Help! I Have George Washington’s Teeth

I read once that George Washington had fake teeth and hated them. He felt they were a constant embarrassment. You’d think in the 200 plus years since George Washington had to get dentures, things would have changed. They haven’t. I just got dentures. I’m looking in the mirror and feel like I have wooden teeth myself. I’m in tears. Please, please tell me this can be fixed. I’m willing to pay for the whole thing over again. I’m just not willing to look like this!

Christie Y.

Dear Christie,

So, here’s the thing. Things have improved. Your dentist may be a fine general dentist. He may be very skilled at fixing things. But, when you’re talking about something aesthetic, like your smile, you really want someone who is a skilled cosmetic dentist. Dentures can be gorgeous. They can not only look like your natural teeth, they can look like a stunning celebrity smile.

You can try asking your dentist for a refund, explaining how unhappy you are with your appearance. He may just return the fee, though he may keep lab fees so he doesn’t lose money. If you’re willing to get the dentures re-done, you should look for a dentist who’s reached accreditation level with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).

These are the top cosmetic dentists in the world. You will not feel like George Washington. You’ll feel like a supermodel.

I want to be sure your dentist spoke with you about the complications of dentures versus dental implants. When you get dentures, you lose jaw bone. Eventually, you won’t have enough jawbone to support your dentures.

Dental implants prevent bone loss. It is a more expensive, but it’s by far a better treatment than dentures if you’re a good candidate. It’s like having healthy teeth in your mouth. I’m worried he hasn’t talked to you about it because his skill isn’t there to perform the procedure. Talk to a qualified dentist to see if you’re a candidate and have them explain the pros and cons of ALL your options.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Jerome Cha.

Can the Shape of My Bite Really Keep Me from Porcelain Veneers?

I’ve wanted a smile makeover ever since I was old enough to realize my smile was ugly. I have an overbite, which makes my front teeth practically cover my bottom teeth. They’re misshapen, some of them have small chips, and they’ve all got tetracycline stains. I saved for years to get the top of the line smile makeover. Now, when I finally tell my dentist, he tells me I can’t because of my overbite. Instead, he wants to do four to six crowns on my upper front teeth. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. I just wanted to double check he had the right idea before I give up my dream.

Hazel L.

Dear Hazel,

Don’t give up your dream. Give up your dentist. I hope I’m not coming across harsh, but I want you to get the best smile possible. It sounds to me like your dentist is in over his head when it comes to cosmetic work so he’s made up some lame excuse to not have to admit he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

If you were to get porcelain crowns, he’d have to grind down your front teeth to nubs! Why get rid of all that healthy tooth structure? Plus, he’s talking about 4-6 crowns. Most smiles are much wider than that. Can you imagine how weird that would look beside tetracycline stained teeth? No. Don’t do this.

Your bite actually makes you a fine candidate for porcelain veneers. Your teeth are covering your bottom teeth. Crowns would have to surround your entire tooth, causing the dentist to have to beware of what he does on the back side, so it doesn’t negatively impact your bottom teeth. Porcelain veneers don’t go on the back of your teeth, just the front.

In your place, I’d look for a top of the line cosmetic dentist. Tetracycline stains are more challenging than most. The dentist will want to get the veneers to look bright, translucent, and natural, but still cover the stains. It will take someone with an advanced skill set and artistic eye to do that. Find a dentist who’s reached accreditation level with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). They’ll be your best bet and can certainly give you the gorgeous smile you’ve always dreamed of having. In fact, quite a few of them have a “beautiful smile guarantee“.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Jerome Cha.