Tag Archives: cosmetic dentistry

Porcelain Veneers Look Unnaturally Shiny

I’m curious if you can reduce the shine on porcelain veneers. Mine are unnaturally shiny looking. There’s so much shine on them they don’t look anything like regular teeth, more like a overly waxed marble floor. Is there anything I can do about this?

Martha

Dear Martha,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

When you pay money for a beautiful smile, this is what you should get. I’m very sorry you didn’t. I’m going to make a very good guess that your dentist isn’t an expert cosmetic dentist. Those who are create stunning smiles. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

While the shine on porcelain veneers is an important part of what gives it their beauty, they have to be done properly to achieve that result. Even more importantly, the glaze is what protects the veneers from picking up stains. However, in your case it sounds like the glazing wasn’t properly done.

Here’s what can create a fake looking shine. Look at the picture directly below. Notice that although these teeth have a beautiful shine, there’s texture. This makes the shine look natural. In fact, one of those teeth are fake. You probably can’t tell which one.

close up of teeth

The likely reason your shine looks unnatural is it is flat. It wasn’t given the texture of natural teeth, which makes the teeth look fake. You can remove the glaze by allowing your hygienist to clean your teeth with a prophy jet. However, doing that will actually cause your teeth to pick up stains rather quickly.

Getting Your Porcelain Veneers to Look Beautiful

I would not recommend removing the glazing. Instead, I’d ask your dentist to re-do them properly. If your dentist hesitates, it may help you to get a second opinion from an expert cosmetic dentist. Look on mynewsmile.com. All the dentists they list are expert cosmetic dentists.

They’ll be able to let you know what’s wrong with the smile and help your dentist to understand that as well. If your dentist doesn’t think he can follow through. He may be able to give you at least a partial refund.

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

Does Teeth Whitening Require a Specialist?

I think I’m ready to get my teeth whitened. I keep hearing you have to go to a certain expert dentist for cosmetic work. Is that right? What type of dentist do I need?

Caryn

Dear Caryn,

Teeth Whitening trays
Teeth Whitening Trays

While it’s true in some cases you have to choose your cosmetic dentist carefully, teeth whitening isn’t one of those procedures. It’s fairly simple. The dentist is their mostly to design custom-fitted trays along with keeping an eye on the health of your teeth and gums throughout the procedure so no complications pop up.

As we get older, we accumulate stains. That gives our smile an aged appearance. Teeth whitening is a fantastic way to brighten up your smile and give you a much more youthful appearance.

When is an Expert Cosmetic Dentist Necessary?

There are procedures which sincerely need to be done by a dentist with significant post-graduate training. But, beyond that, they need to be artistic. The procedure that is the most important is porcelain veneers. These require some significant training both in technique and artistry.

It’s hard for patients to know which dentists are artistic and which aren’t. You can have two dentists do the very same smile makeover and achieve vastly different results. There are many horror stories about cosmetic dentists ruining a patient’s smile.

How Can a Patient Find an Expert Cosmetic Dentist?

The easiest way to find an expert cosmetic dentist is to go to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (aacd.com) and look for an accredited dentist in your area. Accreditation is completely different from membership.

To reach accreditation, dentists have to pass stringent oral and written exams. In addition to that, they have to demonstrate a large number of cases they’ve personally done to demonstrate their artistry. They’re among the best cosmetic dentists in the country. You’d be pretty much guaranteed a gorgeous smile.

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

CEREC vs. Traditional Crowns

I’m considering getting a CEREC crown. Are they as good as their traditional counterparts?

Matt.

Dear Matt,

A tooth receiving a CEREC crown
Which is better a CEREC or Traditional Crown?

In one corner we have traditional porcelain crowns. Tried. True. Proven. Strong. Beautiful (with the right dentist). Though, they do take a couple of appointments. They’re milled from more than one block of porcelain.

In the other corner are the CEREC crowns. Tried. True. Proven. Strong. Beautiful (with the right dentist). Made in one appointment. Though, they’re milled from one solid block of porcelain.

Each time I type “Though”, I’m showing the downside of that particular type of crown. While two appointments aren’t horrible, it is definitely more convenient to have it done in one. You miss less work. You use less time. You have your permanent crown from the beginning. So, it would seem that the CEREC crown would be the better bargain. After all, the other features seem to be the same.

So, what’s the big deal about the “Though” for CEREC crowns? Why does it matter if you mill a crown from one block of porcelain or more than one block?

The difference comes from a cosmetic standpoint. Your teeth aren’t of identical translucency from top to bottom. The edges, especially at the bottom, are less opaque than the rest of the tooth. It seems to “thin out” a bit as you move down. There’s also a whiter color in the center than you’d find as you move down.

When you mill from a single block of porcelain, the crown will seem the same from top to bottom. They can look a little flatter because there aren’t those subtle varieties.

When a dentist can draw from more than one block and craft them together, you get the subtleties that reflect light a smidge better in natural teeth.

When to NOT Get CEREC Crowns

In most cases, CEREC crowns are fantastic. They’ll still look beautiful. They’ll still match your teeth. They’ll still hold up to the stresses of daily use. The one exception is on a very front tooth. If you’re getting a crown on one of your very visible front teeth, that’s when I would opt for a traditional crown. This will allow the dentist to use his artistry and make sure every subtle variety of light and color comes through.

Other than in that case, you will get a gorgeous crown with CEREC AND save yourself an additional appointment.

One word of caution. No matter which you decide on, once the crown is completed and bonded on, the color cannot be changed. If you’re going to get your teeth whitened, do it before getting your crown designed.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone

Hate Mail Over Cosmetic Dentistry

I saw a post to Dr. Hall of mynewsmile.com where someone was complaining over the prices of cosmetic dentistry. Saying it was unfair to middle-class families who can’t afford such prices but still want beautiful smiles. Being in Louisiana, whose economy has suffered greatly after the hurricanes and oil spill we’ve suffered recently, I was interested in his response.

Why is Cosmetic Dentistry so Pricey?

A woman with a gorgeous smile created by cosmetic dentist Dr. Mike Malone
A gorgeous smile created by cosmetic dentist Dr. Mike Malone

The price generally depends on two things: the type of procedure you have done and the skill and artistry of the dentist who does it.

For example, if you’re getting dental bonding done, it would cost considerably less than something like porcelain veneers. The materials are different and the results don’t last for as many years as the veneers.

As far as the skill of the dentist is concerned, there are dentists who spend years in post-graduate training developing their artistic skill. They put equal time and detail work into creating the most beautiful smile they can for your which takes up a significant amount of time they could have spent on other procedures.

What Happens if You Go to a Cheaper Cosmetic Dentist?

Every dentist works out their own pricing. But some, with less training and artistry, will lower their prices as a means of drawing patients in. You’ll get porcelain veneers alright, but they likely won’t be what you were expecting.

There are many cosmetic dentistry horror stories by patients who had to go to a second dentist to get the work re-done because their “affordable dentist” gave them a disaster of a smile. Dr. Malone has had to fix quite a few patient’s smile makeovers who came to him in desperation after their dentist botched the work.

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

Can Invisalign Give Me a Quick Fix?

I’ve had braces in the past when I was younger. Over the years, some mild spaces have developed. As an adult, I do not want to go through braces again. However, I do want to close these spaces. Is there a possibility Invisalign can give me a quick fix on these spaces? There’s a lot to fix on my teeth, but I feel like closing these will give me a good start.

Abby S.

Dear Abby,

Lafayette Invisalign

If you’ve only got some mild spacing issues, then you may be a good candidate for Invisalign Express. That can tighten up your bite in just s few months. However, you mentioned there are other issues about your teeth you’d like to fix. You didn’t mention what they were. If you want to fix everything at once, instead of in little installments, I’d like to suggest porcelain veneers.

Lafayette Porcelain VeneersPorcelain veneers are tiny wafers which can completely remake your smile, changing everything about it. They can simultaneously change the shape, size, and color of your teeth, giving you a stunning smile.

Can Any Dentist Do Invisalign or Porcelain Veneers?

Cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty. While any dentist is technically allowed to do either procedure, the results you get vary widely from dentist to dentist. With Invisalign, you’ll be safe with pretty much any dentist. The treatment plan is designed by computer. The dentist is there mostly to make certain your teeth and gums stay healthy throughout the treatment.

Porcelain Veneers are completely different. It requires not just advanced skills, but an artistic eye. They’re designing your smile. You want a dentist who’s gone through extensive post-graduate training. I can’t tell you the number of people who’ve ended up coming to Dr. Malone’s office begging him to fix the disastrous smile “makeover” another dentist created. You want to go to a dentist who’ll get it right the first time.

Look for a dentist in your area who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Accredited dentists have passed extensive testing in their cosmetic skills as well as demonstrated artistry on cases they’ve personally designed.

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

Is There a Poor Man’s Smile Makeover?

I’ve been waiting for years for my financial situation to change so I could get a smile makeover. Sadly, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s not going to change anytime soon and I’m really tired of hating my smile. I can’t afford porcelain veneers. But, hoped there’s such a thing as a poor man’s smile makeover.

Missy E.

Dear Missy,

There are several things you can do to improve your smile on a budget. Which procedures you do, depends on what bother’s you about your smile.

If it’s just the color, teeth whitening can totally remake your smile affordably all while taking years off your appearance. It can be done in one appointment at your dentist’s office or over a period of time at home with custom made whitening trays from your dentist.

If you have minor chips or gaps, you can have dental bonding done to repair them. Of course, if changing the whiteness of your teeth is still in the picture, you’ll want to do that first. The color of the bonding can’t be changed once it’s completed, so you’ll want to match it to already whitened teeth.

Another option is Invisalign. It’s a way to orthodontically straighten teeth without using traditional metal braces. It can be done without anyone knowing you’re doing it. A bonus feature is the aligners used for Invisalign can double as whitening trays, so you can straighten and color your teeth simultaneously, saving you additional money.

Invisalign and whitening can be done by just about any dentist. Dental bonding, however, requires a cosmetic dentist with some artistic ability. It’s done freehand and your teeth change in depth and translucency as you move down the tooth.

If your financial situation ever changes and you want a blow out the room type of smile makeover, then you’d get porcelain veneers.

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

How Do You Choose A Cosmetic Dentist?

Can you tell me how to choose a cosmetic dentist?

Analyia- Chicago

Analyia,

That is a great question.  An expert cosmetic dentist can give you a gorgeous smile. An average cosmetic dentist can give you a disaster of a smile.  It is one  of the areas of dentistry where you really need to only go the absolutely highest qualified.

Ideally, you want to find a cosmetic dentist in your area who is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Accreditation is different than being a member.  Any dentist can join the organization. In order to get accredited, a dentist has to pass a stringent examination, demonstrate a thorough knowledge of technical skill, and prove their artistic ability by showing their samples of the work they’ve done on their patients.

Very few dentists reach this level of expertise, but it is well worth it for you to drive to another city for a smile makeover and ensure you get a breathtaking smile.

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

Porcelain Veneers when pregnant

Can you get porcelain veneers when you’re pregnant? I’m five months along.

Alissa M.- Birmingham, AL

Alissa,

Congratulations on your baby! Yes, it is perfectly safe to get porcelain veneers when you are pregnant. The procedure doesn’t require any anesthesia. Even if you needed novocaine, that is a safe drug that has been teste for use during pregnancy (one of the few ones).

I’d get the veneers sooner rather than later, because you don’t want to be in the late, uncomfortable stage of pregnancy, while sitting in the dental chair.

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

Difference in veneers

I’m going to get a smile makeover, which has taken me years to save up for. Because of that I’ve been doing a lot of research.  I want to make sure I use the perfect veneers. Can you tell me if MAC or JK veneers are better?

Olivia- Wisconsin

Olivia,

I hope you won’t mind if I don’t actually answer the question you asked. Instead, I’m going to answer the question that you needed to ask.  It is not the material that makes for beautiful porcelain veneers. There are exquisitly beautiful veneers from every type and brand.  It is the dentist you choose that makes the biggest difference. So, intead of asking which veneers should I get, you should ask how do I know if my dentist is a skilled cosmetic dentist.

There are a many ways to research cosmetic dentists, but I’ll tell you about the two I think are the quickest and most reliable.

1.  First, see if there is someone who is AACD accredited in your area.  AACD stands for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. I’m not talking about just looking for someone with a membership in the organization, but instead accreditation.  It might be difficult, because very few dentists reach that level.  Though I will say that many excellent cosmetic dentists though not AACD accredited do a fantastic job and are very likely working toward accreditation.

2. If you cannot find someone who is AACD accredited, then I would go to the mynewsmile.com website. They research cosmetic dentists for both their training and their artistry, both of which have to be verified. Any one of them would be able to give you a gorgeous smile with porcelain veneers.

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