Tag Archives: finding an expert cosmetic dentist

when porcelain veneers are an overtreatment

I talked to my dentist about getting my teeth whiter. I was thinking of teeth whitening, but he suggested I get porcelain veneers. He said then he could whiten my teeth and close a small gap I have at the same time. While I like the idea of not having my tooth gap any longer, the price he quoted me is pretty high. Could I whiten my teeth and then get the porcelain veneers later when I have the money?

Macey

Dear Macey,

custom-fitted teeth whitening trays

I am not comfortable with your dentist’s recommendation. To me, if you just want your teeth whitened, porcelain veneers are a massive (and expensive) overtreatment.

Porcelain veneers are a procedure for patients looking for a total smile makeover. It is the go-to procedures for celebrities looking for that perfect smile. They can simultaneously change the shape, size, and color of your teeth.

Yes, they can close your tooth gap, and you could get your teeth whitening done and then later get porcelain veneers, but you could close your tooth gap at a much lower cost with dental bonding. In fact, that’s what I’m going to suggest you do.

I want you to get your teeth whitened. Then, after a couple of weeks when the color has had time to settle, see a cosmetic dentist to close the gap in your front teeth.

Because this procedure is done free-hand, it really needs to be done by a skilled cosmetic dentist.

I’m going to suggest you look on mynewsmile.com to see their list of recommended cosmetic dentists in your area. They prescreen each dentist who wishes to be listed for both technical skill as well as artistry. Any one of their listed dentists will provide you will stunning results.

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

can I get a beautiful smile after 3o years of Dentures?

I’ve had dentures for about thirty years. Back then, I don’t think dental implants were available. If they were, my dentist should have told me about them. I have a friend who has them and her smile looks so much better than mine. I’d love to get a beautiful smile now if that is possible.

dentures and dental implants

I’m going to give you the great news first and then tell you how to make it come to pass. You can absolutely get a beautiful smile again. I’m going to tell you something which may sadden you, but I want you to understand it for the smile you’re going to get with dental implants.

You could have had a beautiful smile with dentures as well. The beauty of the smile doesn’t depend on whether you have crowns for dental implants or dentures. What makes the biggest difference is the artistic skill of the dentist.

Implants After Dentures

When your teeth are removed, your body recognizes that and begins to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in order to be as efficient as possible with your body’s resources.

This has the unfortunate effect of slowly shrinking your jawbone. This is known as facial collapse. Eventually, there won’t be enough jawbone left for you to retain your dentures at all, leaving you a denture cripple.

This creates a problem for dental implants too. As you can see from the image above, when an implant is placed, it requires the bone in your jawbone to integrate with it in order to retain the implant securely.

After 30 years, you will probably require a bone grafting procedure in order to have enough bone to secure them. This is an outpatient procedure. Then, when you’ve had time to heal, it will be time to get your implants then.

Getting a Beautiful Smile

As I mentioned above, getting a beautiful smile requires a skilled, artistic dentist. My suggestion is for you to look on the mynewsmile.com website. This is run by an accredited cosmetic dentist. He screens each dentist who wants to be listed on their site for both technical knowledge and training, as well as an artistic eye and hand. Any one of them can give you a gorgeous smile.

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

Porcelain veneers or crowns for tetracycline stains?

I’ve seen two different cosmetic dentists about dealing with my tetracycline stains. They’ve recommended two very different solutions. The first dentist, who is well within my budget, wants to do porcelain crowns on the visible teeth. The other one, who goes several thousand dollars over my intended budget, wants to do porcelain veneers. Is there anything wrong with doing the crowns?

Cassie

Dear Cassie,

porcelain veneer being held up by dental tool

Before we get into the cost difference, I’d like to talk about the different procedures. With dental crowns, you have to have a great deal of tooth structure removed. If those teeth don’t need that structure removed, you are weakening them unnecessarily.

Ask yourself why a dentist would choose to use a procedure which is unnecessarily aggressive. My guess is, it is the only procedure he’s comfortable with. Every dentist places dental crowns. That doesn’t mean they are skilled in cosmetic work.

With porcelain veneers, you only have to remove a minimum amount of tooth structure, about the thickness of a fingernail. You can always switch from veneers to crowns. But, once you have dental crowns, you will always have to have dental crowns.

Choose the Dentist Carefully

Tetracycline stains are among the most challenging cosmetic cases there are. Whatever is used needs to be opaque enough to cover the stains completely, but still be translucent enough to reflect light and look natural.

I would say only the top 1% of dentists in the country could do it beautifully. You need one of those dentists. I would recommend you look on the mynewsmile.com website. They screen every dentist who wants to be listed on their website.

No one can pay to be listed. They have to provide background on their cosmetic training as well as visual proof of their artistry.

One last thing, price doesn’t always give a good picture of the skill of the dentist. Some really bad dentists have high prices. Some really great dentists have average prices.

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

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.