Tag Archives: AACD

Replacing all Crowns because of One?

I had crowns placed on all my front teeth about 17 years ago. Since then, my dentist passed away. I’ve been happy with his replacement, up until now. One of my porcelain crowns started to feel loose. I looked at it closely and there’s a dark spot on the top edge. I went to see the dentist. He said there’s decay at the edge and the crown needs to be replaced. But, (and here’s the catch) he says I have to replace all of them if I want them to match. That’s a LOT of money. Is that really necessary or can I wait until they need replacing individually?

Mara Lynn

Dear Mara Lynn,

Side by Side images of dental crowns done by two different cosmetic dentists on the same smile. One is ugly. One is beautiful

Believe it or not, the images above are of the same smile. In both pictures the patient had dental crowns placed. The only difference was the quality of the cosmetic dentist she used. I’m guessing your current dentist is more like the one on the left. He’s not a cosmetic-oriented practice, therefore his skill is limited.

It sounds like the margins on your porcelain crown opened, leaving a little ledge ideal for the development of decay. At the very least, the one with the decay needs to be replaced.

When your current dentist says your crowns won’t match if he doesn’t re-do all of them at the same time, he not lying to you. He’s admitting the limitations of his skill. In this case, you have two choices.

Choosing a Cosmetic Dentist to Re-do Your Smile

  • Just replace the crowns as needed to save money.

You’ll definitely need a new cosmetic dentist in order to do it this way. A good cosmetic dentist CAN just match one crown to the rest of your teeth. They won’t need to do the entire arch. The first thing I’d do, though, is check all the crowns for suspicious marks and open margins. You’ll want to replace any of those at this go-round before they turn into decay. After that, it’s fine to just change them as you need to.

  • Replace them all at once to save time

Even though this is what your dentist suggested, he did it for the wrong reasons— to cover his lack of cosmetic skill. Because of that, I’m not sure you’d be happy with his results. I believe you’d be better served with another dentist in this case as well.

The top cosmetic dentists in the country are those who’ve reached the accreditation level of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). AACD accredited dentists create beautiful smiles. In fact, most of them even have a beautiful smile guarantee.

On a side note, you’ll be much more comfortable using sedation dentistry to have that much work done in one sitting. You can simply go to sleep (if you want to) and when you wake up all the work is done.

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

Who’s the Best Dentist to Do Porcelain Veneers?

If I want to get a great smile. How do I know who’s the best dentist for porcelain veneers?

Kevin C. – Maryland

Kevin,

I’m glad you’re asking about this before just going to your family dentist for treatment.  Most patients don’t know that cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty. That means any general dentist, no matter how much or little training they have in cosmetic procedures can call themselves a cosmetic dentist.

If you want a guaranteed gorgeous smile, then the best dentist to go to is one who is accredited with the American Academy fo Cosmetic Dentistry. Accreditation is different than membership.  To get accredited you have to pass stringent tests both written and oral, as well as demonstrate your artistic ability in a variety of sample cases that the dentist performed on actual patients.

It’s worth it even if you have to drive to a nearby city to get to one. If you’re going to invest the money, you might as well get the most skilled, artistic dentist to create your new smile.

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

Can My Crown Be Changed to Match the Veneers?

I got porcelain veneers. There was one tooth that already had  crown, so that one had to have a new crown placed. I was worried I wouldn’t get a good smile, because my underlying teeth, the inner layer is darker than most peoples. At least that’s what my dentist told me.  The veneers look fine. Much better than I expected, but the crown doesn’t match. It’s whiter than the veneers next to it. Is there a way to make them match?

Lillith B. – Ohio

Hi Lillith,

I’m glad you’re happy with your porcelain veneers. They can really remake a smile. When the underlying are darker, it can get a little trickier. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It just has to be done by an expert cosmetic dentist. It sounds to me like you have a good family dentist who does cosmetic work, but maybe hasn’t studied the advanced aspects of it.

To be a great cosmetic dentist takes a lot of post-graduate training. Porcelain veneers are thing. Porcelain is naturally translucent, just like your natural tooth enamel, which makes it an excellent dental material. However, porcelain veneers are significantly thicker than veneers. If the underlying teeth are dark, as yours are, that dark color is going to shine through the porcelain veneers much more than it would with the crown.

One of the ways to get around this is for the dentist to add an opaquer to the teeth before sending your case off to the lab. It takes quite a bit of skill on the part of the dentist, so not many can do it. If I were in your place, I’d look for a dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).

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

Can Dentures Be Attractive?

It’s the ten year mark where my insurance company allows me to get a new set of dentures. I really want to replace mine because they look so unnatural. I’m hoping in the last ten years there have been enough advances that they can be made to look attractive. However, I don’t want any false hope. What are my chances?

Samantha L. – Lawrence, KS

Samantha,

I almost hate to tell you this, but you could have had attractive dentures ten years ago. The problem wasn’t the advances in technology. The problem was your dentist.

A good cosmetic dentist can make well-fitting dentures that look just like your natural teeth, or even improve your smile.

See if you can find a dentist in your area who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). They’ll be highly skilled, both technically and artistically. You’ll be absolutely thrilled with the results.

A good tip is to get pre-authorization from your insurance company for the dentures. That way they won’t deny the payment after you’ve already have them done, sticking you with the bill.

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

Can Dentures Look Natural?

I had horrible teeth, so the idea of getting dentures didn’t bother me. I was sure anything would be an improvement on the smile I had. Unfortunately, I was wrong. The new “smile” just looks fake to me. The false teeth are unnaturally white. I’m sure everyone knows I’m wearing dentures. Can dentures be made to look natural?

Cyndy – New Mexico

Cyndy,

I’m sorry you’re disappointed with your dentures. Even if the smile is beautiful to your dentist’s taste, it only matters if it’s beautiful to you.

To answer your question, however, yes, dentures certainly can be made to look natural. In fact, they can be made to look any way you want them to. But, you have to have an experienced cosmetic dentist in order for that to work.

The safest way to find an expert cosmetic dentist is to look for one who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). They’re dentists that have met the highest standards of both tehcnical and artistic excellence.

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

I’m Terrified of Becoming A Horror Story

I had a friend get a horrible…and I mean horrible smile makeover. She spent thousands of dollars and her orignal smile, which did need lots of work, was better than what this quack gave her.  Believe it or not, I’m now considering getting my own smile makeover. That being said, I don’t want to end up with a disaster. Is there a way to separate the pretenders from the real deal?

Jamie W. – New York

Jamie,

That’s probably one of the most important questions you can ask before embarking on your own smile makeover (as well as your hard earned money). You want to find the best dentist possible, especially since cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty. Any general dentist can learn a procedure or two (regardless of their skill level) and call themselves a cosmetic dentist.

In fact, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry  (AACD) was started in part to help potential cosmetic dentistry patients with just that question.

Their goal was to create an accreditation process, so that patients could locate highly skilled cosmetic dentists.

If I were in your position, I would go to a dentist who is accredited with the AACD.  Accreditation is different than membership.  You can just join to be a member. To become accredited, you must demostrate both technical skill and artistic beauty in your work. It’s a long process and very few dentists reach that level, but it will be worth worth your time and money to seek one out.

You’ll end up with a stunningly gorgeous smile you can’t help but show off.

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

Will Porcelain Veneers Fix a Tooth Gap?

If I have a gap between my two front teeth will porcelain veneers fix that?

Tony J. – New Jersey

Tony,

The short answer is yes. However, if the gap is very large, you may want to look at other options. Otherwise it could look unnatural. If it’s not a huge gap, then yes, porcelain veneers can give you a very attractive, natural looking solution.

There is also a less expensive solution. A common solution for a tooth gap, is to  use dental bonding.  That’s a composite resin that your dentist will shape to close the gap and blend into your natural teeth.

If the only issue you have with your smile is the gap, then I’d use dental bonding. If, however, there are other things you’d like to fix about your teeth, such as their color, shape, or size, then porcelain veneers will be a much better solution.

The key on any of these, though, is to get a very good, artistic cosmetic dentist. Ideally, you’ll want to get a dentist that is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).

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

Good Dentist—Bad Dentist

I’ve learned a hard lesson I want to pass on to any readers you have. I wanted to get a smile makeover. I called around and found several dentists that did exactly what I wanted right in my area. One of them  (let’s call him bad dentist) was significantly less expensive. It was the exact same procedure so I thought I was getting a good deal. Unfortunately, that is not how it turned out.

The cheaper dentist gave me a smile that was worse than the one I originally went in with. I left in tears. What did the dentist do? He told me it was fine and I was being overly critical.

My husband finally convinced me to go to one of the other dentists to get a second opinion. When I did, the dentist (let’s call him good dentist) said I had a right to be disappointed. He even managed to talk bad dentist into giving me a partial refund.

Then good dentist re-did my smile makeover. Even though it cost me more, I ended up having a smile I am proud to flash everywhere I go.

All that to say, if you want a smile makeover….go to the best dentist possible, even if it costs a little more.  It will be so worth it!

Tracy M. – Maine

Tracy,

I’m so glad you love your new smile and that you found a great dentist. Your words of advice are spot on.

I will add one thing, because it is sometimes hard for patients, especially new patients, to know who is really the best dentist. You don’t want to just base it on price, because more costly, though it often means more skilled and in demand, doesn’t always mean that. it sometimes means you have a poser.

One almost guaranteed way to get a gorgeous smile makeover, is to go to a cosmetic dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Those are among the most skilled cosmetic dentists in the world.

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

Help me convince my mother her dentist is a terrible cosmetic dentist

I love my mom. She is probably the most genuine, kind-hearted woman on the face of the earth. Unfortunately, that makes her kind of a target.  Her dentist, who by all accounts is a great family dentist is trying to talk her into a very expensive cosmetic procedure–Lumineers. He says they’re so easy any dentist can place them. Her teeth are discolored, mostly due to age and her front tooth is chipped.  Will you tell my mother what she needs for this is a cosmetic dentist? Please?!

Laquishia S. – Birginia

Laquishia,

There’s nothing more valuable in the world than a kind-hearted mother.  Their tenderness makes life more joyful.  You’re right that your mother needs a cosmetic dentist. What you may not realize, though, is there isn’t a recognized specialy in cosmetic dentistry. Therefore any general (family) dentist can alos be a cosmetic dentist. All they have to do is learn the procedures. So, how do you find the best dentist for the best mom?

Before your mother starts kindly telling you, “I told you so,” I am apt to say her current family dentist doesn’t qualify—for a couple of reasons.

1. Lumineers. His boast that lumineers are so easy to place that anyone can do it has me very nervous as to what kind of smile she’d have ended up with.  He’s right about one thing, getting certified to place lumineers is easily done. They simpley pass a written exam that is designed to see if they get the concepts. So, in that case, her dentist is right. Any dentist can pass that test.

They’re marketed to family dentists who want to cash in on the surge of interest in cosmetic procedures. They are ultra thin. The benefit to dentists is that little tooth prep is required because of that (though I will say it should be).  Without it, though, they can look bulky.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the hard part about Lumineers (or any other brand of porcelain veneers).  The hard part is the artistry. That takes years of study and practical training.

2. The choice of procedure.  Yes, Lumineers can fix chipped and discolored teeth, but it is a very expensive way to do so. If that is all that bothers your mom about her smile, than teeth whitening followed by dental bonding to repair the chips is a MUCH less expensive route to go.

However, if there were other thing that have always bugged or nagged at her about her smile, then porcelain veneers are a great tool to get a complete smile makeover. In fact, she can get a drop dead gorgeous smile.

In that case, it is a matter of finding that best cosmetic dentist in your area.  Ideally, you want a dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). They are the top, most artistic cosmetic dentists in the world.  You want accredited…not just a member.  Membership can be attained by any dentist. Accreditation requires serious skill and artistry.

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

About to choose my first dentist

I’m graduated college and my new job is halfway across the country from my hometown.  I won’t be able to pop home for a quick visit any more and see my old dentist. So, it is time for me to pick my own. Do you have any advice for me?

Isabella- Denver

Isabella,

Congrats on starting a new life! This is an exciting time for you. I’m impressed you’re already thinking of how important it is to get a dentist.

Finding the best dentist for you depends on what you’re looking for. Do you want someone who chats or just gets business done?

Do you want a general dentist for just the basics or are you hoping for someone that does cosmetic dentistry also?

For the first couple of choices, you can tell that just by your first consultory visit.  The second two choices are a little more involved.  For cosmetic work, you want to make sure they’re not just highly trained, but artistic as well.  Knowing how to do the procedure and getting beautiful results are two different things.  Your best bet is to find someone who is accredited (not just a member) with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

It’s worth it to drive to the next town if you need to for cosmetic work to get someone accredited. Though, in your case, you won’t have to.

Hope this helps.

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