Your Smile Should “Feel” As Great As It Looks!

added on: February 15, 2024

If you look at photos of people taken in the 1800’s, most have stoic faces, showing no smile or joy. Not to take away from life being hard in those days, it’s pretty difficult to have a phtoo being taken these days without hearing, “Smile!” or “Say cheese!”. Now, smiling for the camera seems the natural thing to do.

According to research, the act of smiling causes the release of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. These are “happy” chemicals in the brain and can even be activated by smiling even when we ‘fake’ a smile.

Smiling also makes people appear more approachable and project a sense of self-confidence. Studies even show a smile can make others perceive us as looking thinner, healthier, and more youthful.

One such study at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s department of psychology. The researchers had college students examine images of male faces in several age groups, ranging from 30 – 65. Some of the faces were smiling with others having neutral expressions. The study participants labeled the happy, smiling faces as “young” more often (almost regardless of age) than faces with neutral expressions. Likewise, neutral faces were seen as older in each age group than their happy counterparts.

Another study asked college students to quickly estimate the weight of 960 faces, some smiling, others with sad expressions, and others with neutral expressions. Sad faces were judged to be heavier. (

The research is endless, with results that consistently reinforce the positive effects of smiling. Certainly, the circumstances of life can deter one’s motivation to smile or cause others to avoid smiling or conceal their smile because of its appearance. When teeth have cavities, chips, are worn or missing, are darkly stained, misshaped. or crooked, smiling just doesn’t “feel” that great.

Today’s exceptional materials and advanced techniques can allow every individual to enjoy the benefits of a beautiful smile. Using advanced skills acquired through the Mastery level of training at LVI Institute (, one of the world’s foremost in esthetic dentistry, we can correct flaws and create a smile you’ll love to share – often and joyfully! 

When an individual decides to seek out smile enhancement, it seems like every dentist is a “cosmetic dentist.” While dental school provides general dentists with instructions in the placement of crowns and veneers, there is a tremendous range when it comes to skills, experience, and talent. Too, the commitment to a highly-natural look and feel can mean a smile that exudes confidence versus one that has obviously had “dental work.”

In cosmetic dentistry, it takes an experienced ‘eye’ to treatment plan what will work best for each individual. For example, someone who has straight teeth may not realize why they are unhappy with their smile. A trained eye, however, may see that they are too short or arched by too much gum tissue. Or both.

Whether your smile could improve with whitening, porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers, bonding, straightening, or gum re-contouring, the goal is to LOVE the result! When you love the way your smile looks, you’ll smile more often and project a more positive, confident, and happy individual. While no cosmetic dentistry is inexpensive, getting the work done expertly is as important as it is to have it done beautifully.

For some patients, correcting smile imperfections can be as simple as whitening or repairs with bonding, which can also be done in one appointment. In our office, we use advanced skills, techniques, and technology to provide optimal results in today’s cosmetic dentistry.

In most cases, we do smile makeovers using porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns. Porcelain is the most durable material available in modern cosmetic dentistry. It resists staining better than other materials and also the best longevity. Additionally, porcelain provides a highly natural look and feel, with an opalescence that mimics a natural tooth with no hint of “dental work.” (Visit our Smile Gallery)

Treatments involving porcelain veneers are generally completed in just two visits. Once we determine which teeth will be involved in treatment (typically the top, front teeth most visible in a full smile), we create a molded likeness of your teeth. This provides a view of how each enhanced tooth would appear with the others once treatment is completed.

In the preparation phase, we gently reshape the natural teeth so the veneer will fit over it. We make sure you are comfortable throughout and can provide oral sedation in addition to novocaine for optimal comfort, if desired. Once the teeth are prepared, we place temporary restorations to wear until your final porcelain restorations are ready (generally about 2 weeks). These ‘temporaries’ will provide a normal look and function well until your treatment is completed.

When your final veneers are ready for placement, the temporary restorations are removed and your new teeth are placed. We then carefully check bite alignment and polish them for a beautiful finish. Now, your new smile is ready to share with the world!

We’ve seen so many patients “come out of their shells” after having smile makeovers. Some dress differently, change their hair styles, become more social, pursue better jobs, and, of course, smile more often! As mentioned prior, since smiling helps a person appear younger, thinner and healthier, and even mean you live longer – well, smile makeovers can be a new lease on life overall!

In addition to the beautiful results in appearance, our Shelby Two dental patients enjoy the benefits of neuromuscular dentistry incorporated into their treatment. As a neuromuscular dentist, we take a precision approach into cosmetic and restorative dentistry to ensure the proper alignment of teeth. 

What does this mean for you?

When properly aligned teeth support the function of the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), the joints and surrounding muscles work in unison. Disparities in bite alignment can lead to a wide range of problems that even seem unrelated to how teeth work together. Yet, we’ve treated patients who have suffered for years with symptoms that became debilitating. (Learn more at: DrBarbatTMJ)

TMJ disorder can be the source of frequent headaches; migraines; ear ringing; dizziness; worn teeth, night-time clenching or grinding; sore jaw joints; aching muscles in the face, shoulders and neck; jaw popping; and even tingling in the fingers. Often, people don’t relate these problems to their bite and spend years going from doctor to doctor in search of a solution.

In addition to these unique skills, we utilize advanced diagnostic technology to pinpoint the true source of bite problems that are contributing to TMJ issues. By knowing precisely when (or if) the disorder exists, we can effectively and efficiently resolve the problem, for good!

We also utilize the advanced technology of a dental laser in creating an attractive shape and height of gum tissues that ‘frame’ the teeth involved in treatment. A laser helps with precision contouring while sealing the tissues as it moves. This minimizes bleeding and speeds healing time as well.

Having spent the past 26 years with a reputation for exceptional results in cosmetic dentistry, I’ve seen patients often become different people who seem to smile often, are more outgoing, and often more positive about life in general! 

Buddhist author Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

To discuss your smile and ways we can create the smile you’ve always imagined, call 586-739-2155 to schedule a no-charge consultation. Or tap here to schedule online. During this time, I’ll make suggestions and answer your questions in a private setting.

If desired, we can also have you meet with our financial coordinator. She will be happy to explain several payment plans that can break your treatment fee into affordable monthly amounts (typically with no down payment required).

Too, if dental fear or anxiety has kept you from achieving the smile you desire, please view this brief video on our commitment to comfort: DrBarbatComfort. We also offer oral and I.V. sedation (“twilight sleep”) for optimal relaxation. These are administered safely by trained staff who use advanced safety equipment throughout your treatment.

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Dr. Ban R. Barbat

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