By the end of January, most of us have already abandoned our New Year’s resolutions. We always seem to think we have more charisma than we do for long term self-improvement. It’s been cold; COVID is still hovering and sometimes we just set the bar too high.

There is one resolution, however, that once embraced, can be fulfilled with immediate results. No matter how compromised is the smile we see in the mirror, it can be almost miraculously changed into a sparkling, flattering, head-turning smile with minimal time, minimal discomfort and a financial investment that will pay for itself over and over, new year after new year.

Modern technology has given the dental profession pathways to esthetic improvements far beyond one’s imagination with the power to erase wrinkles, return years, and even alter a profile. Such a resolution is a promise to oneself, is achievable in the short term and will not have to be made again in December. Who doesn’t love instant gratification?

If teeth have yellowed from aging or food stains, a single dental visit for a laser whitening can showcase a remarkable bright smile. A crooked tooth or grouping of teeth can be orthodontically tweaked with much less hardware, time and discomfort than we recall from our grammar school days.

Missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants and prosthetic crowns that look so natural, even the most discerning eye would find it difficult to identify them; but the most dramatic changes occur when a long-neglected set of teeth with upper and lower bone resorption is replaced with a critically and artistically designed custom smile. Though such a seemingly challenging project appears to be a monumental task, most of the work is done without the patient, with computer software for planning and sophisticated robots to engineer everything from the tools to the new teeth. These often totally life-changing renaissance smiles impact not only a single year, but often the entire rest of one’s entire life.

If other resolutions have fallen by the wayside, starting with smile repair can incentivize additional self-improvements. It is difficult to precisely measure the value of a great smile, but most who have made the resolution and experienced the elation will be effusive with their banners.