Dentist Destroyed My Smile

I have some abrasion lesions that my dentist decided to help me repair after much begging. Now I think I may have made a mistake. I had a beautiful smile with the exception of the lesions– emphasis on had.

We did dental bonding on the teeth at the gumline and nothing matches. The color my dentist put on there is way too dark and opaque compared to the rest of my teeth. My friends that have seen it have all been quietly polite, but I have noticed the double takes. Is it safe to remove this and have it done by someone else?

Candace

Dear Candace,

I’m sorry you are in this position. This is just one example of why I always tell people who write to not pressure their dentist into a procedure, even a procedure like this one, which should be within their skill set.

Image of a tooth with abrasion lesions

The image directly above is for the benefit of those who may not know what abrasion lesions are. A dentist can simply remove the dental bonding that was done and put new bonding on. I don’t think your dentist is going to be able to do this.

Though technically, with this procedure, any dentist should be able to do it, in most cases of real cosmetic dentistry work, like a smile makeover, you’d need a dentist who has invested in a lot of post-doctral training. As you are going to need another dentist to fix this anyway, I suggest you get the best cosmetic dentist you can. This way you won’t have to worry about another disaster. AACD accredited dentists are in the top 1% of their field. I’d start there.

If you don’t have one in a reasonably close proximity to you, my next stop would be mynewsmile.com. A retired accredited dentist pre-screens every practicioner who wants to be listed. They can’t just pay to get on. Instead, they have to prove their technical knowledge and skill as well as show their artistry. Anyone listed on that site will do a phenomenal job for you.

A Word about Your Dental Bonding

We used to think the reason for abrasion lesions was brushing too aggressively. The latest research, however, seems to indicate it is more the result of someone who clenches their teeth a lot. Clenching makes the teeth flex somewhat at the gumline, this in turn weakens the tooth there and leads to the abrasions.

Because of the flexing, I’m going to recommend you ask your dentist to use a softer, flexible composite bonding material. Otherwise, with a hard material, it could lead to your bonding popping out.

You may also consider having your dentist offer you a custom nightguard. This will help protect your teeth from clenching and grinding, though the night when you are least likely to notice it.

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

Finding a Cosmetic Dentist on YELP!

Dentists in my state are opened back up so it is finally time for me to get my smile makeover. I’ve been doing some research and think I’ll save money by getting dental bonding done instead of porcelain veneers, esspecially since I am planning on getting six teeth done. I’m having a bit of trouble deciding between three cosmetic detnists. All of them are rated high on YELP! is there anything in particular I can ask that will set one of them apart from the other two?

Misty.

Dear Misty,

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

It is fantastic that you’re doing research before you invest your money. There are a couple of things I want to address that should help you tremendously.

First, is your method of finding a great cosmetic dentist may land you in some trouble. YELP! is a very useful resource, but this is one area where their algorithm isn’t helpful. They don’t seem to distinguish between the types of services a dentist is being rated for.

For instance, a dentist may get a lot of 5-star ratings but it has more to do with their chairside manner than their cosmetic skills. I did an experiment in a large city, by doing a YELP search of my own. Two dentists who were rated in the top 3 cosmetic dentists, don’t even do cosmetic work.

Because cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty, it can make it difficult for patients to know who has the skills and training and who hasn’t. Smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school. Any dentist who is interested in developing that aspect of their practice have to invest a significant amount of time in post-doctoral training.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) realized the conundrum facing patients looking for someone to do their smile makeover. That is just one of the reasons they began an accreditation program. For a dentist to become accredited, they have to pass stringent exams and provide visual evidence of specific cases they did themselves in order to demonstrate their artistry. You will find that AACD accredited dentists are the best cosmetic dentists in the country.

Porcelain Veneers verses Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is best done on small surfaces, such as a chipped or gapped tooth. This is because it is done completely freehand and is quiet time-consuming.

For this reason, you won’t find many good cosmetic dentists willing to do a complete smile makeover with them. If they did, it would end up actually costing you more, simply because of how much time in the chair it would require as compared to porcelain veneers, which are made out of tiny wafers of porcelain constructed in lab.

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

Dentures Won’t Stay IN

I’ve had dentures for many years. The ridge on my jawbone is almost gone and I just cannot keep them in any more, even when using those awful adhesives. Is there a solution?

Miranda

Dear Miranda,

before and after side images of a woman suffering from facial collapse
Years with Dentures will Lead to Facial Collapse.

What is happening is you are faced with what is called facial collapse. When you first have your teeth removed, your body notices that. In an effort to be as efficient with its resources as possible, it begins to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in order to use them elsewhere in your body where it perceives the minerals will be more useful.

I don’t know if your dentist warned you about this when you first had to make a choice about your tooth replacements. If you had gotten implant-supported dentures, this could have prevented the situation you are in. This is because the dental implants provide prosthetic tooth roots which will signal to your brain that you still need your jawbone.

The good news is there is a solution for you. The first thing you’ll need to have done is a bone grafting procedure. This is an outpatient procedure that will build the bone back up in your jaw.

Once that is done, you have two choices. First, you can just get dentures made again. Though, bear in mind, you will immediately begin losing your jawbone again.

A Better Option Than Dentures

dentures about to be secured to six dental implants
Implant Overdentures

Your second option is to get implant overdentures. You would have four to six dental implants placed in your jaw, then your dentures will be anchored to them. Not only will it prevent facial collapse, but you will also find your quality of life goes up significantly as well.

Even the best fitting dentures reduce your chewing capacity by 50%. Once you have dentures anchored, you’ll find you can once again eat anything you want!

Getting a Gorgeous Smile with Dentures

Whether you get removable dentures or implant-supported dentures, you’ll still want a smile you will feel proud to share with the world. To be certain of that, you’ll want to be certain you get an expert cosmetic dentist. They can create the smile of your dreams for you.

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

Dental Implants After Ten Years?

I’ve had full removable dentures for a little over ten years. I really don’t like how they feel or look, plus I haven’t been able to eat normally since getting them. Is it too late for me to get dental implants? Will they look better than my dentures?

Andrea

Dear Andrea,

side by side comparison of dentures and a dental implant

You can get dental implants after any period of time, with one caveat, which we will talk about in a moment. In fact, it is actually important that you do. As you can see from the image above, your lower dentures just rest on the ridge of your jawbone.

You have already experienced that it makes it harder for you to eat. Even the best fitting dentures reduce your chewing capacity by 50%. However, there is an even bigger issue.

When you first removed your teeth, your body recognized that and began to resorb the minerals in your jawbone. Everntually, there isn’t enough of your jawbone left to retain your dentures. This is known as facial collapse. You are probably already starting to experience some of this.

Dental implants are different. They serve as prosthetic tooth roots, which signal to your body that you still have teeth. As a result, it leaves your jawbone completely intact.

Bone Grafting

Without enough bone, you won’t have a way to retain the implants. They’ll simply fail and fall out. Depending on how much jawbone you’ve already lost, you may need some bone grafting done first. This will add the missing bone and enable you to have the implants placed in a way that will be successful.

When you’ve lost all your teeth, it is more financially feasible to do implant overdentures. With these, you have 4 to 6 dental implants placed and anchor dentures to them. They will be completely secure.

Getting Beautiful Dental Implants

Whether or not they are beautiful will depend on the dentist who creates your new dentures. Creating beautiful smiles isn’t taught in dental school. Instead, a dentist has to invest in cosmetic dentistry training in a post-doctoral setting.

The best cosmetic dentists have reached accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Any one of them will be able to create a stunning smile for you. You’ll be getting new teeth and a smile makeover at the same time.

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