Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why Did Her Dentist Stain Her Lumineers?

I recently went to the dentist about a smile makeover after I received an advertisement from him about Lumineers. I spoke with him extensively ahead of time about the type of smile I wanted. One of the requests was to have a very white smile. When the Lumineers were placed on my teeth I realized they were darker than I expected. When I questioned him about that he told me he ordered a stain on them so they’d look like natural teeth. He told me I’d realize he was right in a few days. After a few days, I called him back asking him if he could make them whiter. He had me come in and then he drilled off the outer layer to get to the white underneath, but it looks uneven and dull. What do I do?


Dear Melody,

I am glad you wrote. You are dealing with a family dentist who is in over his head trying to do cosmetic work he doesn’t have adequate training for. My first hint was when you said he advertised Lumineers.

This particular brand of porcelain veneers is highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. They say this because the veneers are thinner than some other brands which in some cases means there doesn’t need to be any tooth preparation. Unfortunately, in most cases, they end up looking bulky.

A second thing that told me he was not an experienced cosmetic dentist was his attitude. In dental school, we are taught that we know better than their patients. This philosophy does not work with cosmetic dentistry. With smile makeovers, we are creating an image the patient has in their head. Their dream smile. He doesn’t get to tell you what you’ll like.

The stain is also something taught in general dentistry. Most people have at least some stained teeth so your dentist thought that to make your smile look natural he’d have to add one to yours. However, patients don’t pay to get a smile makeover that looks like every other smile. They want something that looks exceptional.

Finally, he bonded your Lumineers on before letting you see them on your teeth to approve them. Experienced cosmetic dentists will use a temporary try-in paste for you to see the smile makeover. If you don’t absolutely love it, instead of bonding it on, they will send it back to the lab to make any necessary changes.

Unfortunately, you can’t get a refund on a smile makeover just because it is ugly. The standard is function. In your case, this is good news. When he filed away the stain, he also took the protective glazing with it. Now they have no protection and will pick up stains quickly. You should be entitled to a refund because of this.

If he gives you a hard time, contact us again and I’ll tell you how to get a refund from a dentist.

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


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.

Considering a Smile Makeover

I’m seriously looking into investing money in my smile. Are there certain things I should be looking at?


Dear Miranda,

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

You’ll love having a smile makeover. You didn’t mention what you wanted to change about your smile so I’ll give recommendations from a minor makeover to full-blown makeover along with what you should look for in the dentist.

Mini Smile Makeover

Teeth Whitening Alone

If the only thing which bothers you about your smile, then I’d recommend teeth whitening. It is fast and inexpensive all while making a dramatic improvement to your smile. This one procedure can make you look years younger.

Whitening with Dental Bonding

before and after a chipped tooth is repaired

When there are chips and gaps in your teeth, you can repair those with dental bonding. This is where a dentist uses a composite resin and sculpts the missing structure onto your teeth. It’s done freehand so you’ll want to make sure they’re a skilled cosmetic dentist.

If you’re also going to whiten, do the teeth whitening first. The bonding won’t respond to teeth whitening gel so you’ll want your teeth to have the color you’re proud of before having it done.

Whitening with Invisalign

Another option is orthodontics with teeth whitening. These days you don’t need unsightly and uncomfortable metal wires and brackets. Instead, you can straighten your teeth using clear aligners from Invisalign. They’re invisible even at a conversational distance so no one will know you’re straightening your teeth.

There is an added benefit that the aligners can double as teeth whitening trays, which allows you to straighten and bleach your teeth simultaneously. This saves you money.

Complete Smile Makeover with Porcelain Veneers

A single porcelain veneer being placed

If you’re out to get the full-blown celebrity smile, then I’ll suggest you have porcelain veneers done. These use tiny wafers of porcelain to completely reshape your smile. They can change the shape, size, color, and character of your smile simultaneously. It’s the top of the line.

However, doing great smile makeovers isn’t taught in dental school. You’ll want to find the best cosmetic dentist you can to get this done right. In your place, I’d look for an AACD accredited dentist. Dentists who’ve reached accreditation are the best in the country. Most of them even have a beautiful smile guarantee, though you won’t need it.

If you’re just after whitening and Invisalign, any dentist can do that.

Best of luck with your new smile.
This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

How Do You Avoid a Smile Makeover Disaster?

My friend Cecilia just spent thousands of dollars on a “smile makeover” and it’s awful. The teeth are thick and bulky. They look opaque. In all honesty, she went from having an okay, but not beautiful smile to having horse teeth. I didn’t even have to tell her it was bad. She burst into tears the minute she walked through my door. I told her to ask for a refund or to have it re-done, but she said the dentist thinks it’s beautiful and the problem is in her mind. If I go with her and tell the dentist I agree with her will it help? I was planning on having my own smile makeover. I still want to do it but would love to know how to avoid my friend’s issue. Any tips?

Lucy S. – Seattle


I can tell you right away what went wrong with your friend’s makeover. She went to a family dentist who doesn’t have a great deal of training or experience with cosmetic dentistry. Based on the description you gave of your friend’s new smile, it sounds like her dentist placed Lumineers on her teeth. That wouldn’t surprise me because they’re often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. Unfortunately, horse teeth are usually what you end up with when someone without skill places them.  They’re just a brand of porcelain veneers. A brand most cosmetic dentists don’t prefer.

I don’t think you going and telling the dentist he did a bad job is going to change his mind. Your best bet is to have her go to an expert cosmetic dentist and have THAT  dentist tell him it was a bad job. An expert cosmetic dentist would never be satisfied with a case in which the patient is dissatisfied. Ever. However, a family dentist, who doesn’t do much cosmetic work will be more interested in what his peers think. If colleague thinks his work is subpar, he won’t want to look bad by not re-doing it.

So, your friend’s problem is how to find an expert cosmetic dentist.  This is your issue too, because you want a gorgeous smile makeover when you decide to go forward with yours. You want to go to an AACD accredited dentist. The AACD is the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Now bear in mind any dentist can become a member of the AACD, but accreditation has to be earned. Only the top cosmetic dentists reach this level. If you get a smile makeover by them, you’re pretty much guaranteed a gorgeous smile. In fact, many highly skilled cosmetic dentists (like Dr. Burba) have a beautiful smile guarantee.

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

What If My Dentures No Longer Fit?

I’ve had dentures for a long time. They’ve gotten to the point where they won’t stay in.  It’s like my jaw has changed.  Is there anything I can do?

Jeannette N. – Brooklyn


I know exactly what was going on. When your teeth are removed, your body begins to reabsorb the minerals from the roots of your teeth to use elsewhere in your body. It’s a very efficient system…unless you happen to wear dentures. Eventually so much of your jawbone is gone that you can’t wear your dentures anymore.

There is a way to repair this. You’ll need to have some bone grafting done. This will restore bone structure to your jawbone. Then you can have your treatment restored. Ideally, you’d want to get dental implants to replace your teeth. This prevents your body from reabsorbing the minerals and protects your jaw.

If you can’t afford dental implants, you could get snap-on dentures. This will affix your dentures to your jaw using as few as two implants, which saves you a lot of money. Then, as you’re able to, you can add implants.

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

I can’t chew very well with my dentures

I’m hoping you can give me some denture advice. Ever since I’ve got them, it’s been very hard to chew. Is there anything I can do? My dentist says the dentures are fitting properly.

Scott D. – Georgia


Even the best fitting dentures will reduce your chewing efficiency by 50%.  That can be discouraging. Ideally, when you need to replace teeth, you’d get dental implants. However, that is not in the budget for all patients and they’re stuck with dentures.

If you’re in that category, you might consider getting snap-on dentures. That will anchor them and help with your chewing efficiency.

You still won’t feel like you did with natural teeth or you would with dental implants, but it will be a significant improvement.

There will be the added benefit of allowing you to retain some of your jawbone. Obviously , the more implants, the better the stability and the more bone will be retained, but as long as you have a minimum of two, you should see some improvement.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba

Do I need jawbone for snap on dentures

My dentist said I needed to get dentures, because I don ‘t have enough jawbone for dental implants. I was really disappointed to hear that. I have heard that there are snap on dentures that use a mini type of implant. Am I able to get those with a little jawbone?

Brendon L. – Tennessee


Unfortunately, without enough jawbone, the mini implants won’t have enough support for your snap on dentures. Snap on dentures are usually used when people are good candidates for dental implants, but don’t have the money for the big daddies.

Did your dentist not mention bone grafting? If you really wanted dental implants, you can have bone grafted to your jawbone to build up the structure.

If you’ve lost that much bone already, then eventually your dentures won’t even stay in place. Your bottom dentures rest on your lower jaw and that is the only thing keeping them in.

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

What can keep my dentures from slipping

I can’t afford dental implants, so I’m stuck wtih dentures.  I know there is nothing I can do about that, but wondered if there is any way to keep them from slipping.? Please tell me there is.

Donna M. – Staten Island, NY


I’m sorry. There is nothing worse than knowing there is a better treatment out there, but you can’t afford it. Fortunately, there is a way to make living with dentures a little easier. That includes keeping them from slipping.

Has your dentist mentioned snap on dentures to you?  It essentially is anchoring your dentures to your jawbone. That will keep you from having complete loss of your jaw bone.

Another thing I’d like to bring up. If you truly desire dental implants, there is a way to do them in stages.  You can get two implants at a time, giving you time to save up for each set. This will further secure your appliance, eventually giving you the comfortable tooth replacements you’ve been wanting.

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

Lumineers for cosmetic work

I’m going to get my teeth fixed. I’ve been doing a lot of research and have decided to get Lumineers because I don’t want my teeth shaved all the way down. I live in Colorado and I’ve been looking into Dr. ________.  My cousin got her teeth done by you and she says you’re great. Do you know if he is great too. He’s not listed on the Lumineers site, so I wasn’t sure.

Carolyn- Denver, CO


First I want to clear up some misconceptions. I can tell that you’ve seen a lot of the marketing for Lumineers. They often emphasize the fact that they are no-prep. They may have indicated that your teeth would need to be shaved down with other brands of porcelain veneers, but that is not accurate.

When your teeth are “shaved” for other brands, they only take about the depth of a fingernail off. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference in appearance between a shaved and unshaven tooth.

In fact, often when Lumineers are put on without any tooth preparation they will make your smile look bulky and too long.

Also, the dentists that are listed on the Lumineers site are not any better or worse than another dentist. It just means they’ve passed a written exam by reading the lumineers material. What you want to look for is a dentist who is highly skilled in cosmetic dentistry both by understanding the technical issues and by having an artistic eye. The dentist you mentioned is not someone I’d consider an expert cosmetic dentist. He doesn’t seem to have the post-graduate training required to do a great job.

If you’re going to spend thousands of dollars on new smile, you want to make sure it will be  a smile you’ll be thrilled with. Your best option is to find someone who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. They will be among the top 1% of cosmetic dentists. If you can’t find one in your area, or you don’t like them, you could also look on the website. They recommend expert cosmetic dentists in each state.

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

A question about dental accreditation

It seems like there are some cosmetic dentists who are accredited and some who aren’t. Why is that and what is the difference?

Burke I.- Detroit, MI


You have asked one of the most important questions there is regarding cosmetic dentistry.  Most people don’t know that cosmetic dentistry is a completely unregulated field. That means any general dentist can learn a few cosmetic procedures and call themselves a cosmetic dentist. Even the standard for acceptable care in cosmetic dentistry is really low. For instance, as long as your cosmetic work is functional, it is considered acceptable, regardless of how unattractive you may feel it to be.

This lack of regulation is a problem. Very few “cosmetic” dentists are skilled enough to create a truly beautiful smile. It takes a significant amount of post-graduate training to be able to adequately do cosmetic procedures. So, knowing this, how can you know if a cosmetic dentist is really qualified?  That is where accreditation comes in.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) has an accreditation program. Dentists are not required to participate in the program. Those that do have to pass a stringent written exam, as well as a clinical exam where they have to give five case samples of their work. Only about 1-2% of dentists in the world acheive this level of qualification. You can be certain that if a dentist is AACD accredited, you are in fantastic hands.

You may be interested in learning about our porcelain veneers cosmetic procedure.

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