Worried This Dentist Can’t Do Porcelain Veneers

I had some dental bonding on my front teeth that needed to be replaced. I had since moved and am going to a new dentist. I thought the new bonding would look like the original, but they actually looked awful. The dentist felt she could do a prettier smile if we did porcelain veneers. I thought that would be okay. I’m in the temporaries right now. They have a hump on the top which worries me. Is it supposed to be like that? I saw a picture of some Dura-Thin veneers and they didn’t seem to have that hump. What do you think?

Olivia

Dear Olivia,

A single porcelain veneer being placed

I can understand your concern. To answer you question bluntly, no it is not good for your porcelain veneers to have a hump. It is not just visually unattractive , but it is hygienically dangerous. The hump will trap bacteria and plaque. That will lead to gum inflammation, decay, or even gum disease. Your dentist should know that.

Another thing which worries me is that she couldn’t get the dental bonding to look good. An artistic cosmetic dentist could get DuraThin, bonding, or any other brand of porcelain veneers to give you a gorgeous smile makeover.

You’ve got two choices here. You can tell her you’d like to transfer your case to another dentist and then have a cosmetic dentist with more expertise and artistry. Your second option to give her a chance to get it right.

If you decide to give her a chance, here is wha tyou need to make sure happens. First, she needs to let you see the permanent porcelain veneers in your mouth BEFORE permanently bonding them on. She can do that using a temporary try-in paste. If you don’t love them, and I mean really love them, then she shouldn’t bond them in.

Don’t let her try to tell you they will look better after they are bonded on. They won’t. Also, don’t let her tell you they can be adjusted after they are bonded on. They can’t. If she can’t get it right, then you really do need to switch.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

There isn’t a recognized cosmetic dentistry specialty, which makes it hard for patients to know which dentists have done post-doctoral training and which haven’t. Additionally, not every dentist has the artistry necessary.

One way to be certain you can find a great cosmetic dentist is to look for one who is AACD accredited. These dentists have passed stringent exams as well as having to submit a large number of cases they’ve done for visual inspection of both their technical expertise and artistry.

Any dentist who passes accreditation has years of experience and can create stunning smiles. That’s who I would go to if you switched.

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

Dentist Feels I’m Too Picky

I had to get a dental implant on a front tooth. The implant itself has done fine but I’ve had the crown replaced three different times. My dentist hasn’t been able to get it to match the adjacent teeth. She said it’s because my teeth are between two shades and I’m being too picky. She also said if I keep having her remove it, I risk losing the implant itself. That scares me. Am I being too picky? Should I just accept that false teeth can’t match perfectly?

Lanie

Dear Lanie,

Woman covering her mouth
Your dental crowns can match

One thing I want to tell you right up front is that you are not being too picky and it is possible for your implant crown to match the adjacent teeth. That being said, it may be above the skill set of your current dentist.

Matching a single front tooth is challenging even for the most expert of cosmetic dentists. They often have to do several try-ins before they are satisfied it matches properly. Notice I said “try-ins”. There is a temporary try-in paste your dentist could have been using this entire time instead of permanently bonding it on and then having to pry it off.

Don’t buy into the fear your dentist hinted at. Your dental implant will be safe having the crown replaced. However, you may have to go somewhere else to have it done.

Matching Your Dental Implant Crown

It’s very possible the color of your teeth is between two standard shades. That happens a lot. However, the tooth can still be made to match. While using one of the standard shades is fine for a back tooth, front teeth need some artistry. Below is a color map a dentist would provide for a ceramist to show them what tints to place and where in order to shade the tooth properly and get it to match seamlessly with the teeth beside it.

color map for a cosmetic tooth
Color Map

Your best bet at this point is to ask for a refund on the crown portion of your dental implant procedure. Then, find an AACD accredited dentist. They’ll be able to provide you with a beautiful, natural-looking porcelain crown that matches perfectly.

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

Porcelain Veneers While Pregnant

I didn’t realize I was pregnant when I had my porcelain veneers done. I just found out today. Now I’m worried I did something that could have harmed my baby. Any experience with this?

Karen

Dear Karen,

A single porcelain veneer being placed

Generally, when someone is pregnant, we suggest only doing dental work during the second trimester, when the mother is most comfortable. This is because in the first trimester we want to avoid any harmful chemicals to the baby and the poor sweet mama is usually very sick during that time with hormones in constant flux.

In the third trimester, the mother usually finds it difficult to stay comfortable and sitting for long periods of time isn’t easy.

Porcelain Veneers and Safety to Babies

The only medication introduced during the porcelain veneers process is lidocaine. This is a local anesthetic. It will put your mind at ease to know it has been used many times during pregnancy and even during labor. There have never been any adverse effects on either mother or child.

The Exception to the Rule

While we generally tell pregnant women to schedule any dental care in their second trimester, the exception to that is when you have a tooth infection. This is considered urgent dental care.

If you don’t get treated, you will be carrying harmful bacteria which not only will make you feel worse, but can transfer to your child. Additionally, a dental infection will continue to spread until a dentist physically removes the infected pulp. That is done with either a root canal treatment or a tooth extraction.

You don’t want to allow the infection to spread. Your jaw is quite close to your heart, lungs, and brain. If it spreads to one of those, it can become life-threatening quickly. Your dentist will know how to take appropriate precautions for you and baby during any necessary treatment.

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

Dentist Wants to Remove all My Son’s Teeth

My son is only 22 years old and his teeth are a complete mess from his meth addictiion. We recently learned of his addiction and moved him back home. I noticed he was having trouble eating so I took him to my dentist. The treatment plan he’s recommending is just removing all his remaining teeth and fitting him for dentures. There has to be a better option. Do you have any guidance for me?

Mona

Dear Mona,

Dentures
Complete dentures

I am sorry for what both you and your son are facing. Addictions are horrific on both those with the addictions and the love ones trying to help them.

I don’t think this is the best dentist to serve your son. The treatment he’s recommending, removable dentures, will be easy for him but an absolute disaster for your son.

Once his teeth are removed, his body will start resorbing the mineral’s in his jawbone. After about ten years or so, he’ll have lost so much of his bone structure that it will eventually become impossible for him to even retain his dentures anymore. This is known as facial collapse.

In order for him to eat after that, he’ll need bone grafting surgery and then his dentures remade. The process will start all over again.

Two Alternative Solutions

Solution One:

Save as many teeth as possible. It will take work. Work your current dentist seems to not deem your son worthy of. I’m sorry. I don’t agree with that. Treating someone like they deserve to be healthy can only serve to help them obtain that. Treating him like he doesn’t desrve real effort will only hurt both his health and his motivation to get better.

There is a possibility the teeth can’t be saved. I haven’t examined your son. However, even in that case, complete dentures are the wrong treatment.

Solution Two:

In that case, you’ll want to find a dentist who can provide your son with implant overdentures. This uses between four to six dental implants and then anchors a denture to them.

Having dental implants to secure the dentures will not only give him a much more efficient chewing capacity. Additionally, the implants serve as prosthetic tooth roots which will tell his body that he needs his jawbone to remain intact. This protects your son from the dangers of facial collapse I mentioned earlier.

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