Extreme Smile Makeovers have been in the news for years now. What many people don’t know is that they don’t have to involve invasive dental work. At Dr. Alfe’s Chicago Smile Spa, smile makeovers can involve a number of different options.
Because cosmetic dentist Dr. Alfe is so focused on conservative treatment and because of her extensive experience and expertise in many of the options available to improve her patient’s smiles, she will come up with a treatment plan that is specialized just for you.
Often, patients tell Dr. Alfe that they want veneers. What they really mean is that they want a nicer smile. Sometimes porcelain veneers are the best smile makeover option. Using no-prep or minimal-prep DURAthin® veneers and Lumineers®, as well as conventional porcelain veneers, Dr. Alfe can often transform your smile in as little as 2 visits, with much less tooth removal than you may expect. All types of porcelain veneers are a great option if you want to change the color, shape, size, alignment, length, crowding or spacing of your teeth and you want it done quickly (often in as little as 3 weeks, start to finish).
Our smile makeover expert Dr. Alfe truly appreciates the value in having a healthy, beautiful smile. She had porcelain veneers placed on her own teeth in 2000. She often remarks that it was the best thing she ever did for herself. She tells patients that a healthy, beautiful smile is the one accessory you never leave home without!
Maybe you like the shape, size and color of your teeth, but they are either crowded, have gaps between them, or are uneven. In that case, any of our orthodontic options like Invisalign®, ClearCorrect® or Six Month Smiles® may be your best choice. Dr. Alfe has had extensive training and experience in orthodontics, including a 2 ½ year post-graduate program through USDI (United States Dental Institute). She has been an Invisalign® provider since 2002, a ClearCorrect® provider since 2008 and a Six Month Smiles® provider since 2011.
If you just want a brighter, whiter smile, one of our in-office or at-home tooth bleaching options may work for you. Whether you want to erase the stains that happened naturally over time from coffee, tea, red wine, etc., or you want to rejuvenate your youthful smile, tooth bleaching is a conservative and easy way to achieve this. Our bleaching a la carte menu ensures that you will find an option that fits into your lifestyle and your budget. If you have severely stained teeth and have been told tooth bleaching is not an option for you, we may have your solution. Dr. Alfe was trained in Deep Bleaching with the AcquaBrite™ teeth bleaching system that has successfully whitened even tetracycline-stained teeth in just a few weeks with minimal and often no sensitivity.
Another smile makeover option in Chicago is cosmetic dental bonding is a one-visit procedure that is ideal for patients who have minor chips, cracks, or gaps. Dr. Alfe uses a plastic tooth colored filling material, the same material she uses to do small fillings on back teeth. Like all of our filling materials, her dental bondings are BPA-free.
Because the material is plastic, it is more porous and weaker than porcelain. It does stain over time and it is more susceptible to chips, cracks, and wear than porcelain. Dr. Alfe does not usually recommend bonding if you already have multiple, large fillings or cavities in your front teeth, or if you are looking to close larger gaps or lengthen short teeth. However, it is less expensive than porcelain veneers so it is a good option for the right patients. Most bonded fillings last about 3-5 years, with minor touch-ups.
Cosmetic contouring is another option to correct minor chips, cracks, or uneven edges. It is also a one-visit procedure, and no anesthetic is necessary.
Porcelain crowns are sometimes the only smile makeover option if you have existing crowns or very large fillings already present. These are also utilized when Dr. Alfe performs full mouth rehabilitations on patients who present lots of old dental work, severely worn teeth, or a very bad bite.
Porcelain implant crowns are placed over a dental implant. Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth and are one of the most predictable treatments performed today. Once restored, dental implants look and feel like natural teeth. Since they are free-standing, you can floss around them just like real teeth and their placement does not require preparation of the adjacent teeth, like full coverage dental bridges do.
Porcelain bridges are an alternative to porcelain implant crowns for patients who are missing teeth. These are a good option for patients who already have crowns or large fillings in the teeth near the missing tooth, and are looking to replace them at the same time. This is also a great choice if having implant surgery is not an option for you.
Laser gum therapy is one way to correct a gummy smile. Done alone, or in conjunction with porcelain veneers, it improves your smile if your concern is too much gum tissue showing and/or short teeth.
Lastly, many patients love their teeth, but are unhappy with the shape or size of their lips. Maybe over time you’ve started to notice more fine lines around your mouth. Juvederm® is a dermal filler and can be used to plump out thin or sagging tissue, fill in fine lines and enhance your smile makeover. Juvederm® restores Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in your skin. HA is a naturally hydrating substance that is plentiful in youthful skin. Over time, HA is reduced by sunlight and other factors. As HA decreases, your skin loses structure and volume, causing wrinkles, creases, and folds. Juvederm® is the first smooth-consistency HA gel and the only HA filler that’s FDA approved to last up to one year with only one treatment. What makes your treatment with Dr. Alfe unique is that Dr. Alfe will numb you before performing your injections. This allows your visit to be comfortable since you will not feel multiple injections. It also allows Dr. Alfe to work unhurried, taking the time necessary to evaluate and sculpt the filler to give you the most natural, youthful look with the least amount of material necessary.
The great news is that because of Dr. Alfe’s wide-ranging knowledge and experience, she can customize a smile makeover that is perfect for you. Many of her patients have been thrilled to discover that acquiring the smile of their dreams is often easier, more conservative, and more affordable than they had originally thought.
Call or email Chicago Smile Spa today for a dental makeover consultation with Dr. Alfe. If you’d like to see the results that are possible, please visit our smile gallery. We bet there is someone there who’s got a smile that looks a lot like yours, and you can see which exiting improvements Dr. Alfe was able to achieve. Chicago Smile Spa serves patients throughout the greater Chicagoland area including Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and surrounding Chicago communities.