Whether you are a bride-to-be or about to appear for an interview for your dream job, there is no better confident booster than a great smile. And the good news is that with a little bit of planning, you too can have it.

One of the best ways to have a nicer smile is to consult your dentist for options available and the respective time frame. For those who have a nice smile already, and would just like some minor work, such as whitening and recontouring or bonding to fine-tune minor defects such as tiny chips or uneven edges, two to three weeks should be enough. Slightly more complex work involving veneers can also usually be done in a similar time frame. If teeth need to be moved to better positions using aligners could take a few months. 

White and easy

Whitening teeth is one of the easiest ways to get a quick smile makeover. A customised dental office fabricated home whitening kit might be a better choice than the in-office whitening systems because they are usually more predictable and cause less sensitivity.

Dr Tanveer Ahmed is BDS. GBOI (German Board of Implantology), Medical Director, Implantologist & Dental Surgeon at New Ivory Dental & Implant Clinic in Dubai

Home whitening usually takes about 7 to 10 nights and you can do it at your convenience. Strapped for time? Consider in-office whitening – BUT only if you have done it previously and found that the sensitivity is tolerable and the results were good. Also remember that after whitening it takes a few days for the colour to stabilise.

Alignment options

For those wanting to move teeth and have some quick alignment done there ARE some options that can move front teeth in weeks instead of months. For more complex movements, invisible aligners and conventional braces can be considered.

Sometimes a combination of veneers with some orthodontics can give you better results. Smile design software can be used to plan this sort of simulation so you can see the outcome before ever starting the treatment.

Conventionally, for missing teeth, dental implants were placed and it used to take months for the final crowns to be ready. With improved implant designs, most dental implants can be safely done and loaded with crowns in a day or a few days at most. There is also minimal discomfort and swelling if done carefully. However it would be a good idea to do this at least a few weeks prior to the big day just in case there are complications/unforeseen outcomes.

Traditional bridgework made with zirconia or ceramics can also be done in a few days. Life-like temporary bridges or crowns are usually made so that at no time will you have to leave the clinic with missing teeth.

Veneers can also be done within a few days provided well-planned. It’s a good idea to have replica temporary veneers for a few days before having the finals so that you have a good idea of the shape, size and contour. If required, minor gum surgery can be done before the veneers but it might take a few days to heal before the gum looks nice and clean. Remember: Major gum changes might take up to three months to heal.

Modern dentistry has come a long way and many treatments that used to take many months or years can usually be done in a few weeks. This is not magic or marketing but sound science at play and a good understanding of the human body and clever use of technology. However it’s important to remember that even though technology has changed – human biology has not! We still need to remember that the body takes some time to heal and healing can be a little unpredictable especially when it comes to aesthetics. Just one millimeter of uneven gum line in the upper front teeth can make or break a fantastic cosmetic result. However with a bit of planning, some tech wizardry, and a good pair of skilled hands you can get the smile you always dreamed of.