Category Archives: Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain Veneers & Mouthwash

I have porcelain veneers that I love. I’m mixing up a homemade mouthwash to help care for them, but wanted to run the ingredients by you first:

8 oz. Boiled water (I also filter my water)
8 oz. Hydrogen Peroxide
1 T. Sea Salt

Do you see anything harmful about this?

Carmella

Dear Carmella,

porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

I am glad that you love your porcelain veneers and want to take good care of them. While nothing in the DIY mouthwash you listed will harm the porcelain veneers directly, there will be a separate issue.

Hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen. This will kill bad bacteria that leads to gum disease, but it will also kill good bacteria that helps your mouth. If you use this regularly, it will lead to candida growth and an oral yeast infection. Using a peroxide rinse every once in a while is fine, though.

In most cases, you don’t need a mouthwash to take care of your porcelain veneers. Regular brushing and flossing should do it. If you want a special toothpaste to help keep them white, then I would recommend Supersmile Toothpaste. This is specially designed for cosmetic dental work.

Some patients, however, really feel they need a mouthwash. If you are in that category, the most important thing is making sure that there is NO alcohol in the ingredients.

If there is, the alcohol will soften the bonding and cause ditching and staining around the edges. Using an alcohol-free mouthwash will prevent that.

This blog is brought to you by Boston Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba, an AACD Accredited Dentist.

5 Ways to Avoid Regrets about Getting Porcelain Veneers

Are you thinking about getting porcelain veneers but concerned about what can be done if you don’t like them? Consider four things you can do to avoid disappointment.

Ways to Get Porcelain Veneers Right the First Time

1. Find a few cosmetic dentists

Photo of a single porcelain veneer held by dental forceps.
Porcelain veneer

A true cosmetic dentist has received post-graduate training in dental aesthetics. Advanced training helps dentists learn which techniques and tools will produce the results you want. An accredited cosmetic dentist has proven his or her skill by passing exams and submitting multiple patient cases that demonstrate artistic talent and understanding of what’s required to create a beautiful smile.

2. View the dentist’s smile gallery

A smile gallery features before-and-after photos of the dentist’s own patients. Take note of photos of patients who have received porcelain veneers. Do the patients’ teeth look natural, or do they look pasty, bulky, off-centered, too short, or too long?

3. Schedule consultations

Most dentists offer complimentary consultations for smile makeovers. You can schedule consultations with two or three dentists. You’ll have time to talk with each dentist about your smile goals and the options he or she recommends for achieving your perfect smile.

4. Learn about the dentist’s process

The dentist should readily explain to you what he or she does to design a smile with porcelain veneers that you will love. Some common processes include:

  • Discussing your goals for you smile
  • Showing you photos of smile designs to help you make decisions about the look of your own smile
  • Providing a digital model of your smile
  • Using a variety of high-quality veneers
  • Making a wax model of your smile designs
  • Providing temporary veneers for you to wear and see how they will look and feel
  • Temporarily bonding the porcelain veneers on your teeth so you can examine them before they are permanently bonded

5. Don’t rush

The success of your smile makeover with porcelain veneers is impacted by the skill and artistic talent of the cosmetic dentist you choose. Take time in the selection process. After the veneers are bonded to teeth, if you are unhappy with the results, you will have the start the process all over again.

But if you follow the steps for finding a good cosmetic dentist, you’re highly likely to get results that you’ll love.

This post is sponsored by the Salem, MA dentists at Burba Dental. Dr. Randall Burba is one of a few Massachusetts dentists who are accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

I Can’t Afford The Repair for my Chipped Tooth

`I chipped a front left tooth. My dentist suggested two Lumineers to ensure they match but they cost so much money. I would literally have to take out a loan. I’m hoping there may be another cheaper solution and my dentist was just trying to give me the Porsche type of solution.

Jenna

Dear Jenna,

Your dentist certainly suggested the most expensive treatment, but I wouldn’t exactly call it the Porsche. Lumineers is a brand of porcelain veneers that are often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. I’m afraid your dentist likely falls into this category for a couple of reasons. The first is the treatment he is suggesting for this repair. The second is the fact that he needs to do two veneers to get them to match. A skilled cosmetic dentist can match a single tooth with a single veneer.

The one good thing working in his favor is he didn’t suggest a dental crown as a solution, which would require healthy tooth structure to be ground down. I have actually seen some suggest this.

The Best Solution for a Chipped Tooth

If you have a chipped tooth, the standard solution is dental bonding. However, I wouldn’t try to force or pressure your dentist into doing this. Tooth bonding is an advanced cosmetic procedure that has to be done freehand.

My suggestion is you find a dentist who already has cosmetic expertise to do this repair for you. The best cosmetic dentists are AACD accredited.

This doesn’t mean you have to switch dentists permanently. You can just go to the cosmetic dentist for the bonding and stay with your dentist for everything else.

Teeth Whitening and Dental Bonding

Dental bonding can blend in perfectly with the remainder of your teeth when done well. However, once it is bonded on, no changes can be made. If you are considering getting your teeth whitened in the near future, it will save you money to do it before your bonding is done.

If you wait and do it after, your natural tooth structure will whiten, but the bonding will stay the same color. To get it to match, you will need to replace the bonding.

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

Gum Inflammation after Porcelain Veneers

I recently had a smile makeover done. The results improved my smile, so I’ve been very careful to be diligent with my oral health care. Since then, my gums have become inflamed. I went back to the dentist after a month and the hygienist tried to blame me for not brushing enough. When the dentist came in he did remove some excess cement which helped a bit. Should I ask for a recommendation for a periodontist?

Liza

Dear Liza,

It is infuriating when dentists blame the patient. We have always found when we do a smile makeover with porcelain veneers, the patients love their new smiles so much they are even more diligent with their care than they were before. It is much more likely that the dentist did something wrong. In fact, I know yours did.

Inflammed gums with porcelain veneers would fail an AACD accreditation review.

If a dentist is trying to obtain accreditation through the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, one of the things the review committee will look for, in addition to the beauty of the results, is the health of the gums. For instance, if the picture above would have been submitted, it would have failed because the two lateral incisors are inflamed.

You mentioned that your dentist removed some dental cement at a one-month follow-up appointment. This should have been done at the initial appointment. A skilled cosmetic dentist will cure the cement in the center of the porcelain veneers and then remove the excess cement while it is still soft and cannot irritate the patient’s gums.

One issue, if your gums are still irritated after he removed some cement, that means there is still some there that needs to be removed. If that isn’t the issue, it could be that the margins of the veneers are off. This means the veneers aren’t flush the way they should be.

When the margins aren’t properly set, then things can get trapped there causing both irritation to the gums as well as decay underneath the veneers.

Getting to the Bottom of the Problem

You mentioned going to a periodontist. While they are gum disease specialists, they will be unlikely to be able to tell you what is the root cause of the problem. If it is the margins, the porcelain veneers will need to be re-done in order to protect your teeth.

I’m going to suggest that you have an expert cosmetic dentist look at this. Either go to an AACD accredited dentist or one recommended by mynewsmile.com. These dentists are all pre-screened for their technical knowledge as well as their artistry. They will know exactly what is wrong with the veneers and can advise you on what your next step should be.

If it turns out the margins are the problem and the dentist needs to re-do them, it should be done at your dentist’s expense, not yours.

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

Durathin or Lumineers?

I plan on getting a smile makeover but am having a hard time deciding between Durathin or Lumineers. So far, I like the images of the Durathin veneers better. Is there a huge price difference between the two?

Evelyn

Dear Evelyn,

A dental tool holding up a porcelain veneer

I want to try and make a course correction about how you are going about this. Instead of thinking about porcelain veneers as an item purchase, you would be closer to reality if you thought about it as commissioning an artist to create a portrait.

In that case, you wouldn’t be deciding between what brands of paint you want for the portrait, you’d be considering the skill of the artist and letting them choose the best paint for the job.

Creating a smile makeover is an art form. Unfortunately, it is an artform that isn’t taught in dental school. A dentist has to choose to get that training post-doctorally. What you need is a dentist who has invested a significant amount of time in training and developing their technique and artistry. They are the ones who can provide you with a stunning smile.

One thing you will find is not many of them like the Lumineers brand. This is because their company, insists you use their lab, which isn’t known for producing beautiful results. This also may be why you like the Durathin images better.

Proven Cosmetic Dentists

When you are looking for an expert cosmetic dentist to do your smile makeover, the best cosmetic dentists are AACD accredited. These dentists have passed stringent exams and have provided visual evidence of a large number of cases they’ve done, which is carefully examined by a panel of experts for both their technical skill and artistry.

Any dentist can join the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, but only the ones who pass this rigorous process can be accredited. You will be pleased with any smile they create for you.

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

Did Dentist Damaged My Porcelain Veneers

I had six porcelain veneers made. I liked them but noticed a small scratch on one. I called the office and he had me come in the next day. He did something to get the scratch out of it. It looked fine at first, but then I noticed the next day (why is it always the next day instead of in the office?) that the spot where he removed the scratch is a bit less dull than the rest of the tooth. I’m worried this part is somehow damaged. Will this be a problem?

Karlie

Dear Karlie,

porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

Yes, this is a problem. It sounds like your dentist removed the scratch by simply grinding down the veneer and removing the glaze with it. This is quite an amateur move on his part and it leaves your porcelain veneer susceptible to staining in that one spot.

The glaze is what protects your porcelain veneers from picking up stains. This needs to be repaired. Your dentist has two choices at this point:

  • His first option is he can polish the veneer where he damaged the glaze in order to restore it. However, this requires some equipment he may not have. We’ll talk about how he can do this in a moment if this is what he chooses.
  • His second option is simply replacing the damaged porcelain veneers at his expense. This is costly, so my guess is he’ll choose the polishing option.

Polishing a Damaged Porcelain Veneer

What I recommend he gets if he doesn’t already have the equipment is Brasseler’s Dialite porcelain polishing system. He will start off with a polishing paste, but then will need to end with the ultra-fine diamond polishing paste.

Often family dentists just dabble in cosmetic dentistry so they have some basic skills and not the expertise needed to do a fantastic job.

It sounds like you are at least happy with the look of your porcelain veneers before he damaged them. Others aren’t so fortunate. We’ve had quite a few new patients in our office who came in simply because their dentist provided them a disastrous smile makeover and they needed the entire thing re-done by a more experienced dentist. Even worse, it is totally up to the dentist whether or not they are willing to provide a refund.

If you have a friend who is also wanting a smile makeover, you would be a great friend to them by recommending they go to an AACD accredited cosmetic dentist to have theirs done. I guarantee the results will be stunning. These are the dentists who have invested in a lot of cosmetic training and have developed their artistry and technique.

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

My $30K smile Makeover Makes Me Look Like Wallace & Grommit

I am devastated. I had teeth that were a bit small and hard to notice when I smiled. I wanted to get porcelain veneers, but my dentist said getting porcelain crowns instead could make my smile look bigger. As that was what I was going for, I agreed. He placed a dental crown on every tooth . The best way I can describe it is I look like Wallace from Wallace & Grommit. I can’t even close my mouth anymore and it is making my mouth so dry it is painful. Is there anything that can be done? I spent my life savings on this.

Lizzie

Dear Lizzie,

Wallace & Grommit

I placed an image of Wallace and Grommit here for the benefit of those who may not be aware of who they are. I can see why you are so devastated. Based on some things you said, I have a strong suspicion your dentist was in over his head.

The Bad News

The porcelain veneers you originally requested would have done the job of making your teeth look bigger without having to damage so much healthy tooth structure.

Many inexperienced cosmetic dentists will discourage a patient from porcelain veneers and suggest porcelain crowns instead because it is a procedure they are used to doing. Unfortunately, even doing something familiar, like porcelain crowns, requires extra training to do beautifully.

Even worse (for patients especially), doing smile makeovers isn’t something taught in dental school. Instead, a dentist has to invest in a significant amount or post-doctoral training. It doesn’t sound like your dentist invested in this.

In addition to his lack of training, he didn’t just try a smile makeover. Crowning every tooth is known as a full mouth reconstruction. It is one of the most advanced things a dentist can attempt. Getting the bite to come together properly (known as occlusion) requires bringing together a lot of factors. He seems to have missed the boat.

The Good News

If the only thing wrong with your smile makeover was the appearance and the function of your smile was okay, you would be completely out of luck. I hate to say it, but the fact that you can’t quite close your mouth and are now suffering from severe dry mouth works in your favor.

Your teeth depend on the saliva in your mouth to keep them healthy. It is a little known fact that there are minerals in our saliva that help to fight decay. When you have dry mouth, it puts your teeth at risk. Because your dry mouth is a direct result of your full-mouth reconstruction, it will have to be re-done.

Getting Your Smile Makeover Re-Done

Your current dentist is in over his head. This leads me to believe he is unable to fix this properly. Instead of asking for him to re-do it or even a refund, I want you to have him pay for it to be re-done by the dentist of your choosing.

The downside is, you are stuck with dental crowns. There is no way to grow back that tooth structure he removed for the crowns so you can have porcelain veneers. However, a skilled and artistic cosmetic dentist can create a stunning smile with porcelain crowns.

In your place, I’d look for a dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. These are the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the country. You are pretty much guaranteed to get a smile you can’t wait to share. In fact, some of them even have a beautiful smile guarantee.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Cosmetic 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.

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

Unhappy with Porcelain Veneers

I’m a little frustrated. My daughter had a bicycle accident when she was younger and it knocked her tooth crooked. We originally wanted to get her teeth straightened but the orthodontist told us the ligament damage would make that a bad idea. So, we opted for porcelain veneers when she got older. We went to see a dentist who said he was a cosmetic specialist and had six porcelain veneers placed. We never really got to see them on her before he cemented them on. Neither of us likes how they look. Plus, they’re too big for her mouth and look bulky as well. Is there anything we can do about this? Would the dentist be obligated to make them pretty?

Penny

Dear Penny,

Woman covering her mouth

It is a horrible feeling when our children are embarrassed by their smile. Normally, when getting a smile makeover the dental board will only consider whether or not the work is functional. If it is, then it would be up to the dentist’s personal ethics to do something about this. However, somethings you’ve mentioned regarding your daughter’s porcelain veneers make me wonder if you might have some more leverage here.

There is No Such Thing as a Recognized Specialty in Cosmetic Dentistry

Did the dentist tell you he was a specialist? There isn’t such a thing as a recognized specialty. If that’s the case he misrepresented himself which could work in your favor. Any general dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist if they do any type of cosmetic work, but there isn’t a specialty. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t require special training. Unfortunately for the patients, it is up to the dentist how much, if any, training they get. Smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school. They have to invest in post-doctoral training on their own to develop the knowledge, technical skills, and artistry necessary.

Another thing you mentioned which has me wondering is that they are too big for her mouth. If it causes one of two problems, this will mean they aren’t actually functional. The first problem could be speech-related. Maybe she’s having trouble forming certain letters or sounds that weren’t a problem before.

Another problem with her porcelain veneers being too big could be dry mouth. If she’s having trouble keeping her mouth closed naturally, it will dry up the saliva in her mouth. Our saliva is an invaluable tool in our fight against decay. It contains key minerals which fight bacteria. If her mouth is dry as a result of her veneers, then you have a great case to get this made right.

Getting Her Porcelain Veneers Done Correctly

The first thing I’d do is just ask for a refund. You paid for a beautiful smile. You should get one. If he says no, then you’ll have to get another cosmetic dentist on your side. Sometimes, a dentist will listen to a peer when they won’t listen to a patient. I recommend you see an expert cosmetic dentist. Without a specialty, how will you know who is an expert and who isn’t?

The easiest way to do that is to see an AACD accredited dentist. You can find them on aacd.com. These dentists are proven for both their skill and artistry. The accreditation program requires them to pass rigorous exams as well as provide visual evidence of their artistry on a large number of cases they’ve done.

If they agree with you that the case needs to be re-done, it will be a huge help in you getting a refund so this can be done properly.

This blog is brought to you by Boston Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.