A Great Looking Smile Isn’t Always The First Step!


If statistics are to be believed, around 60 percent of us look at our teeth and see something we want to change. That’s a lot of people! If you’ve ever thought your smile could use a change – from the most simple teeth whitening to a total makeover – you’re part of that group!

We’re glad to be able to offer so many cosmetic dental services at Panama City Smiles, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves: you need a healthy mouth before you can think about perfecting your teeth!

Today we want to talk about what may need to be done to make certain cosmetic procedures possible. If you’ve been considering any of these treatments it pays to know what you might need to do first!

Oral Health: It’s Paramount!

Healthy gums and teeth are the most important part of getting a great looking smile. If you come to see us for any kind of cosmetic consultation we’re going to perform a full exam first. We want you to get a great looking smile that’s also in peak condition!

Teeth Whitening: What Comes First?

40 percent of people who want to transform their teeth just want to get a whiter smile, and plenty of them also have undiagnosed oral health problems! Both gum disease and cavities can postpone whitening for different reasons.

You may have heard that teeth whitening can cause sensitivity. The KӧR Deep Bleaching that we use is designed to combat sensitivity, but that won’t make much of a difference if you have a cavity. Decay is usually sensitive, and getting bleach into a cavity is only going to make the pain a lot worse.

Gum disease causes sensitivity issues too, especially if you have minor gum recession along with it. Not only that, but whitening gels don’t work on exposed tooth roots because they don’t contain any enamel.

Veneers: We Don’t Want To Seal In Trouble!

The wafer-thin layers of porcelain that are known as veneers can have a dramatic effect on your smile, but again you need to be in optimum health to get them. When we design a veneer it’s meant to go all the way to the gumline, and if you have gum disease you could end up with a recession that exposes the edge – we don’t want that to happen!

Decay is an even more serious problem. While we do remove a thin layer of enamel to create the perfect fit for your veneers it’s not enough to get rid of any cavities that might be forming on the surfaces of your teeth. Having a veneer placed without getting rid of all the oral bacteria on the surfaces of a tooth could be devastating – you could end up with a cavity that eats its way out from inside a tooth!

Crown Lengthening: Healthy Gums Required

Excess tooth wear and excess gum growth are both good reasons to have your crowns lengthened. This requires removing a bit of your gum tissue to uncover the parts of your teeth hiding beneath them, and there’s no way we could operate on unhealthy gums!

Crown lengthening is a minor procedure, but it still requires healthy gums. The presence of bacteria can slow down healing times, cause infection, and even kill gum tissue – not a good result when you’re looking for a better smile!

ClearCorrect: Oral Health Problems Cause Damage

Invisible braces like ClearCorrect require healthy teeth as well. If you have any oral health problems we’ll want to clear them up before treatment can begin!

Because your teeth are being moved there’s a lot of changes to your bone going on. Patients who suffer from gum disease during treatment frequently end up with bone loss, loose teeth, and even lost teeth. It’s essential that your gums are healthy before you start treatment.

Tooth decay risks are higher for patients wearing clear aligner trays. Not only will you have to take extra good care of your teeth, but we’ll want to clear up any existing decay before you start wearing your ClearCorrect aligners.

No Matter Where You Start We’ll Perfect Your Smile!

All these preexisting problems can seem like a lot, but don’t worry: we’re dedicated to getting your mouth healthy and looking good. Any necessary restorative work will be included in a complete treatment plan that we draw up at your first appointment. With any luck, you won’t need any of these procedures at all!

If you’re ready to perfect your smile and get it healthy too, we’re ready to see you at Panama City Smiles! Give us a call at 850-588-0185 or request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you!


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