Category Archives: Cosmetic Dentistry

My Veneers Look Like Chicklets

I spent a pretty penny on porcelain veneers. They look thick and fake, like chicklets. Plus, the visible teeth next to them don’t match which makes it even more obvious they’re fake. Is there anything I can do to fix this? My dentist says I’ll get used to them.

Hannah

Dear Hannah,

A dental tool holding up a porcelain veneer
Getting a beautiful smile makeover requires an expert cosmetic dentist

How disappointing to invest in a smile makeover only to have it look fake. Then, to have your dentist say you’ll “get used to it”. Really? Why would you want to get used to a fake looking smile?

Is it possible your cosmetic dentist gave you a no-prep type of veneer, such as Lumineers? These tend to look bulky and are often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. I’m pretty sure your dentist falls into that category for two reasons:

True Cosmetic Dentists Know How Many Veneers You Need

You said your teeth next to the porcelain veneers don’t match. That means your dentist didn’t provide enough veneers for the width of your smile. Wider smiles require more porcelain veneers and a great cosmetic dentist would have advised you of that. Additionally, he would have had you whiten your teeth ahead of time so even if some teeth showed which didn’t have veneers, the colors would be close enough not to have an obvious difference in teeth.

True Cosmetic Dentists Aren’t Satisfied Unless You Are

A cosmetic dentist wouldn’t say, “You’ll get used to it.” If you weren’t thrilled with your smile makeover, they’d go back to the drawing board. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

Unfortunately, the only way to fix this is to have your porcelain veneers redone. You can ask the dentist who did yours for at least a partial refund. Let him know you’re having to go elsewhere in order to get this smile makeover done the way you wanted it. If he cares about his work, he’ll want to make this right.

Finding a Great Cosmetic Dentist

Look on the mynewsmile.com website. They screen cosmetic dentists who are looking to be listed. They can’t just pay to get on. Instead, they have to demonstrate they have both technical skill and an artistic eye to create gorgeous smiles.

If they’re listed on that site, you’ll get a stunning smile you’ll be proud to show off.

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

Another Cosmetic Dentist Horror Story

I don’t know what to do. I had a chipped tooth on my front teeth which had been fixed with bonding. I’d since moved and the bonding needed to be repaired. My new dentist said veneers were a more longterm solution. I agreed, but when he went to do them he noticed I had fillings and said they couldn’t be done. Instead, he suggested I get crowns. I’ve always been of the opinion the professional knows best, but now I’m doubting myself. The crowns looked fine when he showed them to me, but on my teeth they are grayish in color and I haven’t smiled since I received them. Do you have any helpful suggestions? What went wrong?

Lara

Dear Lara,

photo of a chipped front tooth
Fixing a chipped tooth should be a no-brainer for a good cosmetic dentist

I’m so sorry this has happened to you. In fact, I’m guessing your smile looks worse now than before. The only thing that went wrong is you trusted in an incompetent cosmetic dentist you shouldn’t have. I know it’s natural to trust your medical professional. In no way am I blaming you. It sounds like your dentist is trying to dabble in cosmetic dentistry but doesn’t yet have either the knowledge or the skill.

Cosmetic Dental Mistake Number One

The standard repair for a chipped tooth is dental bonding, so your previous dentist was right about that. Suggesting a porcelain veneer would normally be considered a massive overtreatment. There was one thing your new dentist said correctly. The veneers do last longer than bonding, but they’re much more expensive.

Porcelain veneers are used to do total smile makeovers. They’re an incredible procedure and can completely transform a smile in the hands of a skilled cosmetic dentist. But, it’s a huge expense for a simple chipped tooth. Either he doesn’t know how to do dental bonding or he was just trying to squeeze more money out of you.

Cosmetic Dental Mistake Number Two

Having fillings would not have kept you from getting porcelain veneers. The bonding would have worked just fine. This leads me to believe your dentist doesn’t understand the basics about his field.

Cosmetic Dental Mistake Number Three

He didn’t do a try-in of your porcelain crowns. How they look on your teeth is completely different than how they look before they’re bonded. The part of your natural tooth structure that is left effects the coloring. That’s why experienced cosmetic dentists will use a temporary try-in paste so you can see them and give approval of the true appearance before permanent bonding.

Where Do You Go From Here?

In your place, I’d ask for a refund and go to a skilled cosmetic dentist to have this case re-done. He lied to you about the fillings and did a poor job on the crowns. Unfortunately, because dental crowns require a severe grinding down of your natural teeth, you’re stuck with them. You’ll have to have crowns made again. The good news is, in the hands of an artistic dentist, you can have a gorgeous smile once more.

To find that dentist, look on the mynewsmile.com website. They recommend expert cosmetic dentists by area.

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

Dental Cosmetic Solutions for Bulimic

I’m in therapy for Bulimia. One of the things my dentist suggested is making myself feel more attractive in healthy ways. I’ve been thinking about it and I want to fix my teeth. The bulimia has done quite a number on them. What should I do?

Karen

Dear Karen,

Smiling young brunette

I think you’re onto a great idea. Not only will it make you feel more attractive, but it will significantly improve the health of your teeth, which are likely struggling right now. The last thing you need during your recovery is one more thing to worry about.

My suggestion is to have porcelain crowns done on the teeth that have sustained damage from the purging process. Then, the healthy, visible teeth can have porcelain veneers. You may be wondering why not just do crowns on all the teeth? You could, but most dentists want to be as conservative as possible when it comes to removing healthy tooth structure. Crowns require a removal of tooth structure on the entire tooth. Porcelain veneers just require a mild shaving on the front to prepare the teeth. Keep what you can is always a good motto when it comes to your teeth!

Finding the Right Cosmetic Dentist

Now for the tricky part— you need to find the right cosmetic dentist. You’ll want someone with both technical skill and artistry who can give you the stunning smile of your dreams. The problem is there isn’t a recognized specialty for cosmetic dentistry. So, any dentist can do cosmetic procedures.

You’d think that would mean opportunities abound to get a great smile, but not all of them are that skilled. In fact, two dentists can do the same smile makeover for the same person and one will turn out horrible and the other gorgeous. So, how is a patient to know who will give them a Hollywood smile and who will make them a cosmetic horror story?

Fortunately, the mynewsmile.com website has done the research for you. They examine a dentist’s cosmetic training as well as cases they’ve actually performed to ensure they’re artistic as well. What you do is go to their site. They have a “find a cosmetic dentist” link. Then you put in your zip code and how many miles you’re willing to travel for a gorgeous smile. They’ll pull up a list for you. It’s that simple. You’ll be safe with any cosmetic dentist they recommend. In fact, most of them are so good, they have a beautiful smile guarantee.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Newkirk.

Do I Need a Cosmetic Dentist for White Fillings?

My family has been seeing the same dentist for three generations. I feel bad even saying this but I’m thinking of switching. He just seems so set in his ways. My children are beginning to need a filling or two, though right now we’re just keeping an eye on the teeth. I told him if we did get a filling, I’d like it to be those white fillings everyone gets these days. He insists they’re not as good as the old ones and says he doesn’t place them. I’m thinking of switching dentists to get them. I keep thinking my dentist is going to retire anyway so this might be the ideal time to switch. Would I need to switch to a cosmetic dentist in order to get the white fillings?

Olivia M.

Dear Olivia,

Silver amalgam fillings in teeth Composite White Fillings

What’s obvious to most people is the difference in the appearance of the white fillings compared to their amalgam counterparts. However, there are many other benefits as well. Despite what your dentist said, the old fillings are NOT better for your teeth. In fact, it’s the opposite. However, I’m glad you’re not trying to “force his hand” to placing them. The procedure is completely different and it’s rather obvious he hasn’t bothered to learn the new bonding procedures necessary to place composite fillings.

You wouldn’t necessarily have to switch to a cosmetic dentist to have white fillings placed. Many dentists place them these days. All you’ll need to look for is a mercury-free dentist. These dentists will only place white fillings.

When You Need a Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic Dentistry isn’t actually a specialty. It just means a general dentist who offers cosmetic procedures. As with any other artistic skill, their results vary from dentist to dentist. The only time that would matter significantly is if you were looking for a total smile makeover, such as with porcelain veneers. If that’s something you’re considering, then choose your dentist wisely.

In your place, I’d look for a dentist who has been recommended by the mynewsmile.com website. They only recommend skilled, artistic dentists on their site. A dentist cannot purchase their way on as a means of drawing in clients. Instead, they have to demonstrate their technical knowledge and skill. It’s worth some time to invest before choosing.

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

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.