Tag Archives: smile makeover

A Dentist Who Disagrees with Me

I’m a little tired of you saying that a patient has to see an accredited cosmetic dentist if they want a beautiful smile. First of all, cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty. It’s an area of interest. Being AACD accredited doesn’t make you better than a dentist who isn’t. You also act like anyone who uses Lumineers doesn’t know what they’re doing. Why does using a specific brand make you less of an expert? All you are doing are scaring patients. You’re probably just doing it to drive them to you. There are other good dentists.

Dr. H.

Dear H.,

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

You are right that there isn’t a recognized specialty. That’s part of the problem. Any dentist no matter how much or little training they have in cosmetic dentistry can call themselves a cosmetic dentist and do a smile makeover. When they don’t have the artistry necessary, it is the patient who suffers.

What I did NOT say is that only an AACD accredited cosmetic dentist can do a beautiful smile. I’m sure there are dentists on their way to accreditation who create beautiful smiles. However, my blog is here to help patients, not dentists. It is too hard for a patient to investigate each dentist to know which ones will give them a stunning smile and which ones will make them into the next cosmetic dentistry horror story.

How are they to know which post-doctoral schools to look for in their training? Or how to tell from the smile gallery photos whether the gums are healthy?

Accredited dentists have already proven their technical knowledge and artistry. It is an easy way for the patients to know they are getting the best dentist to do their smile makeover.

I’m not saying you have to get accredited to be good. I’m saying being accredited shows you are and gives the patient some measure of security.

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

Lumineers for Sensitive Teeth

I have very sensitive teeth and I can’t figure out why. It’s been causing me to lose a lot of weight. I can’t eat. It’s too painful. My dentist suggested we place Lumineers on my teeth to cover them. Will that help with the sensitivity?

Madison.

Dear Madison,

A single porcelain veneer being placed

Yes, getting a smile makeover can help with the sensitivity. However, before you do that, it is important you isolate the cause. Here are just a few things which could be giving you the problem:

  • Tooth decay. Though, if you’ve been having regular checkups, that should already have been eliminated.
  • Leaky fillings which need to be replaced.
  • You grind or clench your teeth. This can happen without you knowing it while you are sleeping.

There are other causes as well. The key is to evaluate why.

A Smile Makeover

I’m concerned your dentist immediately jumped to Lumineers. This is a brand of porcelain veneers often marketed to inexperienced dentists as being easy to place. That isn’t always the case. Plus, there is a lot more to a beautiful smile than the bonding procedure.

If you’re going to invest in a smile makeover, you’ll want to do it right with a dentist who has both the technical skill and artistry to do it well. There isn’t a recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry. Any general dentist is allowed to do it. It’s also up to them how much training they get. Unfortunately, it is not a skill taught in dental school. Dentists have to take the initiative to get the training needed in a post-doctoral setting.

If I were investing in a new smile, I’d want the best dentist to do it. Dentists who’ve reached accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry are the top of their field. They can provide a stunning smile for you. The kind you see the Hollywood celebrities get. I will tell you, they will likely suggest a completely different brand of porcelain veneers than what your family dentist suggested. Lumineers aren’t known for their beauty.

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

Problem Speaking After Porcelain Veneers

I had ten porcelain veneers put on ten teeth. Ever since then, I have had trouble speaking. I’m not sure what to do. It feels like the backs of my teeth are too thick and my tongue is pushed. It’s making me talk weird. My dentist has no idea what is wrong. Have you heard of this?

Brooke

Dear Brooke,

A single porcelain veneer being held up by a dental instrument

Looking at the image of porcelain veneers above, you can see that it doesn’t have any part of it that goes on the back of your teeth. It won’t affect your speech there. However, there are some dentists who place porcelain crowns and tell their patients it is porcelain veneers. If they surround your teeth, they’re crowns. If they just go on the front of your teeth, they’re porcelain veneers. Sometimes the length of porcelain veneers can affect your speech, but you said it was bothering you from the back. That’s not the same.

If it turns out he place crowns, then he’s not only been dishonest, he’s also thrown off your bite. If that’s what happened, you can get him to pay for these to be re-done by a dentist who has both cosmetic dentistry training (preferably someone who is an AACD accredited dentist) as well has having done post-doctoral TMJ training. That’s the kind of dentist who will know how to repair the bite’s position as well as give you a beautiful smile.

Another possibility is your dentist did place porcelain veneers and the thick feeling in your tongue is completely unrelated. You could have had an allergic reaction to something and that is why you’re having trouble speaking.

How Can You Get Help

The first thing I would do is get a second opinion. I again suggest going to a skilled cosmetic dentist. There is a trick to this, though. Dentists know each other. They are one another’s peer group. So one dentist might hesitate to say something unkind about work their friend did.

This is why you won’t tell them who did the work. First, ask him if you received porcelain veneers or dental crowns. Then, ask him if he knows why you’re having trouble speaking. If he asks for the name of the dentist tell him, you want a blind, unbiased second opinion so you won’t be sharing any names.

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

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.

Best Way to Fix My Nephews Teeth

My nephew wants to be an actor but his teeth are pretty crooked, at least in my opinion. He is about to graduate from high school. I want to get his teeth repaired for him as his graduation present so he can pursue his dream of being an actor. I spoke to one dentist who suggested Lumineers, but I’m a little concerned about this option. It doesn’t have the best reviews. Plus, from what I hear they will only last about 15 years. Should I look for something more permanent?

Aunt Mary

Dear Aunt Mary,

Clear Invisalgin Aligner
Invisalign’s aligners are invisible, even at a conversational distance.

If only everyone had an aunt like you! What a great way to help your nephew. I’m actually very glad you wrote because I want to make sure your money is well spent and not wasted on such a kind gift.

With how you described your concerns with your nephew’s smile, you have two options. Let’s start with the one your dentist recommended— Lumineers.

Option One: Porcelain Veneers

Lumineers is one brand of porcelain veneers and you’re wise to be concerned about the reviews you’ve read. It is highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. The company claims it doesn’t require any tooth preparation (which is what they say makes it easy). In most cases, that makes the teeth look bulky.

A secondary problem is the company which makes Lumineers requires dentists to use their lab, which isn’t known for its beautiful work. Because of that, most expert cosmetic dentists prefer other brands of porcelain veneers.

If you decide to go the route of porcelain veneers, make sure you take your nephew to an AACD accredited dentist. These are the top cosmetic dentists in the country. They’ll know which brand will work best for your nephew’s smile goals and will create a gorgeous smile for him.

As far as the longevity of porcelain veneers. A lot of that depends on how well cared for they are. If they are not taken care of, they will only last around five years. If they are cared for diligently, they can last 20+ years.

However, you have a second option, which costs significantly less.

Option Two: Invisalign and Teeth Whitening

If all he really needs is orthodontics, I would suggest you go this route. With Invisalign, he can straighten his teeth without anyone knowing in half the time of traditional braces. Instead of metal wires and brackets, these use clear aligners. A sophisticated software program plans out his treatment then produces the aligners which he’ll switch out every two weeks.

Additionally, if his teeth need whitening, the aligners can double as teeth whitening trays which will allow him to straighten and whiten his teeth at the same time.

I hope this helps.
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.

Blacklisted by Best Dentist

I’m afraid I’ve been blacklisted by the best dentist in the area. He came highly recommended by several of my friends. They’ve all been to him for various cosmetic procedures, from whitening through veneers, and everyone says such wonderful things about him. Maybe I built him up too much in my mind, but I recently went in for a consultation about having my teeth fixed up a bit. I have some awkward spacing and one tooth is a little twisted. I wanted to have them straightened out and whitened. Everything seemed fine. I met him and thought he was fantastic. He talked up veneers and I felt great. But, then his assistant came in after and gave me the estimate—it was thousands more than I could afford. I asked if there were alternative solutions and the girl huffed at me a bit and then went and got the dentist. He came back and basically told me that if I didn’t want to do it his way, I shouldn’t be in his office.

I was devastated. I really thought this guy would be great, but I can’t afford to go through with the treatment and my friends keep asking me when I’m going in to see him. I have absolute faith in his capabilities, I just wish he’d work with me on treatment. Is there any way to salvage this?

Thanks,

Anonymous In MA

Dear Anonymous,

Woman giving thumbs up in a dental chair
How do you know if you have the best dentist for your needs?

Let’s be realistic for a moment here. If he was the best dentist, would he be treating you this way? The answer is no.

He’s Not Taking Good Care of You

Perhaps he has amazing artistic skill and can craft beautiful smiles, but that’s only half the battle. Being able to make patients feel comfortable and helping them get around their barriers is equally important. In your case, cost is a barrier.

A good dentist would understand this and pitch solutions that work within your limitations. Perhaps you might be better getting six porcelain veneers instead of two or four. Maybe that is the best way to improve your smile. At the same time, maybe two will provide you with adequate results and be a bit more affordable. Or, perhaps Invisalign combined with teeth whitening is a better option for your budget. There are always multiple approaches. If he isn’t willing to explore them with you, he’s not doing you justice.

You Can Find a Better Dentist

Go have a consultation with another dentist and be upfront about your budget from the onset. A great dentist will go over your options with you. For what it’s worth, you don’t have to explain to your friends why you’re seeing someone else. The prior office has an obligation to keep your information confidential, so unless you tell your friends why you left, they never need to know.

This blog is sponsored by Salem Dentist Dr. Burba.

Invisalign or Braces?

I want to get my smile beautiful once and for all. Invisalign appeals to me, but I didn’t know if there was an advantage to braces. Are they better? If not, why would anyone use them when Invisalign is available?

Marcy

Dear Marcy,

Clear Invisalgin Aligner

You raise a good question. If Invisalign is more comfortable and invisible why would anyone use any other orthodontic option?

Here are three reasons some people might choose traditional braces over Invisalign.

  • Cost: Braces can, depending on the particular case, be less expensive than Invisalign
  • Complications: It used to be that Invisalign only worked on certain ideal cases. That is no longer the case. It can now handle most cases. However, there are still a few highly complex cases which would require traditional braces.
  • Compliance: With traditional braces, the orthodontics are bonded directly onto your teeth. Invisalign is removable therefore it requires patient compliance. If you don’t keep the aligners in, the treatment won’t work. Some parents don’t feel their child is responsible enough to not lose them.

If none of those issues are a problem for you, then Invisalign would be the better choice.

Getting a Beautiful Smile Without Orthodontics

If you’re wanting a total smile makeover, you may feel happier with porcelain veneers. These can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth. They can even make crooked teeth appear straight. In fact, they are the go-to procedure for celebrities wanting a stunning smile.

There’s one precaution with this. With Invisalign, any dentist can do the procedure. When it comes to porcelain veneers it takes an expert cosmetic dentist. Smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school. A dentist has to invest in post-doctoral training in order to do them well.

It takes both technical training and an artistic eye to do them well. If you want a gorgeous smile, look for a dentist who has reached accreditation. These are the best cosmetic dentists in the country and any one of them can give you a smile you’re proud to share with the world.

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

Dentist wants to CROWN a Chipped Tooth!

I fell on some ice and chipped my tooth. I wanted to repair it but my dentist said the best repair would be a crown. I know he’s not big on cosmetic dentistry, but I was hoping for something that wouldn’t grind the whole tooth. Aren’t there some cosmetic options?

May

Dear May,

before and after a chipped tooth is repaired

I’m sure your dentist is a decent general dentist and is giving you the best service he can provide for you. Unfortunately, he not the best dentist for you in this particular situation. Yes, there are cosmetic solutions to this which are much simpler. The ideal one is much more affordable than a crown too.

However, I don’t recommend you force his hand on this. If he isn’t familiar and experienced in cosmetic dentistry you will not like the results you get. Many people use one dentist for their general dental work and one for their cosmetic work.

Fixing a Chipped Tooth

The standard repair for a chipped tooth is to have dental bonding done on it. This uses a composite resin that the dentist will sculpt onto the tooth freehand. It does require an artistic cosmetic dentist. As you don’t have one, I’m going to tell you how to find the best cosmetic dentist in your area.

I mean if you’re going to do a cosmetic procedure, you may as well go to the person who can not only do it well, they do an awesome job. My suggestion is you get an AACD accredited dentist. These dentists have gone through stringent oral and written exams as well as demonstrated their artistic ability on a large number of cases.

Any of them could not only fix your chipped tooth, but they could also give you a stunning smile makeover with porcelain veneers.

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

Does Cosmetic Dentistry have to be a Fortune or a Failure?

Several years ago, I had four dental crowns placed on my front teeth. I decided it was time to upgrade my smile and had a consult with my dentist. I told him I wanted something which would improve my smile but not cost a fortune. He suggested teeth whitening. I went ahead with that. The rest of my teeth look great, but the crowns now look dingy compared to the rest of them. I don’t know what went wrong, but my dentist said it was probably time to replace them anyway. When he did the temporaries, I realized that the crowns would be ugly. I didn’t want that either, it’d be no better than leaving them as is, but without the extra cost. I decided just to get a consult from one of those touted cosmetic dentists. He agreed the crowns needed to be redone, but insists I need work on eight teeth because of the width of my smile. That will be quite a pretty penny. Do I have to spend a fortune or be left with an ugly smile?

Andrea

Dear Andrea,

Woman giving thumbs up in a dental chair
If you want to have a smile in the dental chair you need to choose the best dentist

You’re in a bit of a tough spot and it’s all because your family dentist didn’t know (and apparently still doesn’t) know a thing about cosmetic dentistry. He should have told you that the teeth whitening procedure you had done would bleach your teeth but have zero effect on your crowns.

However, you were smart to not go through with his re-do of your crowns. His cosmetic skills are non-existent and you’re talking about your front teeth. You want the best cosmetic dentist you can find. The dentist who’s telling you that eight crowns are necessary is likely trying to give you a perfect smile. If you have a wide smile, eight porcelain veneers are common. Sometimes, even ten are necessary.

However, you don’t have to have all eight done. If you’re happy with the color and shape of the two teeth adjacent to either side of your four front teeth, then you can just get four all-porcelain crowns to go with them. A great cosmetic dentist can make your smile look stunning even with those limitations.

Finding the Best Cosmetic Dentist

You may have to find a different cosmetic dentist than the one insisting on eight teeth. Some will only do the ideal. However, you can find incredible cosmetic dentists who will work within your desired smile.

My recommendation is for you to look at two different online resources. The first is the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s website (aacd.com). The second is mynewsmile.com. Both of these will recommend the best of the best cosmetic dentists in your area. If you use the AACD site, make certain you check that you want an accredited dentist or an accredited fellow. Those are the best.

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