, then I'll take a look at your current smile. Using photos and facial analysis, I look for ways to optimize your smile from the inside out. This mak involves bringing the teeth into proper alignment and a balanced bite with Invisalign, then a round of whitening to lighten the base shade. If your gums are uneven or show too much when you smile, we have a gum lift done. first, then totally transform your smile with veneers! For the final finishing touches, I balance out an uneven pull of the smile muscles using Botox and correct any lip asymmetries using filler. This would be an example of a plan that needed everything in our toolbox, it's unusual for someone to need all of this. More typically it involves two to three of these steps. A smile makeover results in a total transformation of your smile!

HB: What teeth whitening options do you offer?

I offer in-office whitening with the Zoom system as well as the KoR Whitening take-home system. Zoom is great for people that are on the go and simply can't commit to wearing whitening trays every night. The procedure only takes two hours in our office, so you'll sit back and watch a movie and by the ending credits, you'll be done! It'll brighten up a smile by a few shades and is perfect to do right before an event. KoR Whitening is the best and strongest product on the market. It provides truly dramatic results and comes with a wonderful desensitizing gel to prevent any of the usual whitening sensitivity. Both are great options and work for different lifestyles, with different levels of results.

HB: Why choose Invisalign?

I love being an Invisalign provider because the Invisalign program allows me to have total control of the plan for moving your teeth. I've done extensive training with Invisalign including a six-month mentorship program with their laboratory in Costa Rica. I'm very hands-on, and I like to dictate everything about the plan down to the tiniest degree of rotation. Tooth movement looks easy only because we make it look easy, but believe me, there is a ton of knowledge that helps me create your plan! From the thickness of your bone to areas that have thin gums, even your lifestyle... I take everything into consideration and come up with the quickest and safest way to straighten your smile!

smile Photo Credit: Courtesy of Dr. DickinsonHB: What is a gum lift? How does it work?

A gum lift is a procedure that I use to even out the gums that show in your smile. I also use this procedure to reveal more of the tooth enamel if it is covered by too much of your gums. Sometimes I am able to do this with a minor laser procedure at the same time I am doing your veneers. Other gum lifts are more involved. For these, I work closely with my favorite periodontal specialist to have the absolute best result. The more involved ones do take some time to heal, but the wait is worth it! Your gummy smile will be gone permanently and your teeth will fill your smile more.

HB: What are veneers?

Veneers are thin porcelain faces that are bonded to cover the fronts of your teeth. They look and feel like your natural teeth and you brush and floss them just like all your other teeth. I use a very high-end dental laboratory that is able to make them as thin as a contact lens. This means I don't have to shave much of the tooth (sometimes none at all!). Veneers can be used to restore cracked or chipped teeth, whiten and brighten a smile, fill out a broader smile, and give the appearance of straight teeth without braces! The color does not fade and they don't absorb stains, so they are a wonderful long-term solution. Veneers can very quickly transform your teeth into the perfect smile of your dreams.

HB: Who is a good candidate for veneers?

Veneers will work well on the majority of patients. They can correct minor crowding or spacing, discoloration, and chipped teeth. They even serve to reinforce damaged teeth! If you're unhappy with more than one aspect of your smile and want your ideal smile in a matter of weeks, veneers are the best solution for you!