Tag Archives: AACD Accredited Dentist

porcelain veneers & invisalign?

I’m hoping you can help me make a decision. I want to whiten my teeth and I have two crooked front teeth. I was thinking I could fix both getting porcelain veneers. I spoke to my dentist about it and he said that would be fine, but he’d like me to straighten the front teeth first. I was hoping not to have to do orthodontics because they’re so unattractive and take forever. Is it really necessary?

Kathryn

Dear Kathryn,

Invisalign aligner
You can now straighten your teeth invisibly

First, please understand that I haven’t seen your teeth and can only go by your description. Unless there is something your dentist hasn’t explained to you, I’m puzzled why you would need both as well.

Generally, a patient will either do porcelain veneers or orthodontics, not both. There could be an exception if you have either a serious bite problem or overly crowded teeth. In those unusual cases, it would be helpful to have orthodontics first. Other than that, you can just have porcelain veneers placed and it will make your front teeth appear to be straight.

If you are in that position, then I have some helpful news for you. You can completely straighten your teeth without anyone knowing. Invisalign uses clear aligners. You can see an image of one of the aligners above. When you are wearing them, they are completely invisible, even at a conversational distance.

The best part is they have the benefit of being able to whiten your teeth simultaneously. The aligners used to straighten your teeth can also double as teeth whitening trays.

Invisalign or Porcelain Veneers

If you have the choice and all you want to do is whiten and straighten your teeth, you would save a lot of money using Invisalign. However, if there are other things about your smile you want to change, such as the shape or length, then porcelain veneers are the way to go.

These are the go-to for a complete smile makeover. One word of caution. They require technical expertise as well as an artistic eye. Not every dentist can do a smile makeover with porcelain veneers. There are countless cosmetic dentistry horror stories to back this up.

If you decide to go that route, you will want a dentist who has been accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists are the top cosmetic dentists in the country.

If you go the Invisalign/teeth whitening route, just about any family dentist can do it.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

dentist ruined this man’s bite

I’m worried I made a horrible mistake having a gap closed. I had a large gap between my two front teeth. To fix it, my dentist did six dental crowns. Ever since then, I’ve been in a lot of pain, I can’t speak properly, and my mouth is dry all the time. Can I put the gap back? Would that fix this?

Peter

Dear Peter,

CEREC Crown being placed on a tooth
Sometimes a dentist gets in over their head

Your problem isn’t because the gap was closed. These large gaps can be fixed without any negative repercussions. Instead, I think your porcelain crowns were not done properly. This case was probably too challenging for your dentist. As a result, he has inadvertently damaged your bite.

This is rather serious and needs to be addressed right away. My suspicion is your dentist made your dental crowns too thick, which opened your bite too much. This led to the pain you are experiencing as well as lip incompetence.

When your crowns are too thick, it leads to your mouth staying agape. That will cause the dry mouth you are struggling with. It is absolutely imperative your mouth closes naturally. Without that, you won’t have enough saliva in your mouth. Saliva is a key component in fighting decay because of its bacteria fighting minerals.

Pain is also a result of a bite being opened too far. This can lead to problems with TMJ Disorder. Though, pain is enough of a reason to have this fixed.

Your dentist appears to have been in over his head fixing this gap. I want you to see an AACD accredited cosmetic dentist. They’ll have the expertise you need to fix this. They can also help you secure a refund from your dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Porcelain veneers with an overbite

I want to get a smile makeover. I asked my dentist about porcelain veneers and he said because my top teeth cover my bottom teeth I’m not a good candidate. Instead, he suggested I have crowns placed on my six front teeth. My teeth have some dark stains because of tetracycline too. Does this mean after the crowns are done, I’d whiten the bottom teeth to match?

Lisa

Dear Lisa,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

I want to caution you not to do dental crowns for your smile makeover. I think I know what is going on here. It sounds like your dentist isn’t as comfortable with designing and placing porcelain veneers than he is with dental crowns.

He doesn’t want to tell you this and cause you to think less of him as a practitioner, so instead he suggests the procedure he feels he does better.

Blaming your bite is creative but not valid. Even thinking about it logically, porcelain veneers would be a better fit for your bite. Porcelain crowns surround your entire tooth, but porcelain veneers only are bonded to the front. They would actually be less intrusive.

On top of all of that, with dental crowns, your teeth have to be ground down to nubs. Because of that, you can never have anything but crowns on those teeth for the remainder of your life.

There is another hint to me that your dentist isn’t an advanced cosmetic dentist. He’s suggesting six teeth be treated. Unless you have a narrow smile, that won’t be enough. Most people show between eight to twelve teeth when they smile.

Finding an Advanced Cosmetic Dentist

Your particular case is particularly challenging and requires a top-notch cosmetic dentist. Tetracycline stains are quite tricky to get right. You need the teeth to have the look of natural translucency, but at the same time still be opaque enough to cover the deep stains.

Only the top 2% of dentists can do this well. In your place, I’d look for a dentist who has been accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. They have both the technical skill and artistry to give you a stunning smile, even with tetracycline stains.

Regarding the teeth whitening you mentioned. Yes, you would whiten the remaining teeth which don’t get veneered. However, you want to do the teeth whitening first. When you get them to the level of whitening you want, it will be time to get your porcelain veneers. The KöR  Teeth Whitening System has been the most effective in whitening tetracycline stains.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

3 traits of a great cosmetic dentist

I plan on getting a smile makeover. I keep hearing the dentist is the key, but how in the world do you know if you’ve got the right key?

Amanda

Dear Amanda,

Brunette woman with beautiful smile
Beautiful smiles require great dentists !

You’ve asked a great question and doing so will save you a great deal of agony. There have been countless cosmetic dentistry horror stories of patients from another practice who came to us in tears needing their “smile makeover” fixed.

The problem most patients run up against is there is not a recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry. That means any general dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist if they dabble in one or two cosmetic procedures.

Unfortunately, to get great results in cosmetic dentistry, it takes a lot more than dabbling. Here are three important things to look for in a cosmetic dentist.

Trait One: Empathy

This one is hard to quantify, but you can quickly tell if a dentist has it or doesn’t. Dr. Hall calls this trait, “The root of a good cosmetic dentist.” They know you want a beautiful smile and they will make sure you get one you can be proud to share.

In general dental school, dentists are taught they know better than the patient. Cosmetic dentistry is different. It’s the way the patient sees their smile that matters. They’d never let a patient leave unhappy and will make any changes necessary to make sure it is the smile of your dreams.

Trait Two: Training

How to do stunning smile makeovers isn’t taught in dental school. It requires a dentist’s willingness to invest in extensive post-doctoral training. They’d invest time and money in continuing education at reputable institutions.

Trait Three: Artistry

Smile makeovers are a type of art form. As with any art, some artists are better than others. The evidence isn’t necessarily in the art school they went to but the results of their work. Never hesitate to look at a cosmetic dentists smile gallery to see what type of results they get.

Especially look for specific examples of the procedure you’re getting. if you want porcelain veneers, ask to see those pictures. If you have tetracycline stains, see what type of success they’ve had covering those.

Where to Locate Dentists with these Traits

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry realized the predicament patients were in locating a great cosmetic dentist. Because of that, they began an accreditation program so dentists with the right skills could have a way of letting patients know.

They have to pass stringent oral and written exams as well as provide visual evidence and a large and varied number of cases demonstrating their artistry.

If you’re really looking for the best, go to aacd.com and do a search for an accredited cosmetic dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Dental crown looks fake

I’ve had dental crowns before but they’ve always been on back teeth. This is my first one on a front tooth. My dentist did a CEREC crown which was very convenient. I liked that, but for some reason it looks really fake compared to the tooth next to it. It almsot has a painted, dull appearance. Is this typical of crowns? Is there a way to get them to look natural?

Dana

Dear Dana,

CEREC Crown being placed on a tooth
Whether or Not a Crown Looks Natural Depends on Two Things

A crown on a front tooth can look natural and blend in naturally. Whether or not that happens depends on two things:

  • The cosmetic skill of the dentist
  • The materials used

Getting a Beautiful Dental CEREC Crown

CEREC crowns are made of all-porcelain, which is great. Porcelain mimics the appearance of natural teeth by reflecting light. When you get traditional porcelain veneers, they are milled from several different blocks of porcelain.

Our natural teeth aren’t the same all the way down. If you look closely at your front teeth the bottom parts of your upper front teeth are more translucent than the middle parts of your teeth.

Even though it still requires an expert cosmetic dentist to place a dental crown on your front teeth, traditional all porcelain crowns are a little easier simply because they’re milled from several block of porcelain making it easier to get the different levels of opacity versus translucency.

With CEREC crowns, this is more challenging. They are milled from a single block of porcelain. That makes it harder to show the subtle differences in color. Dentists have to be very familiar with color theory and stains to get a front CEREC crown to look natural.

Without that, you end up with a flat looking front tooth as you’re experiencing.

Which Dentists Can Place a Crown on a Front Tooth?

Front teeth are more exposed, making it imperative the dentist has the right skills to match and blend the crown with the adjacent teeth exactly. In your place, I’d only use an AACD accredited cosmetic dentist. Dentists who’ve reached accreditation are the top cosmetic dentists in the world. You can go to aacd.com to find one in a reasonable distance to you.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

3 Unexpected facts about CEREC crowns

If you’re considering same day crowns, that’s great. They’re useful and convenient. Here are three things your dentist may not have told you yet.

Block of porcelain for CEREC crowns

They are Not Billed Any Differently

When dentists bill your insurance, they use codes. The codes for crowns, whether you are using traditional crowns or same-day crowns, they’re billed by the material used, not the brand.

While your dentist spent a small fortune on the machine, he is making up on lab fees by having it milled right in the office. This means you shouldn’t have to pay more for a CEREC crown than a traditional crown.

Only the BEST Cosmetic Dentists Can Place Them on Front Teeth

Because they’re milled from a single block of porcelain, they don’t have all the subtleties your natural teeth have. A dentist has to be very versed in color theory and have exceptional skills.

If your dentist is recommending a CEREC crown on an anterior (front) tooth, you need to check their qualifications. Ask to see samples of CEREC work they’ve done on front teeth.

If it’s important to you to have the crown done on the same day, you’ll want to take the precaution of going to a dentist who has achieved accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists are the top of their field.

They Don’t Whiten

Often patients decide they want their teeth whiter at a certain point. However, the color made on your dental crowns (CEREC or traditional) is meant to be permanent.

The whitening gel used even in professional teeth whitening only works on natural tooth structure. It saves you money in the long run to whiten your teeth before having your dental crown made. This way when the dentist does do it, you’ll have it match the color you’ll be proud of.

It’s not required, of course. You can whiten later. It just means you’ll have to have your crown re-made to match.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Fixing Tetracycline stains

I’m feeling a bit desperate here. I’ve had tetracycline stains for as long as I can remember. They’ve always embarrassed me, but for some reason now that I’m older, they seem to embarrass me even more. Like maybe I should have fixed this years ago but haven’t bothered. I finally dragged myself to my dentist about it and he wants to crown every tooth. These tooth are all healthy. I’ve never had a cavity in my entire life. I don’t like the idea of grinding them all down. Is there an alternative?

Beth

Dear Beth,

A tetracycline case done by Dr. Mike Malone

Tetracycline stains are among the most challenging cases a dentist can face. Here’s the crux of the problem. These stains are so dark your dentist has to manage to get the coverage opaque enough to cover them, but translucent enough to look natural and beautiful.

Some dentists try to make up for this challenge by doing dental crowns instead. There are two major problems with this. One is that you’re grinding down healthy tooth structure. The second is that crowns don’t guarantee the darkness will be covered. Then you’re stuck with crowns the rest of your life.

Instead, you want the dentist who’s invested the time in training to develop the skills needed to do this the right way with porcelain veneers.

Finding the Right Porcelain Veneers Dentist

It takes a combination of expertise in color theory and manipulation along with detailed knowledge of the properties in a large variety of porcelains. Only about the top 1-2% of dentists in the country are able to do this with good results.

If you want to get the best results possible, you’ll want an accredited dentist with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists have been extensively screened for both technical skill and artistry.

They’ve passed stringent oral and written exams as well as provided visual evidence of the artistry they’ve accomplished on a large number of required cases.

Anyone of them can give you the stunning smile you want, even with tetracycline stains. Though, it may require driving to another city for the procedure depending on where you live.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Does Cosmetic Work “Grow on You”?

I’m trying to make a big decision. I paid a fortune to get porcelain veneers. These were supposed to be my dream smile. My dentist and I went over exactly what I wanted and he seemed to think it would be wonderful. When they came in, they looked fake. He wanted to bond them on but I could tell by how they looked when he showed them to me I wasn’t going to like them. I asked for a try-in. I’d read about those. He allowed me to do that and it confirmed my fears. They looked fake, bulky and chalky white. I told him I didn’t like them. He said that’s a common reaction because patients aren’t used to how they look with the new “teeth”. He said they’ll grow on me and I’ll come to love them. I told him I need to think about it. I’m just not sure I want a smile that has to grow on me. I was expecting one I’d love. Be honest with me. Am I overreacting? Will it grow on me?

Maggie

Dear Maggie,

Woman covering her mouth with hand.
A smile makeover from a great cosmetic dentist will make you want to share your smile—not hide it.

You are certainly NOT overreacting. In fact, you’re being pretty understanding given the circumstances. You were also wise to have asked for a temporary try-in of your porcelain veneers. If he’d have bonded them on, it would have been permanent.

My first thought is your dentist isn’t a true cosmetic dentist. There are a few things which draw me to this conclusion. First, when he said, “that’s a common reaction”, I was glad I wasn’t drinking anything because I would have spit it out. Maybe with his patients that is a common reaction, but it’s certainly not so for artistic cosmetic dentists. Most of the time their patients are absolutely thrilled with the results.

That leads me to the second reason. When a skilled cosmetic dentist does have a patient that isn’t thrilled, they certainly wouldn’t tell them they would “get used to it”. They go back to the drawing board. They wouldn’t stop until the patient was absolutely in love with their new smile.

The third reason is he didn’t suggest trying them in first. YOU had to suggest that. I would give him a couple of choices. First, he could give you a refund and let you have your smile makeover done by a more skilled cosmetic dentist or he can re-do the case until you are satisfied with the results.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

Let’s say you decide you want to go to a different cosmetic dentist. How do you go about finding the right dentist who can actually design the smile of your dreams?

The easiest way is to do that is to use the search link on the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s website (aacd.com). When you use their search tool, make sure you check that you’re looking for an accredited dentist.

These are the ones who proven both their technical knowledge and artistic ability.

I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Matching a Crown on a Front Tooth

I needed to get a crown on a front tooth. The first one came back way too white. He sent it back and tried again, but the second one he looked at it and said, “That’s better.” then proceeded to bond it one without me seeing it. When I got home, I realized it didn’t match the other tooth. What do I do?

Lacey

Dear Lacey,

A tooth receiving a dental crown
To match a crown to a single front tooth takes an expert cosmetic dentist.

The procedure you need, matching a single crown to your other front tooth, is an extremely advanced procedure. Only the top cosmetic dentists can do it. Even the best will usually charge up to 40% more for a crown on a front tooth. That’s because it regularly takes four or sometimes more try-ins before it is matched completely to the adjacent front tooth.

There are two things your dentist did which make me think he’s not a skilled cosmetic dentist. First, he thought two tries was enough. A truly skilled cosmetic dentist will not be satisfied with anything less than perfection. He would do it over and over again until they matched.

Second, he permanently bonded on your dental crown before letting you get a look at it. He didn’t want to risk you saying it didn’t look right so he tried to take away your ability to say so. You have two choices in getting this fixed.

Finding the Right Cosmetic Dentist to Fix This

You really do need an expert cosmetic dentist if your dentist isn’t willing to put forth the effort for excellence. I’d look at the American Academy for Cosmetic Dentistry’s website (aacd.com). They have a section which allows you to look for a cosmetic dentist.

You need an accredited cosmetic dentist. These are the cream of the crop. Not only are they capable of matching a single crown, but they won’t be satisfied until you are.

If money is a factor, you may want to see if your dentist is willing to get it right at no additional cost. But, if it’s not a huge factor, you’re better served to find a better cosmetic dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Should I Have Gone to a Cosmetic Dentist for a Root Canal?

Both my sister and I received root canals within the last year. My dentist put a crown on mine, which meant filing down the tooth to a nub. It’s not that attractive either. It’s toward the back so isn’t completely visible but it still bothers me. My sister sees a cosmetic dentist. When he did her root canal, he put a porcelain veneer on hers. It looks so much nicer than mine and she hardly had any of her tooth structure removed. Did I make a mistake not going to a cosmetic dentist?

Betty

Dear Betty,

Porcelain crown on left and porcelain veneer on right

You should know there isn’t a recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry, which means every cosmetic dentist is just a general dentist who prefers to also do cosmetic work. However, before we get into choosing a dentist to do cosmetic work, let’s talk about a root canal restoration.

Whether or not you get a dental crown or a porcelain veneer restoration depends on a few things. First, the location. If it’s a back tooth, a crown is more important. After a root canal, a tooth becomes more brittle. The crown will protect it from the biting forces which affect your back teeth.

If it’s on the front teeth, you may have a choice. Most of the time crowns are done because there was so much decay on the tooth there is not enough structure left for anything but a crown. However, if the tooth needed treatment because of trauma and is still fully intact, then you could get a porcelain veneer. This is more effective because of the type of forces your front teeth undergo.

However, you’re talking about getting a porcelain veneer on a single front tooth. This requires a cosmetic dentist with superior aesthetic skills.

When You Need a Skilled Cosmetic Dentist

Most of the skills required to do a beautiful smile makeover are not taught in dental school. The dentist has to invest post-doctoral time in learning the skills required. However, there is an aspect that can’t be taught— an artistic eye.

Like any art form, there are different skill levels. So, how do you find the right dentist? The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry realized the quandary patients found themselves in. To remedy that, they began an accreditation program.

To become accredited, dentists have to pass stringent oral and written exams. Additionally, they have to provide evidence of a list of cases they’ve done showing they can give beautiful results. Any AACD accredited dentist can give you a gorgeous smile makeover. They can also match a single porcelain veneer to the rest of your teeth.

If you’re ever in the need or porcelain veneers, make sure you go to aacd.com and find an accredited dentist in your area.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.