Digital Smile Makeovers

- About our 'Cosmetic Dentistry on a Shoe-string Budget' makeover simulations. | How to send in your own photo for one.

If you've visited the Cosmetic Dentistry section here on, you've already seen some of our digital smile makeovers.

These are before-and-after picture sets where website visitors have submitted their own photo. We've then taken the image they've emailed in and retouched it, so to show the type of changes that their own dentist should be able to make.

Our makeovers don't try to simulate perfection.

We're not trying to illustrate (or fake) the "perfect" smile in our "after" pictures. Our makeovers are more about suggesting cosmetic treatment plans that can deliver the most "bang for the buck."

That usually means just simulating treatment for those teeth that can make the biggest changes for a smile. And it also means illustrating those types of cosmetic procedures that any general dentist should be able to provide.

We've chosen this approach because we're annoyed by some dental makeovers we see on the web. Ones where the patient has had to spend an amount equivalent to the cost of a car, or two, just to fix up their teeth.

Cases where every tooth has been tweaked just for the sake of a cosmetic improvement, without consideration for the long-term consequences for having done so.

We don't think that this is the type of treatment that most people can afford, or should be subjected to.

(As an example of what we mean, read this page: What are the true costs of having porcelain veneers placed? Even though this information is just about veneers, it outlines the exact same issues that anyone should discuss with their dentist before having any type of elective dental work placed.)

Yes, the end result of many of our makeovers is less than perfect. But for a lot of people, obtaining 70 or 80% of perfection isn't much of a tradeoff. Especially if it substantially reduces their costs, maintenance requirements (both planned and unexpected), and poses less risk for their teeth and gums over the long term.

Here's how we hope our smile makeover simulations are used.

  • Our main goal is to create an "after" picture that the person can use as a way of communicating with their dentist.
  • One where they can point out exactly what they like, or don't like, about the changes we've illustrated.
  • And one where their dentist (who has actually had an opportunity to examine them) can explain exactly to what extent the types of changes we've shown are possible.

Submit your own picture for a digital smile makeover! - It's free!

Email a picture of your smile to us and if we select it we'll illustrate some of the types of cosmetic changes that your own dentist should be able to make for you. There's no cost involved, it's free!


Here's how you can improve your chances that we'll select your picture.

We've become fairly selective about the images we will consider for a makeover. After all, if we don't start with a good picture, the simulation we create won't look very good either.

We'll also say that you shouldn't feel that you have to send in a full-smile photo. If you're just concerned about an issue in one region, or even one tooth, then focus in on that.

And don't feel that you have to grimace for your picture. Images like the one below are much more pleasant to look at, and give a better idea of how your smile will look "after."

Submission tips and pointers.

Those pictures that we don't select typically have one or more of the problems listed below.

1) The image is out of focus. - Take several pictures of your face from slightly different distances. Then take a look at each one and send us the one that shows your teeth well, and is also in focus.

Don't worry that the picture shows your face (all of it or part of it). Probably 30% of the pictures shown on our site were originally full-face photos. And, in fact, all of the pictures we've used for makeovers have been cropped down at least somewhat.

We have no desire to embarrass anyone. Any and all images that are selected will be cropped down to a size that just shows the person's teeth and smile.

2) The image is out of focus. - We've listed this reason twice because it's the main reason why an image gets rejected.

3) The image is too small. - When you view the picture you plan to send to us in your web browser, the size of the teeth and smile need to be similar in size (or larger, or even much larger) as the teeth and smile seen in the picture below.

While we can usually shrink an image down to an appropriate size, we can never enlarge a small picture to a larger size. It simply becomes too grainy to be suitable for our use.

A cosmetic dentistry smile makeover simulation.

4) The image is too small. - We've listed this reason twice because, except for a picture being out of focus, this is the main reason we reject submissions.

5) Try using your phone's camera. - Judging from poses and picture backgrounds, most of the photos we've selected recently seem to have been taken using the person's cell phone. (The majority of pictures we've declined seem to have been taken using cameras mounted on computers/laptops.)

Most have had a resolution measured in the thousands by thousands pixel range (like 1500 X 3000, or more), so set your camera to its highest resolution. Use your phone's best camera, not the front-facing "selfie" one.

Many pictures we end up working with started off showing about 1/2 or even all of the person's face. Their high resolution allowed us to crop and shrink them down to a size that met our needs yet they still retained a sharp focus.

Take dozens of pictures (it won't cost you anything or take more than an extra minute or so). Your best ones will likely be accidents.

6) It takes light to make a good picture. - You won't get a good picture unless you have an adequate light source. Having one might be as simple as turning on every light in the room, positioning some lamps that you can stand between, standing outside in daylight or near a window, or else using your camera's flash.

As another tip, if you're standing in front of a light-colored background and it shows in the picture, your camera will adjust for its brightness and as a result your face and smile will appear darker.

7) Submit multiple pictures. - What we're looking for in an image may be different from what you expect. Sending in multiple photos (all taken at different angles or even all at the same angle) makes it more likely that we'll find one that meets our needs.

8) Transfer the pictures at high-resolution. - Don't let your email service dumb down the pictures you spent time creating. If they try to impose size limits on your attachments always choose the highest resolution or largest picture size.

9) The acid test. - Evaluate the pictures you plan to submit in your web browser. With most any desk or laptop computer browser you can hold [ctrl] and then press [-] or [+] to zoom in and out (use [ctrl] [0] to return your browser to its default setting).

If you can't get the smile portion of your picture to a size and focus that comes close to mimicking the picture above, there's an awfully good chance we won't be able to use it for a smile makeover.

(If you don't know how to open an image in a web browser, just email it to yourself. Open it using a web-based application, and then go from there.)

Here are some other conditions we must insist upon:

1) Any image considered for a makeover simulation will need to be in either ".jpg", ".jpeg", ".png" or ".gif" format.

2) You must be over the age of 18 to submit an image.

3) WMDS, Inc. (the owner of, at its discretion, will choose which submitted images will be utilized for a smile makeover simulation.

4) All pictures submitted become the property of WMDS, Inc. who has the right to reproduce, modify, publish, and otherwise utilize the images. Copyrighted images may not be submitted.

5) It can take us a week or more to sort through submissions and determine which will be accepted. Once a decision has been made, we normally contact the person just to let them know what's going on and what time frame can be expected before their completed case will be posted on our site (it can be several weeks). Even with submissions that are declined, we still usually respond.

6) Images should be submitted as email attachments. Our email address can be found on our Contact Us page. Since this is a "catch-all" type of email box, you'll need to place the words "smile makeover" or such in the subject line so your submission isn't overlooked (regrettably that seems to have happened before).

7) And just a reminder, it's free!

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