A Dentist Who Disagrees with Me

I’m a little tired of you saying that a patient has to see an accredited cosmetic dentist if they want a beautiful smile. First of all, cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty. It’s an area of interest. Being AACD accredited doesn’t make you better than a dentist who isn’t. You also act like anyone who uses Lumineers doesn’t know what they’re doing. Why does using a specific brand make you less of an expert? All you are doing are scaring patients. You’re probably just doing it to drive them to you. There are other good dentists.

Dr. H.

Dear H.,

Pretty brunette with a beautiful smile
Can a beautiful smile be guaranteed?

You are right that there isn’t a recognized specialty. That’s part of the problem. Any dentist no matter how much or little training they have in cosmetic dentistry can call themselves a cosmetic dentist and do a smile makeover. When they don’t have the artistry necessary, it is the patient who suffers.

What I did NOT say is that only an AACD accredited cosmetic dentist can do a beautiful smile. I’m sure there are dentists on their way to accreditation who create beautiful smiles. However, my blog is here to help patients, not dentists. It is too hard for a patient to investigate each dentist to know which ones will give them a stunning smile and which ones will make them into the next cosmetic dentistry horror story.

How are they to know which post-doctoral schools to look for in their training? Or how to tell from the smile gallery photos whether the gums are healthy?

Accredited dentists have already proven their technical knowledge and artistry. It is an easy way for the patients to know they are getting the best dentist to do their smile makeover.

I’m not saying you have to get accredited to be good. I’m saying being accredited shows you are and gives the patient some measure of security.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Lumineers for Sensitive Teeth

I have very sensitive teeth and I can’t figure out why. It’s been causing me to lose a lot of weight. I can’t eat. It’s too painful. My dentist suggested we place Lumineers on my teeth to cover them. Will that help with the sensitivity?

Madison.

Dear Madison,

A single porcelain veneer being placed

Yes, getting a smile makeover can help with the sensitivity. However, before you do that, it is important you isolate the cause. Here are just a few things which could be giving you the problem:

  • Tooth decay. Though, if you’ve been having regular checkups, that should already have been eliminated.
  • Leaky fillings which need to be replaced.
  • You grind or clench your teeth. This can happen without you knowing it while you are sleeping.

There are other causes as well. The key is to evaluate why.

A Smile Makeover

I’m concerned your dentist immediately jumped to Lumineers. This is a brand of porcelain veneers often marketed to inexperienced dentists as being easy to place. That isn’t always the case. Plus, there is a lot more to a beautiful smile than the bonding procedure.

If you’re going to invest in a smile makeover, you’ll want to do it right with a dentist who has both the technical skill and artistry to do it well. There isn’t a recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry. Any general dentist is allowed to do it. It’s also up to them how much training they get. Unfortunately, it is not a skill taught in dental school. Dentists have to take the initiative to get the training needed in a post-doctoral setting.

If I were investing in a new smile, I’d want the best dentist to do it. Dentists who’ve reached accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry are the top of their field. They can provide a stunning smile for you. The kind you see the Hollywood celebrities get. I will tell you, they will likely suggest a completely different brand of porcelain veneers than what your family dentist suggested. Lumineers aren’t known for their beauty.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Dentist Insisting I Get Invisalign

I feel horrible about my teeth and now my dentist has made me feel even worse about both that and my finances. I have two crowns on my front teeth. They’re 16 years old so they are in definite need of replacing. When I went to see my dentist about that, he insisted I have Invisalign done first before he would replace the crowns. The front teeth do stick out a little, not a ton. I”m ashamed to say I don’t have the money to do both procedures. If I do the Invisalign, I won’t be able to replace the crowns, but my dentist won’t replace them without straightening my teeth first. What do I do?

Miriam

Dear Miriam,

Clear Invisalgin Aligner
Invisalign’s aligners are invisible, even at a conversational distance.

I’m very sorry your dentist has placed you in this position. It is unfair of him to insist on perfect cases or nothing. I am going to tell you now that this isn’t the best dentist for you. I’d like you to look for another one. In your case, I’d like you to look for an expert cosmetic dentist.

Your crowns can be replaced with or without you doing Invisalign. In fact, you can get your crowns replaced and then do Invisalign later if you’d like. It’s completely up to you. It is obvious to anyone with a brain the teeth can have dental crowns, even with their slight overbite, because you already have them.

What Type of Dentist Should you Get

crowned front teeth without all-porcelain crowns and then with

You are replacing your front teeth which is one of the first things people notice about you. You’ll want a dentist who understands both the technical aspects of your procedure but also has an artistic eye. This way you may get a beautiful smile. Plus, you can be assured a dentist with the right skills and training will know to only place all-porcelain crowns on your front teeth.

The image above, on the left side, shows teeth with metal-based crowns on the front teeth. The right side shows that same patient who had their dental crowns replaced with all-porcelain crowns. You can see what a beautiful smile a great cosmetic dentist is able to create.

I’d look for an AACD accredited dentist in your area. If you can’t find one. Try mynewsmile.com. Any dentist they recommend is excellent.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Can’t Afford the Number of Implants My Dentist Requires

I am losing my teeth and wanted to get implant-supported dentures. My dentist is insisting I get twelve, six per arch. He says it is the only way they will be completely stable. If I can’t afford that am I stuck with regular removable dentures?

Daisy

Dear Daisy,

illustration of snap on dentures

I’m sorry he’s pressuring you. While it is true that the more dental implants you use to anchor the dentures, they more secure they’ll be. However, implant overdentures can be done with four implants per arch and give you both security from them slipping as well as protection from facial collapse.

If that is out of reach financially, you still have options before having to revert to complete removable dentures.

You could get snap-on dentures, which can use as few as two implants. They will move, but won’t fall out on you. They also give you some protection from facial collapse where the two implants are. This may get you started and you can save up for full implant-supported dentures as you are able.

It doesn’t sound like this is the best dentist for your situation. Some dentists will only do the ideal treatment, not caring about the hardship it puts on their patients who may not have a budget that can accommodate the ideal. In your place, I’d look for a more compassionate dentist.

He was ethically obligated to give you all your options, even if he wasn’t willing to perform them. This also bothers me. As he may not be willing to do the procedure you need for your financial constraints, this is the perfect time for you to find another dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.