Are Tooth Bands A Good Alternative to Porcelain Veneers?

I have a tooth gap that I told my dentist I wanted to fix. He suggested braces, but I wasn’t keen on wearing metal on my mouth. Then he suggested porclain veneers. I liked the idea, but they are so expensive. I recently saw an add for tooth bands that close gaps. Is that a good alternative?

Ebony K. – New York

Ebony,

Unfortunately, tooth bands are a gimick that could actually end up costing you your teeth. While they will pull the gap closed, they do it by loosening and tipping your teeth. Orthodontics, move the teeth in proper stages AND give the surrounding bone time to reform around the roots.

I do have good news for you though. If you don’t like the expensive of porcelain veneers, there are other ways to repair your gap. If you want to close the gap, without metal braces, you could get Invisalign. These use clear aligners, that are not visible to others when they’re on your teeth.

If you don’t want any orthodontics, but just immediately want to close the gap, then dental bonding can do that, at a fraction of the cost of porcelain veneers.

I’m actually surprised your dentist suggested veneers before bonding.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Can Dentures Look Natural?

I had horrible teeth, so the idea of getting dentures didn’t bother me. I was sure anything would be an improvement on the smile I had. Unfortunately, I was wrong. The new “smile” just looks fake to me. The false teeth are unnaturally white. I’m sure everyone knows I’m wearing dentures. Can dentures be made to look natural?

Cyndy – New Mexico

Cyndy,

I’m sorry you’re disappointed with your dentures. Even if the smile is beautiful to your dentist’s taste, it only matters if it’s beautiful to you.

To answer your question, however, yes, dentures certainly can be made to look natural. In fact, they can be made to look any way you want them to. But, you have to have an experienced cosmetic dentist in order for that to work.

The safest way to find an expert cosmetic dentist is to look for one who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). They’re dentists that have met the highest standards of both tehcnical and artistic excellence.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Can You Get Dental Implants With Low Sinuses?

I’ve been told I have low sinuses. Am I able to get dental implants?

Mark S. – Utah

Mark,

If you’re othewise a decent candidate for dental implants, then I’ll say, yes, you can get dental implants with low sinuses–with a couple of qualifiers.

  1. Depending on how low they are, you may have to get a sinus lift and some bone grafting done.  I would really get this looked at. It’s not a step you’ll want to skip if it’s necessary.
  2. You’ll want to get a dentist with advanced dental implant training. Any dentist can place these. But, any dentist can perforate your sinuses too. There are plenty of dental implant horror stories out there. That will mean a trashed procedure and lots of pain, along with a likely infection for you.  Some training institutes you can look for are: LVI (The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies), The Kois Center, The Dawson Center. There are others as well, just make sure they have the training necessary to do this properly.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

I’m Terrified of Becoming A Horror Story

I had a friend get a horrible…and I mean horrible smile makeover. She spent thousands of dollars and her orignal smile, which did need lots of work, was better than what this quack gave her.  Believe it or not, I’m now considering getting my own smile makeover. That being said, I don’t want to end up with a disaster. Is there a way to separate the pretenders from the real deal?

Jamie W. – New York

Jamie,

That’s probably one of the most important questions you can ask before embarking on your own smile makeover (as well as your hard earned money). You want to find the best dentist possible, especially since cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty. Any general dentist can learn a procedure or two (regardless of their skill level) and call themselves a cosmetic dentist.

In fact, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry  (AACD) was started in part to help potential cosmetic dentistry patients with just that question.

Their goal was to create an accreditation process, so that patients could locate highly skilled cosmetic dentists.

If I were in your position, I would go to a dentist who is accredited with the AACD.  Accreditation is different than membership.  You can just join to be a member. To become accredited, you must demostrate both technical skill and artistic beauty in your work. It’s a long process and very few dentists reach that level, but it will be worth worth your time and money to seek one out.

You’ll end up with a stunningly gorgeous smile you can’t help but show off.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.