Tag Archives: smile makeovers

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.

What if You Hate Your Smile Makeover?

I’ve always hated my smile and am considering getting a smile makeover. However, my husband mentioned something that gave me pause. He asked me what happens if I spend all that money and hate my smile makeover? It’s a valid question. He’s not just asking because he doesn’t want to spend the money. Do you have an answer for that? Does it vary from dentist to dentist?

Brittany

Dear Brittany,

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

Your husband asks a great question, one I wish more patients would ask before investing in their smile makeover. The answer varies from dentist to dentist. But, that being said, there is a “right” answer your dentist should be giving you. If they don’t give the right answer, go elsewhere.

A smile makeover is a work of art. Therefore, the first thing you should do is make sure you’re getting an artist to do it. If you were going to commission a portrait, I’m sure you’d check out the reputation and skills of the artist first. Please do the same with your cosmetic dentist.

Ideally, you’d want a dentist who’s reached accreditation level with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists have guaranteed technical skill and artistic prowess. You will get a stunning smile through them.

However, just because something is stunning, doesn’t mean it’s what YOU dreamed of.

What You Should Expect From a Cosmetic Dentist

Your cosmetic dentist should sit down with you and have a consultation about what is your dream smile. You can bring pictures or discuss the character you’re going for. For instance, do you want a sporty smile, an authoritative smile, a youthful smile? All of these are formed with different shapes.

He or she should also let you test drive your porcelain veneers after they’re created using a try in paste. You should get to look at them in several types of lighting and also have your family and/or friends look at them. If you LOVE them (and I mean really love them) great. If not, your cosmetic dentist should be willing to go back to the drawing board.

Most skilled cosmetic dentists call this a beautiful smile guarantee. If they don’t offer one, walk away. Once you’re satisfied, then and only then should you allow him to permanently bond them on.

I hope this helps! Enjoy your new smile. It will bring with it amazing doses of confidence.

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

How Do I Find the Best Dentist?

I’ve recently moved and need to find a new dentist. I’ve been to the same one most of my adult life so it feels weird switching. How do I find the best one available?

Burt

Dear Burt,

Woman giving thumbs up in a dental chair
The Best Dentists Leave Us with Smiles

Wouldn’t it be great if there was some independent, objective measurement to tell us who the best dentists were? Unfortunately, especially when it comes to general dental care, there isn’t. That doesn’t mean I can’t give you some guidelines to help you find the best dentist for your particular needs.

The first thing to ask yourself is what type of services do you need? Are you strictly and nuts and bolts guy who just wants his teeth cleaned and maintained as necessary? Or maybe you also want some cosmetic work done? Once that’s decided, it gets a little easier.

Finding the Best General Dentist

For the basics, I’d simply do an internet search for dentists in your area. Then I’d take two additional steps.

  • Check their reviews.

You’ll want a dentist people enjoy seeing. One who makes them feel like family instead of just someone they need to get in and out of the dental chair. Reviews are generally written by those who are thrilled with the service they’ve received or hated it. Either one should give you the information you need.

  • Check their passion

Each state has a requirement for how many continuing education hours a dentist has to do to keep their license. You want a dentist who not only keeps up with the developments in his field but has a passion for it. Make sure they go above and beyond what is required. They shouldn’t be offended to answer a question on how many continuing hours they do.

Finding the Best Cosmetic Dentist

It’s a little easier to find the best cosmetic dentist. Because there isn’t a cosmetic dentistry specialty, there used to be no way for patients to know who would give them a gorgeous smile makeover with porcelain veneers and who would give them a cosmetic horror story.

Fortunately, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry stepped in and created an accreditation program. This tests dentist both with written and oral exams gauging their technical knowledge. Then, it requires them to provide visual evidence of a large number of cosmetic procedures they’ve done to ensure they not only have technical skill but artistry as well.

If a dentist is AACD accredited, that means you will get a stunning smile. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

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

Need Invisalign to Save My Marriage

Help me! I totally blew it at Christmas, apparently. I thought I was listening and being attentive. She’s always complaining about how we have the worst vacuum ever. So, I spent more money than I thought you should on a vacuum. Pro tip: That’s not a good Christmas gift. I wasn’t aware that things you have to have anyway to keep the house clean doesn’t count. She’s been mad at me since Christmas morning. In my defense, I have noticed she is vacuuming more, even if she’s glaring at me while doing it. I’m determined to make it up to her on Valentine’s Day. She also always talks about wanting a smile makeover. So, I thought I’d get her a gift certificate for Invisalign and teeth whitening. I went to see her dentist at lunch today to order it (see I’m actually a month ahead of the game), but he said no. She has to be there for an exam to know the cost. How can I surprise her like that? Will all dentists feel that way?

Dennis (the gift menace)

Dear Dennis,

A woman putting in her Invisalign aligners in two stacked images

I love how much you’re trying. You’re absolutely listening, so she can’t fault you for that. I think you’ll be able to get her that mini smile makeover you’re hoping to. Before we do that I want to make sure you know a distinction. When your wife says smile makeover, she could be referring to Invisalign and teeth whitening. Many people get beautiful smile makeovers from these two products.

Be aware, though, most people are referring to getting a smile makeover with porcelain veneers. Either way, I’d make sure you do some digging to see which she means as you’re trying to make something up to her she was unhappy about.

What’s the Smile Makeover Difference between Invisalign and Porcelain Veneers

With Invisalign, her teeth will be gently and precisely shifted to a correct position wearing a series of aligners. The image at the top of this post shows a woman placing an Invisalign aligner on her teeth.

A single porcelain veneer being held up by a dental instrumentWith porcelain veneers, her teeth can be made to look straight even when they’re not using thin wafers of porcelain an expert cosmetic dentist designs. You can see an image of a single porcelain veneer directly above. These can also change the shape, size, and color of her teeth. This is the smile makeover most celebrities get when they’re going for that “Hollywood Smile.”

Can You Pre-purchase Invisalign Ahead of Time?

My suggestion, if you want to get an Invisalign Gift Certificate is to talk to the dentist again asking what the minimum cost would be. If he knows your wife’s teeth at all, he can probably give a semi-educated guess. Then purchase a gift certificate for that amount. Let him know after her exam and treatment plan is designed, you’ll make up any cost difference.

If it turns out porcelain veneers is what she was after, the dentist you choose to do this is the most important decision you’ll make in this procedure. You really want her to go to a dentist who’s reached accreditation level with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Those are the dentists which can give her a stunning smile. Be aware, this procedure is much more pricey than Invisalign. But, you get way more for your buck at the same time. The aacd.com website can help you locate one near your area.

This blog is brought to you by American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Accredited Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Is It Really Necessary to See a Dentist Every Two Weeks for Invisalign?

I’m wanting to update my smile, but the site mentioned I’d have to come in every two weeks. I live in a very remote area. It takes me over three hours to get to the nearest dentist. I can’t imagine making that trip every two weeks. What’s the purpose of going so often?

Maleiki K.

Dear Maleiki,

Salem MA Invisalign

How great that you’re getting to update your smile. You’ll find that Invisalign has a very high patient satisfaction rate. There is an important purpose for those visits, but given your unique situation, you may see if your dentist would be willing to work with you.

Generally, they want to see you twice a month in order to make sure there are no problems with your treatment and the health of your gums is staying on track. They also give you your next pair of aligners. However, because your drive is so far, they may give you two pairs of aligners at a time so you only have to come once a month. You don’t want to wait more than that, because if a problem does develop such as gum disease or root absorption, the quicker the dentist catches it the better.

If you don’t catch those issues early enough it could derail your treatment. Left unchecked, you could even lose teeth.

Teeth Whitening and Invisalign

Given the limitations on your accessibility to a dentist, if you’ve ever considered getting your teeth whitened in your smile makeover, I’d talk to your dentist about doing it simultaneously with your Invisalign treatment.

It’s possible for your aligners to double as teeth whitening trays. Not only will this keep you from having to do another set of visits to the dentist, but it will also save you money on teeth whitening aligners. It’s a win-win for you.

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.

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.