Category Archives: Porcelain Veneers

Picking the Whiteness of My Porcelain Veneers

I have a highly recognized AACD accredited cosmetic dentist who just did ten porcelain veneers for me. I will say they look beautiful. The only thing that disappoints me is their color. Yes, they are very white, but I was hoping for even whiter. My dentist said he is willing to re-do them and send them back to the lab but said they would have to add an opaqueness to them to get them any whiter. He did tell me many celebrities choose this option but warned some people think they look a tad more fake than the more translucent veneers. Would they be obviously fake? Should I go for the more translucent to sacrifice the whiteness I was hoping for?

Kristin

Dear Kristin,

A single porcelain veneer being placed

From what you’ve described it sounds like you have a very good cosmetic dentist. AACD accredited dentists are the top cosmetic dentists in the country. That is the number one factor in determining how beautiful your smile will turn out. Cosmetic dentists often have patients who want teeth whiter than a natural white. They want that dazzling Hollywood smile. Many cosmetic dentists call this “ballistic white”. Some patients love them and some want a slightly more translucent smile.

So here’s your choice. Do you want a smile that dazzles from across the room but may look slightly more opaque close-up or would you rather have a slightly more translucent natural white? Still beautiful. Still shiny. But, not ballistic white. There’s not a right or wrong answer. It is what appeals more to YOU.

I will say, while some patients who received ballistic white porcelain veneers wish they’d gotten them a little more translucent, most who want a change wish they’d gone whiter.

I can’t answer which one is right for you. The good news is, your dentist should let you try them in with a temporary try-in paste and get a great look at them before the final bonding. So, you’ll have a chance to change your mind.

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

Porcelain Veneer Cracked

I had a set of 10 porcelain veneers done to lengthen my teeth. They are stunning and I’m in love with my smile. I’m not wealthy, but recently received an inheritance which allowed me to get the smile of my dreams. I went to the best cosmetic dentist around. I’m truly thrilled with the results. Here’s my problem. I can’t afford this office regularly. After I had my veneers done I planned on going back to my normal dentist for things like check-ups. I’ve only had the veneers for about 5 months and one of them has cracked. I’m a little embarrassed about going back and worried I won’t be able to afford it. The crack is horizontal about a fifth of the way up my lateral incisor. I’m worried it will fall off. What do you recommend?

Lizzie

Dear Lizzie,

A single porcelain veneer being placed

Normally, a well-bonded porcelain veneer will stay on even if it has a crack. However, because of the location of your crack and the fact your dentist had to add length to your teeth, I’m worried there’s not much bonding in that location to hold it on. Because of that, this needs to be repaired.

While porcelain veneers aren’t guaranteed to last forever, they’re certainly meant to last for more than the amount of time you’ve had them. In fact, when well taken care of, they can last for upwards of 20 years. I think your dentist will likely repair it at no charge or for a very low fee. I wouldn’t let fear of the cost stop you.

You were smart to invest wisely in an expert cosmetic dentist for your work. Don’t feel guilty about not being able to go there for your regular checkups. The best cosmetic dentists realize some patients come to them just for their cosmetic work and have all their general dental work done elsewhere at a more affordable practice.

If they ask you about scheduling your six-month checkup while you’re there, just be politely upfront with them about your financial situation. They shouldn’t be offended.

A Note on Porcelain Veneer Care

The best toothpaste for your porcelain veneers would be Supersmile. This is specially formulated for cosmetic work to keep it stain-free without damaging the glazing.

Because you’re going to your general dental clinic for your checkups, the hygienist might not be familiar with taking care of cosmetic work. Two things to tell her (or him) to avoid are a power prohy jet (or anything similar) and acidulated fluoride. Both of those will take off the glazing from your porcelain veneers. The glazing is what makes them so stain resistant. If that comes off, they’ll quickly start picking up stains and be ruined. Teeth whitening won’t fix them. They’d have to be replaced.

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

Best Brand of Porcelain Veneers

I just had my teeth whitened and then got in an accident which has caused me to need repairs on several teeth. I’m considering getting porcelain veneers but want to know which brand is the best before I invest. What is the best at this point and time?

Larry

Dear Larry,

A single porcelain veneer being placed

It is great that you want to do research before investing in your smile makeover. You never want to go into any dental procedure without understanding what you’re getting into and whether or not your dentist is qualified.

However, I want to change your tactic. There really isn’t a best brand of porcelain veneers. They each have unique properties with different strengths and weaknesses. However, it is the dentist which makes the difference.

Think of it as an art form. If you commissioned an oil painting, you’d research the artist, not the paint. This is the same thing with smile makeovers. Two different dentists can do the same smile makeover with the same materials and come up with totally different results.

Finding the Best Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty. That means any general dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist regardless of their skill level. This makes it hard for patients to know whether or not they’re getting an artistic dentist or a dabbler.

Because of that, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry began an accreditation program. This process tests dentists for both their technical knowledge as well as their artistic ability. They have to pass exams as well as demonstrate their artistry by providing visual evidence on a large number of cases they’ve done.

Becoming accredited takes years of training. Those who attain accreditation are among the top 1% of dentists in the country. They can give you a stunning smile makeover. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

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

Will This Smile Makeover Be Bad?

I’m a little concerned. For our 25th anniversary, my husband and I decided to get smile makeovers together. Our dentist is preparing Lumineers for us. We’ve already paid our money and they were designed. She said they’d be back from the lab in two weeks. Two weeks later, she did call us but only to tell us the impressions were bad and we need to re-do them. Are we being taken? She’s already got our money. How can we be certain we’ll actually get our Lumineers?

Missy

Dear Missy,

A single porcelain veneer being placed

Having to re-do impressions is not unheard of. So, that’s okay. However, I do have some concerns. My concern isn’t that you’ll not get your Lumineers. It’s that you’ll get them and be disappointed. I’m reading into some things here, but think I’m on solid ground and want to give you a way to protect yourself.

It seems to me like your dentist may be in over her head. Here is what makes me think that. First, she didn’t notice the impressions weren’t good. Instead, the lab had to call and tell her. The fact that it took the full two-weeks, makes me think that she didn’t want to admit the impressions were bad because it could be embarrassing. She likely asked them to try anyway. At which point they likely did and had to call her back saying they were unworkable. Plus, it wasn’t just one impression, but both were unusable.

Combine those issues with the fact that she is using Lumineers instead of another brand of porcelain veneers has me concerned. The Lumineers brand are heavily marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists.

Protecting Yourself From a Bad Smile Makeover

You’ve already paid and had this work done, so let’s see if we can avoid having to switch dentists. When the Lumineers come back, I’d like you to insist, and I do mean insist, she puts them on with a temporary try-in paste first. If she doesn’t have any, tell her to get some and then get back with you.

This is a water-soluble gel which allows the patient to see exactly what the veneers will look like on their teeth. Make sure your husband gets a good look at yours and you at his, as well as both of you getting to see them in various lightings. If you don’t like them, really like them, ask her to send them back and have them re-done. This is a common thing and she shouldn’t balk at it.

Don’t let her try to convince you they’ll look different once they are permanently bonded on. They won’t. This is a common tactic some less skilled cosmetic dentists use to get the case done. If she can’t get them to where you are thrilled, DO NOT allow her to bond them on.

Instead, that would be the time to switch dentists. She is ethically obligated to cooperate and give the new dentist all the impressions, as well as all other information.

If it comes to that, go to see an AACD accredited dentist. These are the top of the line dentists in the cosmetic field. They can give you a stunning smile.

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

Worried dentist damaged porcelain veneer

I had six porcelain veneers placed. They looked great, but noticed on the way home one of them had what felt like a line or divot. I called the dentist from my car and they had me come straight back. I really appreciated that. When I was back in the chair he looked at it and he said he could repair it then and there. He did some kind of sanding of the area and it felt smooth. I left satisfied. However, it’s been a couple of days since and I’m noticing that spot is more dull than the rest of the veneers. Am I being overly critical? I’m kind of worried he damaged it, but if it’s no big deal, let me know.

Elaine

Dear Elaine,

A single porcelain veneer being held up by a dental instrument

First, let me assure you that you’re not being overly critical. You paid for a beautiful smile and that’s exactly what you should get. You especially need to know if something damaged your porcelain veneer.

In this case, I would say they, yes, your dentist likely damaged this veneer. It sounds like in the process of trying to smooth out the divot, he took off the glazing.

The glaze on your porcelain veneers is very important. Not only does it give it that shine your natural teeth have, it is also what makes them stain resistant.

Without that glaze, this veneer will begin to pick up stains very quickly making it unattractive.

Getting This Porcelain Veneer Fixed

You’ll need to show this to your dentist as soon as possible. If you wait, he could try to pass the blame onto you saying you did something to it.

There are two ways to repair this:

  • Using diamond polishing equipment. This is an advanced procedure which not all cosmetic dentists know or have the tools for. However, if he does (which at this point I’m doubting because of how he did the repair) then I’d go this route. Even if he doesn’t, you could seek out the aid of an expert cosmetic dentist to do it for you and have your dentist cover the expense. This would be cheaper for him than the second option.
  • Have him replace the veneer he damaged. This will incur lab fees for him, but if he doesn’t know how to do the repair and isn’t willing to pay another dentist to do it, then….

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

If you need to get a different dentist to do this repair, your best bet is to find a dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists are in the top 1% of dentists in the country. Every one of them will know this diamond polishing technique and have the tools on hand.

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

No-Prep or Traditional Veneers

I’m getting a smile makeover for the start of the new year. It was one of my Christmas presents. I’ve been doing some research and I just can’t make the final decision between Lumineers or traditional porcelain veneers. I like the idea of no-prep, but the reviews have been mixed with some people saying their smile ended up looking bulky. Do you have any advice for me?

Elaina

Dear Elaina,

A single porcelain veneer being held up by a dental instrument

How great that you received such an incredible Christmas gift. You must have been a very good girl this year. It is also nice that you are trying to research ahead of time to get the best option for a beautiful smile.

I’m going to shift your question a bit to give the important answer. A great cosmetic dentist can create a gorgeous smile for you no matter what type of materials he is working with. That is one of the reasons the reviews are so mixed on the Lumineers brand. The ones who’ve had their teeth end up looking bulky are the ones who didn’t go to a top-of-the-line cosmetic dentist.

Whenever you’re talking about creating a piece of art, the artist you choose matters. While porcelain veneers, whether traditional or no-prep, can give you a stunning smile. The right dentist has to be doing it.

So, how do you find this magic dentist?

Finding the Right Dentist for Your Porcelain Veneers

You’ll want a dentist who has not only invested a significant amount of time training in cosmetic dentistry and smile design, but one who has a natural or trained artistic eye as well.

You could spend countless hours researching each cosmetic dentist in your area one by one, or you can utilize one of two great resources. The first is the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). They have an accreditation program which helps patients find the best of the best.

You’ll simply need to go to their site (aacd.com), click on find a cosmetic dentist, then input your area. Be sure to check the box that says you’re looking for an accredited dentist. That is very important.

Sometimes it’s hard to find an AACD accredited dentist in some areas. These are among the top 1% of cosmetic dentists. The accreditation process takes a long time. If you don’t see one in a reasonable traveling distance to your home, check out mynewsmile.com.

This site screens cosmetic dentists who wish to be listed for both technical skill and artistry in their work. They also have a find a cosmetic dentist button. While many they list are accredited, others are highly skilled cosmetic dentists in the midst of the accreditation process and can give you an equally gorgeous smile.

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

Were Porcelain Veneers the Wrong Option?

I have teeth which are too short. I’d recently read an interview about a celebrity who used to have the same problem. She got porcelain veneers on her teeth and now her smile is gorgeous. I told my dentist I wanted him to give me her smile, but it turned out horribly. Did I misunderstand what she had done? Were porcelain veneers the wrong option for me?

Kylie L.

Dear Kylie,

A single porcelain veneer being placed

Porcelain veneers are a great solution for what you were concerned about. They can change just about anything wrong with a smile. They can make short teeth longer, as you needed. In addition to the length of your teeth, they can change the width, the shape, the color, and create a character.

The problem likely lies in the skill set of your dentist. Not every dentist has invested a lot of time into learning how to do smile makeovers. Given that it is not something taught in dental school, the additional post-doctoral training is a must.

Even those who have invested in the training have varying levels of skill and even greater variety in artistry. If you’re unhappy with the results of your case, you can ask him to re-do it. However, even if he is willing, you may not get any better results. He’s limited by his capabilities or lack thereof.

I’d ask for a refund or at least a partial refund and then go to an expert cosmetic dentist to have the case done the way you’d dreamed.

Finding the Right Dentist to Create Your Porcelain Veneers

You want a dentist with more than just technical knowledge. You want an artist; someone who can truly design a stunning smile that blows you away. You should be so thrilled with your smile makeover you can’t stop smiling to show it off. You should feel like a new woman with renewed confidence.

So, where do you find a dentist like this? The easiest way is to go to aacd.com and click on find a cosmetic dentist. Then, make sure you check that you’re looking for an accredited dentist.

AACD accredited dentists are the top cosmetic dentists in the world. They will give you a stunning smile. Additionally, almost every one of them has a beautiful smile guarantee.

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

Why Are My Gums Bleeding After Porcelain Veneers?

I’m a little concerned. Around six months ago I had porcelain veneers done. My gums were irritated from the beginning. I called the office. They said it is normal to have a little irritation after dental work and it should resolve itself. Then a month or two later the gums started bleeding when I brush. Not every time I brush, but enough that I wondered what’s going on. Now I went in for my six-month check-up and the hygienist said I’m not brushing and flossing well enough because I’m developing gum disease. I was horrified. I always am so careful about my oral care and have never had a problem before. Is this a common side-effect from porcelain veneers? My dentist said no, but I didn’t have any issues until I had them placed.

Carina

Dear Carina,

A single porcelain veneer being placed

It’s not a side-effect of porcelain veneers, but like you said, it’s rather suspicious it started when you had them placed. I have an inkling of what may be going on here. Is it possible your dentist is a family dentist who doesn’t do cosmetic work as a large portion of his practice?

My guess is your dentist isn’t a skilled cosmetic dentist and maybe just dabbles. With your gums being affected, it sounds like your dentist didn’t get the veneers flush against your teeth. When that happens, it’s what’s known as bulky margins.

What this does is create a tiny “shelf” at the top of your veneers, which allows for food and other bacteria to get trapped there. This is what is probably what is irritating your gums and leading to the bleeding and gum disease.

Who Should Replace Your Porcelain Veneers?

Here’s what I’m going to recommend in your place:

First, you have a great case for a full refund. In your case, I wouldn’t consider developing gum disease a functional case, which is the standard for whether or not you’d get a refund. If he gives you a problem about that you can get a second opinion from another dentist. Tell him what’s going on with your gums without making a comment about bulky margins. If he or she gives you that diagnosis as well, then the dentist will be more likely to refund you. Dentists have pride and don’t want to look bad in front of their peers.

One tip. Don’t tell the second opinion dentist who placed them, just in case they’re buddies. If he asks, tell him you just want an unbiased opinion and would prefer he not know. He should be fine with that.

Once you’ve gotten your refund, you need to go to a different dentist to replace them. Ideally, you’d want to go to a dentist who’s reached accreditation level with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists are in the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the country.

I wouldn’t be surprised if when you had your new case made that you found the end result to be much more beautiful. In fact, most expert cosmetic dentists have a beautiful smile guarantee.

If there’s not an accredited dentist within a reasonable distance from your home, you can go to the mynewsmile.com website. They recommend expert cosmetic dentists by zip code. Not all of them are accredited, but every one of them are skilled and artistic enough to give you the stunning smile you deserve.

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

Can Children Get Porcelain Veneers?

My son is almost nine and he fell and chipped his front tooth. It’s a permanent tooth so I want to repair it in a way that will both last and look natural. I had porcelain veneers done several years ago because of stained and chipped teeth and love them. Can children have veneers done? I think he’d only need one.

Carla T.

Dear Carla,

A chipped tooth
Can Porcelain Veneers Fixed Chipped Teeth?

It’s fantastic that you’re looking out for your son’s smile. I especially like that you’re thinking through a permanent solution for him. While porcelain veneers can repair chipped teeth, I don’t recommend them in children.

Their jaws are in almost constant development throughout their childhood. That keeps the way their bite relates to its surroundings in flux as well, making it nearly impossible to keep on without changing it often. While technically do-able, it’s an expensive way to repair his chipped tooth, especially when there are better options.

Repairing a Chipped Tooth Without Porcelain Veneers

There are three basic options for repairing a chipped tooth. I’ll list them from most expensive to most affordable. You can click on each link to learn more.

You’ll have the same problem with porcelain crowns that we discussed above regarding porcelain veneers. However, this also will require grinding down a great deal of healthy tooth structure. Rarely do I suggest that.

Additionally, your son has experienced tooth trauma. You need to schedule an emergency appointment with your dentist so he can check for nerve damage and can take steps to deal with that, if necessary.

Dental bonding is the standard treatment for chipped teeth and it is a lot more affordable. While it will have to be updated every once in a while, it will hold up much better on a growing jaw because of its design.

Because dental bonding is done freehand, you will want to make sure you have an artistic cosmetic dentist to do the procedure.

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

Press-on Veneers versus Cosmetic Dentist

I don’t have a very good cosmetic dentist. He’s great for a lot of general dental work, but even he admits his cosmetic work needs work of a different kind. I appreciate his honesty but it leaves me in kind of a bind. I want to get porcelain veneers. He said he’s fine with me going to another, more experienced cosmetic dentist for that particular procedure. He even recommended someone he said was AACD accredited. He said that’s a huge deal. Not sure why. Anyway, I went to the AACD guy and had a free consultation. He was nice and I could tell by his picture gallery of patients that he does great work, but his prices were through the roof. Today I saw this website for press-on porcelain veneers. The pictures looked pretty to me and they were A LOT less expensive than the guy my dentist recommended. Do you know about these press ons? Are they really as good as the ones by a cosmetic dentist?

Veronica M.

Dear Veronica,

A single porcelain veneer being held up by a dental instrument

First, I really appreciate the honesty of your dentist. Some, less caring practitioners might be tempted to just do their “best” porcelain veneers knowing they’d be subpar but wanting the practice or the money. Instead, he was forthright and even suggested another, more qualified, dentist.

Not just that, he was careful to recommend an accredited dentist with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). These are the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the world. Yes, their prices are sometimes a bit higher (though not always). That’s usually because they’re so skilled and artistic that they’re in high demand with patients wanting cosmetic procedures, such as porcelain veneers. In fact, there are people who travel across the country or even from other countries to have their work done by them.

If you went to one of them you would definitely get a stunning smile. Probably every one of them has some form of a beautiful smile guarantee.

Porcelain Veneers versus Press-on Veneers

The press-on veneers you saw on that website are completely different from the veneers you’d get from a skilled, artistic cosmetic dentist. They’re more similar to what you’d get with a snap-on smile. They’re made from a composite resin and just press over your teeth temporarily. While they may look great for a photo shoot, they do not look nearly as stunning or natural in person.

Because the press-ons fit over your teeth, instead of being custom made and bonded to your teeth, they tend to come off a bit bulky and a little long. It can make it difficult for patients to speak when they’re in.

There are some procedures you can shop around and cut corners on. Teeth whitening is one example. It doesn’t really matter which dentist does that procedure. It’s fairly straightforward. Going for the cheapest dentist, in that case, will do no harm. Veneers are different. They require expertise in both technique and artistry.

If you want a true smile makeover, it’s an investment that will last a lifetime, giving you stronger confidence than you’d imagine.

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