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Smile Makeover on a Budget

I have a reunion coming up that I’m dreading. I had a horribly ugly smile in High School and was mercifully teased for it. I know I should be above the insecurities of High School, but I really thought my life would be different by now. But, I’m buried in student loans and haven’t been able to do anything to fix my smile. I don’t think I can show my face with the same teeth. Is there any way to get a smile makeover on a budget?

Alexandria X.

Dear Alexandria,

First, I don’t want you to feel alone. There was a survey done which said half of all Americans are unhappy with some aspect of their smile. I’m willing to bet several of your classmates in High School were embarrassed about theirs as well.

As far as a smile makeover on a budget, there are things you can do to improve your smile that won’t cost a fortune. One thing I want to warn you off, though, is trying to get porcelain veneers cheaply. While they are the best procedure for a smile makeover, it’s usually inexperienced dentists or ones who lack artistry who offer them at a discount. You’ll end up with disappointing results.

That doesn’t mean you can’t do anything affordably.  The biggest problem I have is you didn’t mention anything specific about what you wanted to fix. I can recommend some general things, though.

One of the nicest things you can do is simply whiten your teeth. It takes years off your appearance. However, if your smile bothered you in High School, I doubt staining was the problem.

If you have crooked teeth, Invisible braces such as Clear Correct are a great solution. You can straighten your teeth without the ugliness or uncomfortableness of traditional metal braces.

If you just want something to get you through that particular reunion, Snap-on Smile is a decent option. Below is a picture giving you an example of what it can look like.

Before and after of Snap-on Smile

Mind you, it won’t be stunning, like porcelain veneers but it will give you a completely new smile, at least temporarily.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Potts.

Dental Implants with Diabetes

I need to get three teeth replaced. Can you get dental implants if you have diabetes?

Alex R.- Rhode Island


To get dental implants with diabetes you need to have metabolic control, but it is possible. The failure rate of dental implants in diabetes patients is about 6%. However, there were generally extenuating circumstances such as smoking or their diabetes not being under control that factored into the failure.

Get a comprehensive medical exam. Make sure your diabetes is completely under control.  If you are a smoker, it is ideal if you can completely stop smoking. If that is not possible, I would quit for the duration of the surgery and recovery .  It will also be important to have a ten day supply of antibiotics. Begin taking them the day of surgery to reduce the risk of infection.

This blog is brought to you by Libertyville Dentist Dr. David Potts.