Category Archives: Cosmetic Dentistry

Is It Safe to Find an Affordable Cosmetic Dentist?

I go to an affordable dentist. He finds ways to cut costs so I can get the procedures I want. He knows I’ve always been embarrassed about my smile, but can’t afford to do anything cosmetic. Recently, he offered to do some cosmetic work for me at a discount. I keep hearing you need to go to the top of the line cosmetic dentists or you’ll end up with an even more embarrassing smile. Is this true? I’m really tempted to get the work done.

Missy L.

Dear Missy,

I can understand your temptation. And, let me say, it sounds like you have a dentist with a truly compassionate heart. I love when I hear stories of dentists trying to help patients who are struggling financially.

A lot of my answer will depend on what type of cosmetic work you are considering having done. If you’re talking about teeth whitening, any dentist can do it regardless of cosmetic skill. It’s a fairly simple procedure which is hard to mess up.

If you’re talking about getting porcelain veneers, then it would be important you choose your cosmetic dentist carefully. It’s a very advanced procedure.  Start by talking to him about his training in porcelain veneers. Ask to see his smile gallery, which has before and after pictures of work he’s done. If his work is good, he’ll be happy to share it with you. If you like what you see, you’ll be fine.

If you’re not thrilled with the results you’re seeing, go to the mynewsmile.com website. They recommend expert cosmetic dentists by area. You can see who they recommend in your area. It would be worth it to wait and save up for a better dentist than to end up with a smile you’re disappointed with.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Do I Need a Cosmetic Dentist for Teeth Whitening?

I want to get my teeth whitened. I mentioned it to my family dentist. He said he’d be happy to do it. The only thing which worries me is the fact it is a cosmetic procedure. Should I see a cosmetic dentist for that? I don’t want to hurt my dentist’s feelings, but I want to make sure it’s done correctly.

Maya E. – Long Beach

Maya,

You’re wise to ask. There are certain procedures that especially need to be done by an expert cosmetic dentist, such as porcelain veneers.

Teeth whitening isn’t one of them. Any dentist can do teeth whitening. It’s the easiest cosmetic procedure there is. Your family dentist will be fine to do this procedure. I’m sure he’d also be thrilled to serve you this way.

You should be aware there is really no such thing as a cosmetic dentist specialty. Any dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist. You’ll want to check out their post-graduate training in cosmetic procedures. To get an idea of the type of dental training you’ll want, take a look at Dr. Bader’s bio page.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Which Cosmetic Dentist is Better for Tetracycline Stains?

I’ve been saving to get my tetracycline stains taken care of. I talked to my dentist about it. I was a little hesitant because he is a family dentist that doesn’t generally do cosmetic work. He would like to place crowns on all the teeth. That comes in under budget for me, but as I was concerned about his ability I went to get a second opinion by another family dentist who does a lot of cosmetic work. He wants to do one crown (on a tooth that already has one) and porcelain veneers on the remainder of teeth.  This comes in several thousand over budget. Which dentist is right, the general dentist or the cosmetic dentist?

Starla M. – Michigan

Starla,

You’re wise to get a second opinion. Cosmetic Dentistry isn’t a specialty, so any general dentist can do it. However, their skill levels vary (sometimes drastically) from dentist to dentist. In your particular situation that difference is even more important.

While porcelain veneers are the standard treatment in these cases, tetracycline stains are among some of the most difficult type of stains to treat. The reason for that is how deep and dark the stains are.  The trick comes in getting the veneers opaque enough to cover the stains without having them so opaque that they don’t look vibrant and natural.

You’ll need a dentist with a tremendous amount a skill. Look at the kind of cosmetic dentistry training that Dr. Bader has. This will give you an idea of the type of cosmetic dentist you’ll need.

Additionally, make sure they show you before and after pictures of tetracycline cases they’ve personally done. Often technical knowledge and training isn’t enough. They need an artistic eye.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Wine with invisalign

I need a glass of wine or two to relax during the day. Is it ok to do that once I start invisalign?

Victoria F. – Hot Springs, AR

Victoria,

The answer to that question depends on when you want to have the wine. If you want to have the wine while your eating your meals, that will be fine.

If, however, you’re wanting to drink wine while the Invisalign aligners are in, I wouldn’t recommend that.  The wine will get into the aligners, which will cause tooth decay from the acidic nature of the alcohol.

You get three meals a day, so that will give you at least three glasses of wine.

This blog is brought to you by Newton Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Is my daughter too young for porcelain veneers?

My 16 year old daughter hates her teeth. Mainly just the ones in front, but she literally hides from the camera. They are yellow and kind of crooked. One is also longer than the other. To a 16 year old, this is torture! She has heard of porcelain veneers and is willing to help pay for them. All of her permanent teeth are in properly. Do you think she is too young for porcelain veneers?

– Sandra in Florida

Sandra,

Porcelain veneers are beautiful when they are done by a highly skilled cosmetic dentist. And there is not any kind of age requirement for having this kind of work done. That said, you need to be aware that there is a higher risk for a 16 year old. This is because the jaw hasn’t completely matured so they could end up needing to be replaced sooner than normal. For example, if your daughter hits a growth spurt, it may be as soon as a few years from now that they will need to be replaced.

As we get older, our bones and gums develop. This means that the edge of the veneers may become exposed and they may not look as beautiful. So to answer your question, it’s not an issue if your 16 year old daughter is old enough, it really is a case by case basis. It also depends on her overall dental health whether of not she is a candidate. It would be wise to consult with an expert cosmetic dentist. This will come down to her personal choice and yours since she is still considered a minor, but an expert cosmetic dentist should give you an honest assessment.

Good luck! We all know how sensitive teenagers are at that age.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

 

Are my teeth the reason I can’t get a date?

I am sick of being single. All my friends are married with kids. Being over 40 and having no one “special” really stinks! I’ve resided myself to the fact it has to be my crooked teeth. But I really don’t want to be wearing those ugly wire braces for years as an adult. I can’t imagine being a “brace face” would help my dating chances! Any advice to speed up the process so I don’t have to wear them forever?

Eric in Kansas

Eric,

There is no real way to know the truth about why your love life hasn’t taken off yet. But there is no reason it cannot happen for you too. An interesting study by Match.com does show that a beautiful smile is one of the most important things that attracts a potential mate while dating. So there may be some truth to the crooked teeth theory on your part.

Have you ever heard of Invisalign? This sophisticated system straightens your teeth in half the time as conventional braces. No more need for those ugly and uncomfortable wire and metal braces. Invisalign invisible braces uses clear plastic aligners to gradually move your teeth into the correct positions. In some cases, Invisalign has straightened teeth in six months to a year. And from a conversational distance the aligners are invisible.

Everyone’s cases is different so the time frame may vary slightly. So find an Invisalign dentist in your area and get the ball rolling. Invisalign has one of the highest satisfaction ratings of any dental treatment.

Also, porcelain veneers are an even faster cosmetic dentistry treatment that will improve the appearance of your teeth. You can get straight, white teeth in only a couple appointments. This may be another option you want to consider?

Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics by Dr. Steve Bader.

 

I want better porcelain veneers than my sister! Any advice?

My sister and I have always had an intense rivalry. Everything turned into a competition whether it was a new outfit, house, car, or even who had the best job. Somehow she found out about my plan to save up for porcelain veneers and what do you know, she went ahead and got them herself before me. Maybe she shouldn’t have been in such a rush though, because she isn’t happy with them. They look fake! It’s kind of hard to put a finger on it but they don’t really even resemble a natural-looking color. It’s made me start second-guessing if I really want them or not. The other day she told me one of them popped off already. I don’t know if it is something she did or if the fault lies with the dentist that placed them because I thought they were supposed to last much longer than that. Any advice? I have been saving up for far too long to blow it on ugly veneers.

– Sharon in Arizona

Sharon,

The good news is that you may have the last laugh in this situation. Based on the problems you have described about your sister’s porcelain veneers, it sounds like the dentist may have been in over his or her head. This happens too often because cosmetic dentistry is not a regulated area within the field of dentistry. So pretty much any dentist can claim to do porcelain veneers and call themselves a cosmetic dentist. But just calling yourself a cosmetic dentist isn’t going to cut it since beautiful cosmetic dentistry requires an artistic eye and a lot of training beyond dental school.

So be sure that you do your homework and find an excellent cosmetic dentist. Most dentists that do beautiful porcelain veneers are perfectionists. They will not be satisfied until you absolutely fall in love with your new smile. In fact, they consider their work a failure unless you love them. So ask the dentist about similar cases to yours and ask to see many before and after shots. Also, ask them if they offer a beautiful smile guarantee with their porcelain veneers. If so, then you are on the right track.

As far as the color looking unnatural, it sounds like your sister’s dentist didn’t get the translucency right. Our natural teeth absorb and reflect light, so if this technique is not perfected with a smile makeover, something will just look “off” about the final product. An expert cosmetic dentist will not only match the color perfectly, but the opacity of the tooth should look exactly like the teeth that surround them.

You are also correct in that porcelain veneers should not fall off. This could be due to the sub-standard skill of the dentist or may have happened during the ceramic work from the laboratory. Most porcelain veneers (if they are applied by a true cosmetic dentist) will last for ten years or longer.

So find the right dentist and you will be able to keep smiling at your sister long after her last veneer has fallen off.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.