Tag Archives: finding an expert cosmetic dentist

another dental tourism disaster story

Woman covering her mouth
If you want a beautiful smile, don’t leave the country.

It is sad to hear heartbreaking stories from patients who traveled out of the country in order to get what they thought was an affordable smile makeover only to have their teeth and even their bite destroyed with absolutely zero recourse.

One such story was on the My New Smile Blog. A woman had traveled to Costa Rica thinking she’d be saving a large amount of money. Instead, she was left with a disastrous smile makeover and severe damage to her bite which has her in so much pain she can barely eat.

The price tag to fix this will be over $30,000. Money she doesn’t have. When she hired an attorney in Costa Rica and had other Costa Rican dentists to tesitify that her bite was destroyed by this dentist, the only place where she could get legal recourse there told her she was the felon because it is illegal there to complain publicly about a dentist until he’s been convicted.

She ended up having to flee the country without any recourse. While the dentist in questions website looked professional, there were red flags. Unfortunately, only a dentist would have recognized those.

Avoiding Cosmetic Dental Horror Stories

Truthfully, it is safer, as well as more affordable, in the long run to save up your money and go to a reputable cosmetic dentist here in the United States.

That doesn’t mean any U.S. cosmetic dentist will do. You’ll want one with both expertise and artistry who has invested time and training AFTER dental school in doing smile makeovers. Make sure you check out the porcelain veneers they’ve done on their patients as well.

It’s hard for patients to know who is qualified and who isn’t, especially since there isn’t a recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry.

If you want a great smile makeover. Go to the mynewsmile.com website and click on their link for finding a cosmetic dentist. They have prescreened dentists who wish to be listed for both their technical skill and artistry. Any of the recommended dentists on their site can give you a stunning smile makeover.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

dentist said no to porcelain veneers

I had dental bonding done on my front four teeth. The bonding has since worn out. I decided I wanted to upgrade a bit and get porcelain veneers. My dentist said I’m not a candidate for that because of the bonding. Instead, he wants to do crowns. I’m not crazy about that option. Do you have a recommendation?

Laurie

Dear Laurie,

A woman getting a porcelain veneer placed on her teeth

My first recommendation is you see another dentist. Under no circumstances should you let your dentist put dental crowns on your front teeth. This will grind them down to nubs. If this were necessary that would be one thing, but it is completely unnecessary.

You can have porcelain veneers placed after dental bonding. The only reason your dentist is saying you can’t is likely because he doesn’t know how to place them.

In dental school, we’re taught to always be confident with patients. Without that confidence, patients will grow anxious. So, instead of saying, “i’m not comfortable doing porcelain veneers” or “I haven’t done many porcelain veneers”, which could make you (understandably) uncomfortable, he says you’re not a candidate and avoids the issue altogether by suggesting a procedure he does know.

Find a Great Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic dentistry isn’t taught in dental school. A dentist has to make an effort to invest in cosmetic training after they graduate.

Even if you needed crowns, I would suggest a different dentist. To get a beautiful smile, you need an expert cosmetic dentist. Otherwise, the results would be disappointing.

In your case, I’d go to the mynewsmile.com website. They have a “Find a Cosmetic Dentist” link. You’ll input your zipcode and how far you are willing to travel to see a cosmetic dentist.

The key to this site is they have pre-screened each dentist who wants to be listed. They can’t just pay to get on the site. Instead, they have to show their technical knowledge and skill, as well as demonstrate their artistry in their work.

Anyone they recommend can give you a beautiful smile.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

Are Lumineers the best?

I am planning on a smile makeover. I want to get the best one possible. I keep hearing good things about Lumineers. Are they as good as their advertisements say?

Georgiana

Dear Georgiana,

Advertisement with Lumineers including a woman smiling and a single veneer being held by a tool

You are right that Lumineers are heavily advertised. They happen to be one of only brands known by name because of that. While they are okay, you can do better. Plus, there is a much more important consideration than the brand.

More Important than the Brand

While some brands are better than others, you can use the absolute best brand and the results would totally depend on the skill of the cosmetic dentist using that brand.

The skill of the dentist is the number one determining factor in whether or not your smile makeover ends up stunning or sad.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

You want a dentist who has invested a lot of post-doctoral time in cosmetic training. Smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school. Instead, a dentist has to intentionally take the time to study its theory and practice.

Just like not all painters have the same skill level, neither do cosmetic dentists. One dentist will have a more artistic eye than another. So, how do you know if you’re getting a Michelangelo or a Mickey Mouse?

One way is to look at their smile galleries. This should be a brag book of sorts showcasing their best work. You’ll want to make sure it is their actual work and not just stock photos they are posting.

However, you’ll likely be safer looking on the mynewsmile.com website. This site examines both the technical skill and artistry of dentists who wish to be listed. They can’t pay to get on. They have to have the requisite skill.

Don’t Be Surprised if they Don’t Suggest Lumineers

An expert cosmetic dentist will know the strengths and weaknesses of each brand of porcelain veneers. Unfortunately, Lumineers has more weaknesses than strengths. Their biggest weakness is the company which owns the brand insists dentists have to use their lab. It’s not known for beautiful work.

Find the right dentist and trust them to pick the right brand of porcelain veneers for your smile makeover goals.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

Deciding between traditional & ultra-thin Veneers

I’m very excited about getting a smile makeover. I don’t want to go into this blind. At the moment, I’m trying to decide between traditional veneers and ultra-thin veneers. The only thing is, i keep reading that some people who get the ultra-thin veneers end up with a bulky smile, while others a beautiful one. I can’t figure out how ultra-thin veneers can create a bulky smile. How do I know which one to choose?

Katherine

Dear Katherine,

porcelain veneer being held up by dental tool

It’s great that you are doing research. I’m a big believer in increasing our knowledge of everything we can. The only thing is you are researching the wrong thing.

The reason some cases of ultra thin veneers look wonderful and others don’t is the various skills of cosmetic dentists. An expert cosmetic dentist can make a beautiful smile out of both traditional and ultra-thin porcelain veneers. However, a so-so cosmetic dentist will make a lot of artistic errors.

You asked how ultra-thin veneers can look bulky. I can answer that. There is a particular brand of ultra-thin veneers which is highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place because no tooth prep is required. While it may not be required, it is sometimes necessary. Not every smile does well without any tooth preparation and ends up with that bulky look you read about.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

If the key to a gorgeous smile makeover is the artistic and technical quality of the dentist, how does a patient go about finding the right one?

I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials that Staples did with an “easy button”. Here’s the easy button to finding a quality cosmetic dentist. Go to mynewsmile.com. They have a link for finding a dentist. You input your zip code and how far you’re willing to travel. They provide a list of dentists for you.

Every dentist on their list has been pre-screened for both their technical knowledge as well as their artistic ability. They cannot just pay to get on the list. Anyone listed can give you beautiful results.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

Lumineers versus DURAthin

I’m planning on a smile makeover. I’ve been looking at images of both Lumineers and DURAthin. I like the DURAthin a lot better based on what I’ve seen, but wondered about cost. Are the DURAthin much more expensive?

Lisa

Dear Lisa,

A woman getting a porcelain veneer placed on her teeth

I’m concerned you are going about this the wrong way. It really isn’t the brand of porcelain veneers you get. It is the dentist. Let’s say two sculptors purchase the exact same type of marble to sculpt the same subject. It’s very likely one of them will have much more lifelike and beautiful work than the other. The skill of the artist truly matters.

The same is true for cosmetic dentistry. Whether you get Lumineers, DURAthin, or another brand won’t matter as much. I will say that most expert cosmetic dentists do not like the Lumineers brand. This is because they force dentists to use their lab which isn’t known for beautiful results.

What I’d like you to do instead of shopping brands is to shop dentists, but not by price. Instead, shop them by skill and artistry. Then, let them pick the best brand of porcelain veneers for the smile you want. They know the characteristics of each brand.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

Smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school If a general dentist is interested in doing cosmetic dentistry, they have to take the initiative to learn it. That means going to post-doctoral institutions to learn about things such as color theory, bonding techniques, the aesthetics of porcelain veneers, etc.

So how is a patient to know if a dentist has done that? One way is to just ask them where they received their cosmetic training. You’d also want to look at their smile gallery to see what type of results they’ve gotten on the cases they completed. Be certain to ask whether or not the smile gallery represents their work and isn’t just stock photos. You want to see what they produce. You’ll also want to be certain they’re willing to stand behind their work with a beautiful smile guarantee.

However, you should be aware there is a website which has already done this research on cosmetic dentists. You could just go to mynewsmile.com and click on their “Find a cosmetic dentist” link. They’ve screened every dentist on there for both their technical training as well as their artistry. You’ll be in good hands with any dentist they recommend. All you have to do is input your zip code along with how far you’re willing to travel and they pull up a list of highly qualified dentists who can give you the smile of your dreams.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

Do I Need to Replace Every Crown for them to Match?

I’m kind of hoping you give me the answer I want, but am willing to follow your advice regardless. I had crowns on eight teeth on my top arch for a smile makeover. One of them became loose. I went back to my dentist. He said there is decay on the edge and the crown needs to be replaced. However, he wants me to replace all of them so they’ll match. I want my teeth to match but don’t have a ton of money. Is that really necessary?

Candace

Dear Candace,

A porcelain crown being placed over the prepared tooth

I think the biggest problem here is your dentist isn’t a cosmetic dentist. Was there a particular reason he gave you a makeover with dental crowns instead of with porcelain veneers? Veneers are the standard treatment for a smile makeover because it doesn’t require your teeth to be ground down the way crowns do.

While there’s nothing you can do about that now, and those teeth will always require crowns now that the tooth structure is gone, you don’t have to replace all of them in order to get them to match. Though, to get a good result you will have to use a different dentist for this procedure.

Your Crown Replacement Options

You basically have two choices here: replace them all at once or replace them one at a time. The benefit to doing them all at once isn’t for them to match. A great cosmetic dentist can match a single tooth. It’s more to save you time. You’d replace them all and be done.

If you do them one at a time, it means a new trip to the dentist every time one goes bad. That could get annoying. The benefit to that is you’re only having to fork out money a little at a time instead of all at once.

Either decision will still require you to find a skilled cosmetic dentist if you want an attractive result.

Finding a Cosmetic Dentist

I’m going to suggest you go to mynewsmile.com. They have a “find a cosmetic dentist” link. You simply input your zip code and the distance you’re willing to travel. They’ll provide a list of qualified cosmetic dentists for you. The best part about this is they’ve carefully screened every single one of them for both technical knowledge as well as artistic ability in their work. No matter which dentist on their list you choose, they can give you a gorgeous smile.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

Bleeding Gums with Porcelain Veneers

I got porcelain veneers and am sort of happy with them. However, a few weeks after I received them my gums started bleeding. I don’t know if it’s related to the porcelain veneers or not, but it seems a coincidence they happened about the same time. Then, I just went in for my checkup and they said I’ve developed gum disease. I’m seriously puzzled. I’ve always had very healthy teeth and gums. Is there something I’m doing wrong? I don’t think I’ve changed my habits. Any ideas? I saw on your website that you do porcelain veneers. I’m hoping you’ve encountered this before.

Elaine

Dear Elaine,

A woman getting a porcelain veneer placed on her teeth

Bear in mind I haven’t examined your particular case, so I’m going on intuition. If none of your habits have changed, then my suspicion is you have what’s known as bulky margins. This means your dentist didn’t get your porcelain veneers flush against your teeth and gums.

What this does is cause there to be a little shelf on the top of the porcelain veneers which traps food and bacteria. This will lead to gum disease, which in turn will cause your gums to bleed as it progresses.

Here’s what I recommend to you. I want you to ask your dentist to look at the veneers and check them for bulky margins. If he realizes his error, he should repair it free of charge. If he doesn’t see the problem, it’s okay for you to get a second opinion. However, I want you to see an expert cosmetic dentist for your second opinion. I’ll show you how to find one in a moment.

If it turns out there are bulky margins, then ask your dentist for a refund. This way you can get them re-done properly by a dentist who knows what he or she is doing.

Finding an expert cosmetic dentist

Doing great smile makeovers isn’t something taught in dental school. A dentist interested in cosmetic dentistry will have to invest the time in to learning the skills and developing the necessary artistry after they’ve already received their doctorate. In fact, they should never stop learning.

It’s hard for patients to know which dentists have the skill and artistry they need to give them a gorgeous smile and which don’t. It’s obvious to me your dentist didn’t have what it took. Not just because you’re having gum problems, but also because you were only “sort of” happy with them.

When a smile is done well, a patient will be thrilled. A true cosmetic dentist won’t be satisfied unless the patient is. They often have a beautiful smile guarantee.

To find this type of dentist, I’d go to the mynewsmile.com website. They have a “find a cosmetic dentist” link. You’ll input your zip code and how far you’re willing to travel and they’ll provide a list of dentists which have been vetted for knowledge, skill, and artistry.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

Before Getting Lumineers, Read This

The Lumineers brand is heavily marketed to both patients and dentists. You see those pictures of the models with their gorgeous smiles and dream about that being you. And it can… but you may need something other than Lumineers to make that dream come true. Here are some things that can make your smile makeover a dream come true instead of a nightmare.

Advertisement with Lumineers including a woman smiling and a single veneer being held by a tool

Lumineers is Just a Brand

Let’s say you keep seeing advertisements for the wonders of plastic plates. You see commercials of families entertaining and everyone having a great time with them. They’re great. If you want to entertain maybe you should get them. But, what if instead, you could get gorgeous, sturdy designer marble plates for around the same price. Suddenly those plastic plates aren’t looking so great.

A brand is just that. A brand. There are many brands of porcelain veneers. Each brand has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Lumineers is Marketed to Inexperienced Cosmetic Dentists

The dentists who offer Lumineers the most often are inexperienced cosmetic dentists. They tell the dentists they’re easy to place because they’re ultra-thin and don’t require tooth preparation. The biggest problem with that is many smiles require at least a minimal tooth prep even with ultra-thin brands. Without that, the results end up looking bulky.

Many patients have come to our practice to fix the cosmetic disaster they received from another dentist, describing the results as “horse teeth”. That’s probably not the smile you’re dreaming of.

Lumineers Biggest Weakness is their Lab

The Lumineers brand is owned by the DenMat Company. They require all dentists who choose to use their brand to also use their lab. This lab doesn’t have a great reputation for producing beautiful work. Many cases end up looking bulky, chalky, and opaque.

The best cosmetic dentists prefer working with the lab of their choice. Having a ceramist you work well with is extraordinarily important in producing beautiful results.

The Most Important Decision for Your Smile Makeover is the Dentist You Choose

You not only need an experienced cosmetic dentist, but you also need an artistic one as well. So, how is a patient to know who can produce gorgeous smiles and who can’t? My recommendation is that you look on the mynewsmile.com website.

They screen cosmetic dentists who wish to be listed. Each dentist has to prove their knowledge, technical skill, and artistry through extensive scrutiny and examination. Anyone on their list will give you a stunning smile. Just don’t be surprised if they recommend a different brand for you.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

Did I Make a Mistake Getting Porcelain Veneers?

I’m wondering if I made a mistake getting porcelain veneers. My teeth have been getting shorter and shorter recently and it was really beginning to bug me. My dentist suggested I get porcelain veneers. They were expensive but my dentist said they could make my teeth longer. I was excited about that. I went forward. I wasn’t crazy about how they turned out. While they are longer, they look a bit boxy. Plus, two of them have popped off. My dentist always puts them back on for free, but it does take time off work. I’m wondering if this was a mistake. I kept thinking for that much money they’d be beautiful, not just longer. Did I have unrealistic expectations?

Melanie

Dear Melanie,
A single porcelain veneer being placed

Porcelain veneers are a great way to remake your smile. I think the mistake is simply allowing your family dentist to do it instead of an expert cosmetic dentist. I have another concern aside from your dentist’s cosmetic skill. You mentioned your teeth have been getting shorter. That combined with your veneers popping off, makes me think you’ve been grinding your teeth at night. Your dentist should have recognized these signs.

It’s important this is dealt with or your teeth will continue to grind down until they’re nubs. Then, you’ll be forced to get a mouth full of porcelain crowns in order to chew. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was concerned about your dentist not bringing this up.

There is a simple solution. You just need to wear a night guard and then it will protect your teeth and your porcelain veneers from being damaged any further.

Getting Gorgeous Porcelain Veneers

Getting a smile makeover is a bit like commissioning an artist to do your portrait. You want to research the artist carefully. They need to have post-graduate training. But, like any art, there also has to be some natural skill there. Your dentist needs an artistic eye. So, how is a patient to research all of that? Well, you could check their credentials, research their smile gallery, check their reviews, etc.

Fortunately, the mynewsmile.com website does all of that for you. If you go to their site and click on “Find a cosmetic dentist”, you simply input your zip code along with how far you’re willing to travel to get a beautiful smile and they’ll list all the expert cosmetic dentists within that range.

Best of Luck to you.
This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

My Lumineers Will Not Stay On

I’m in the middle of a Lumineers nightmare. I spent a small fortune to get Lumineers placed on my four front teeth. They keep falling off. I can’t even get through a full week before at least one of them falls off. While my dentist doesn’t charge me for bonding them back on, I can’t keep taking time off work to get these re-bonded. Now today, I think I accidentally swallowed one! I can’t find it and I had it before lunch. Maybe it fell off while I was eating?? I don’t know what to do. Will I get sick? Will my dentist make me pay for another one? What do you recommend?

Livvie L. – South Dakota

Livvie,

Woman covering her mouth
If you want a beautiful smile, Lumineers isn’t the way to go.

You’re correct in describing this as a nightmare. I can’t believe you’ve been as patient as you have. This is absolutely unacceptable and completely the fault of your dentist. For any brand of porcelain veneers, including Lumineers, to fall off is highly unusual. To have them constantly fall off reeks of incompetence. Your dentist obviously doesn’t understand proper bonding techniques.

It doesn’t surprise me that he gave you Lumineers instead of another brand of porcelain veneers. The Lumineers brand is highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. Obviously, not for your dentist though.

When Your Lumineers Keep Falling Off

First, don’t panic. You won’t get sick from swallowing one. It will pass through in the normal course of events. As far as your dentist charging you, he shouldn’t. It’s his fault it fell off to begin with. These should last decades without problems when well placed and well taken care of by the patient.

That being said, even if your dentist is willing to make another one, I wouldn’t expect him to do any better with another one. I’m going to suggest you just ask for a refund. Not just on the missing Lumineer, but all of them. You’ve missed enough work from his incompetence to justify one. If he doesn’t give it to you, tell him you’ll go to the ethics committee.

Now, you’ll want to replace them to get the smile you originally paid for. To do that, you’ll need an expert cosmetic dentist. Look for one through the mynewsmile.com website. They only recommend highly skilled and artistic cosmetic dentists. Anyone on that list will give you a gorgeous smile makeover.

I’m sorry you’ve had to go through this.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.