Tag Archives: smile makeover

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.

Which Dentists Should Do Smile Makeovers?

I’ve been going to the same dentist for years. He’s always been good to my family. I’ve noticed lately he’s been promoting the fact that he does smile makeovers with something called porcelain veneers. I thought that was just for cosmetic dentists. Can regular dentists do them too? I was thinking of getting one myself.

Maxine

Dear Maxine,

Woman with beautiful smile
Finding the Best Dentist for Your Smile Makeover

You’ve brought up a very common misconception when it comes to cosmetic dentistry. There isn’t a recognized specialty to become a Cosmetic Dentist like you’d find with an oral surgeon or a pediatric dentist. A cosmetic dentist is simply a general dentist who also does cosmetic procedures.

Because there’s no standard in study for that area of dentistry, you can imagine the results vary widely from dentist to dentist. So while any dentist is allowed to do a smile makeover, it doesn’t mean they should.

One dentist may simply take a short seminar on how to place Lumineers and start offering that service to patients, marketing himself as Lumineers certified; while another dentist will spend years developing his artistry and skills with placing porcelain veneers investing money and time at advanced post-graduate dental training centers.

When it comes to a smile makeover, you definitely want the later dentist. So, how does a patient go about finding the best dentist for their cosmetic work? Do they interview the dentist about their hours? How many hours is enough? Should they ask to see their smile gallery? Fortunately, there is an organization who’s done all that work for you.

Finding the Best Dentist for a Smile Makeover

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) started an accreditation program for just this purpose. While any dentist can become a member of the AACD, it takes a great deal of technical knowledge and a demonstration of artistry on a wide variety of cosmetic cases to receive accreditation.

In your place, I would simply ask your dentist if he’s AACD accredited. They’re among the top cosmetic dentists in the world. If I were paying the kind of money a great smile makeover costs, I’d want to make sure I get the most stunning smile possible. Fortunately, most expert cosmetic dentists offer a beautiful smile guarantee, so you don’t have to worry about becoming another cosmetic dentistry horror story.

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

How Do I Know If My Dentist Is the Best for My Smile Makeover?

I’m worried I should go to a different dentist for my smile makeover. He’s a really nice man, but when I suggested I get porcelain veneers he said that crowns would be a better option. I told him I didn’t want to grind my teeth down when they’re healthy. He said he was willing to get certified to place Lumineers for me. He’s super sweet and I love that he’s willing to learn something to help me but I’m not sure I want to be his first case, especially because this will essentially wipe out my life savings. What do you think?

Carrie E.

Dear Carrie,

Woman with beautiful smile

Your gut instinct is right. It does sound like you have a very caring dentist, but he won’t be the best dentist for your smile makeover. You need someone who’s had significant training and skill in cosmetic dental work. It takes a lot of training and artistry. It doesn’t mean you have to switch dentists altogether. Just for your smile makeover. You can still see your regular dentist for everything else.

Look for a dentist in your area who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). These are the dentists who have the skill you need to create a gorgeous smile. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

The Best Way to Care for Your New Smile

Now one thing to understand is your dentist won’t know the right way to care for your new smile after you finally get it. The important thing will be to make sure they don’t use anything like a prophy jet or other power jet to clean your teeth. That will remove the glaze from your porcelain veneers and they’ll quickly become ruined.

He sounds like a responsible dentist. It might not be a bad idea for him to learn about how to properly care for them for your further cleanings and check-ups. I bet he’d be willing to do that, especially because he offered to get certified in Lumineers for you.

By the way, tell him if he’s truly interested in learning about placing porcelain, not to waste his time with the Lumineers seminar. He’d be better off learning about true aesthetic dentistry at somewhere like LVI. Obviously, he’d probably take that better from a peer than a patient, so feel free to show him this post.

Best of luck with your smile makeover.
This blog is brought to you by 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

Lucy,

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.

Can a Cosmetic Dentistry Disaster Be Fixed?

I spent a small fortune on a smile makeover. The “teeth” aren’t nearly as white as I wanted. My dentist says it’s because they need to look natural. They’re also a little wider than I expected. One of them keeps falling off. I’ve had my dentist put it back on three times, which he has done without charging me. But, he’s getting tired of it because the last time he casually mentioned that it’s a tooth that didn’t need much work and probably doesn’t need the veneer anyway.  I don’t think he wants to keep putting it back on. I don’t know what I’m doing to keep knocking it off. Can this be fixed?

Stacey L. – Virginia

Stacey,

He said what!? Seriously?  Believe me, you’re not the problem. This dentist is.  I’m sure he’s a fine family dentist. He’s just not the best dentist for your in this situation. Though not a recognized specialty, cosmetic dentistry is an entirely different beast than general dentistry.

To do it well requires significant post-graduate training and an artistic eye. Some things can’t be taught. Ideally, you’ll want a dentist is who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). That’s more than just a membership. These dentists are among the top cosmetic dentists in the world.

You’re not the problem with this porcelain veneer falling off. He is.  He’s not bonding it properly. Yet another evidence he doesn’t have the skill required here. And to answer your question, yes, it can be fixed, just not by this dentist. If it falls off again, don’t go to him. Go to a qualified, skilled cosmetic dentist to get a second opinion on your case. It’s possible you can get a refund and have it done by someone who can give you a stunning smile. One that is as brilliantly white as you dreamed.

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