Embarassing denture moment

I’ve been wearing dentures for a while. They’ve always slid a little, especially on the bottom, but I’ve never had an experience like I did the other day. I was out to dinner with some friends and my dentures fell into my plate. It was humiliating. Is there a way to prevent this from ever happening again?

Dolores K. – Boston

Dolores,

It’s possible you have lost so much of the minerals in your jawbone, which does happen with dentures, that you’re going to have increasing problems with keeping them from slipping and falling out.

There is only one way to prevent this problem, and that is with some form of dental implants. However, you’ll have to speak with your dentist first and see if you even have enough bone structure left for them to use implants.  If not, it isn’t hopeless. There is a bone grafting procedure that can be done, which will still allow you to get implants.

I hope your dentist warned you about the problems with long terms denture usage.

This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.

I’m depressed about my veneers

I don’t think there is anything you can do to help.  I just want to see if I’m wrong. I saved up for years, and I mean years, to get my smile re-done. I have been embarassed about my smile since forth grade when the a group of boys made fun of me in front of the class.  I got a full smile makeover with porcelain veneers. While me teeth are better than they were, they’re not the “beautiful” I expected.  My dentist thinks they’re beautiful and I’m over reacting, but he’s given me the day to decide before cementing them. He said he can’t give me all my money back. Only half.  That’s a lot of money to give up for nothing.  It is likely he’s right because he’s the professional.  Is it normal to be depressed after a smile makeover? Maybe a better smile is better than my old one, even if it’s not what I wanted.

Mary R. – Rhode Island

Mary,

I’m sorry for what you are going through. I don’t think there is such a thing as normal or not normal when it comes to navigating our feelings.  However, I will say, you shouldn’t have to be depressed after a smile makeover. It should be the happiest feeling in the world. You should be so in love with your new smile that you’re smiling from ear to ear and showing off your porcelain veneers to everyone.  The reasons you’re not isn’t your fault, but rather your dentists.

Many patients don’t realize that cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty. Any general dentist can claim to be a cosmetic dentist. But, to do the job well takes a lot of post graduate training, artistry, and experience.  I know your dentist does not have this training and can tell you why.

In dental school dentists are taught that they know best, not the patient.  However, in post-graduate cosmetic training, we’re taught that it is the patient who determines the beauty of our work.  A great cosmetic dentist would not be satisfied if you weren’t. In fact, he would re-do the veneers until you were satisfied.

Now, as your dentist doesn’t seem to have any artistry or an understanding of that concept. I recommend you don’t get them cemented. Get half of your money back.  Hopefully, when we find  you a real cosmetic dentist he can help you get the rest of your money back, by applying some pressure to your dentist, but there is no guarantee.  At the very least, you’ll have a gorgeous smile.

Ideally, what you want is a dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Those of the top cosmetic dentists in the country.  There are none in Rhode Island. However, there are two in Connecticut and four in Massachussets.  Go to whichever of those dentists is closest to you.  Print out this post and have them read it, so they have a quick summary of your situation.

This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.