Category Archives: Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain Veneers on Top of Porcelain Veneers

I was disappointed in my porcelain veneers. I asked for a really white smile. They came back a bit dingy in my opinion. He said that’s because the tech said that’s the whitest available. I would have rather waited until they had the whiter available than get these. Is there a way to put whiter ones on top of these or am I stuck with the dingy ones?

Marilyn

Dear Marilyn,

A single porcelain veneer being held by a dental tool

First, I’m going to suggest you get a different cosmetic dentist. They could have made your porcelain veneers as white as you wished. Either he lied to you for a reason I can hardly fathom or he is totally incompetent about cosmetic dentistry and just listens to whatever his lab tells him.

While you could have new veneers on top of the ones you don’t like, I’m going to recommend you don’t for the following reasons:

  • It will cost you just as much money as if you had the case completely re-done.
  • They won’t last as long. Bonding porcelain to porcelain isn’t as secure as bonding porcelain to enamel.
  • You double your chances of the veneers having a problem and falling off. For instance, if by some miracle your new veneers stay bonded to the old ones, what if the original bond breaks?
  • The porcelain to porcelain margin is more prone to staining than the porcelain to enamel margin.

Finding the Cosmetic Dentist to Re-do Your Smile

If you really want a stunning smile makeover the most important decision you’ll make is which dentist you go to to have it done. Two cosmetic dentists can attempt the exact same smile makeover on the same patient, given the same instructions and they will turn out completely different. So how is a patient to know which dentists are artistic and which will do disappointing smiles?

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) set up an accreditation program for that very reason. Dentists have to pass stringent oral and written exams as well as demonstrate their artistry with a large number of cases they’ve personally done. Dentists who reach accreditation level are among the top dentists in the country.

They will create a stunning smile for you. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Jerome Cha. Check out his smile gallery.

Solution for Tetracycline Stains

I have tetracycline stains. I’m finally in a financial position where I can do something about them. I’ve seen two dentists thus far. Both gave me vastly different suggestions. I’m hoping you’ll break the tie. First, I went to my family dentist. He recommended I get porcelain crowns to cover the stains. He’s done a crown for me in the past and I liked it. Though, this one was made to match the stains. Next, I saw a cosmetic dentist. He suggested I get porcelain veneers. They’re much more expensive, but I assume are more likely to give a pretty smile. Do you know which procedure would be a better solution?

Corrine

Dear Corrine,

A single porcelain veneer being held by a dental tool

I’m glad you wrote. Tetracycline stains are some of the more difficult things to treat. I’m going to have you switch gears just a smidge. While I think porcelain veneers will be a better idea than porcelain crowns for reasons I’ll explain in a moment, more important than what procedure is what dentist.

Porcelain Crowns Versus Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain crowns require a much more aggressive treatment than veneers. They require the dentist to grind down a great deal of healthy tooth structure. Plus, let’s say a few years from now you meet a top-of-the-line cosmetic dentist. It will be too late to get porcelain veneers. Once your teeth are ground down, you can’t undo that and switch to porcelain veneers. You will always have to have crowns.

A good thing to consider is why your dentist is suggesting a much more aggressive treatment than is necessary. Most dentists will suggest the least invasive treatment so as to preserve as much healthy tooth structure as possible. The one obvious reason he’d do that is he is more comfortable with crowns, which translates to not a lot of cosmetic dentistry training. I think even if you went with the porcelain crowns you wouldn’t be happy with the results.

Now, let’s discuss the cosmetic dentist who suggested porcelain veneers. While he’s suggested a good procedure, how do you know if he’s a skilled and artistic cosmetic dentist? Cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty so every general dentist can just call themselves a cosmetic dentist regardless of their skill level.

Choosing a Cosmetic Dentist

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry recognized the problem which patients face in finding legitimately skilled practitioners. To help, they started an accreditation program. This tests both the technical skill and artistry. They have to pass stringent exams, both oral and written. In addition to that, they have to show a series of cosmetic procedures they’ve completed in order to demonstrate their artistry.

Those who pass reach what is known as accreditation level. Only about 1% of dentists in the world reach this level. This is the type of dentist you want to take care of your tetracycline stains. Not only are they incredibly skilled, but almost all of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

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

Why Would Porcelain Veneers be the Price of a Home?

I had a disastrous first smile makeover. Even the dentist who created it knew it was awful and offered me a full refund without me even asking. That should tell you how bad it was. So, now I’m off to get this fixed. You can imagine I’m not too willing to smile at this moment. The “makeover” is humiliatingly bad. I made a list of cosmetic dentists in my area. I’ve tried one who was highly recommended in fact, I heard that people fly in from other countries to have him do their makeovers. Unfortunately, he quoted me the price of my home. Is that what I’m looking at if I want this fixed?

Cora L.

Dear Cora,

A single porcelain veneer being held by a dental tool

I’m going on the assumption that your house is worth more than $100,000. That’s pricey even for the best of the best cosmetic dentists. Is it possible he quoted you a full mouth reconstruction? Did he say anything about your bite being off?

Some dentists only want to work on the “ideal” treatment, but a great cosmetic dentist can give you a gorgeous smile even if your bite is a bit off. Though, if it’s very off, you may want to look into TMJ disorder because you don’t want an additional problem.

What you were quoted isn’t a typical cost of getting porcelain veneers. I wouldn’t panic that you’ll have to mortgage your house to get this fixed. In fact, cost isn’t the biggest factor in determining who’s a better dentist. I know a couple of dentists in the area who might be able to illustrate this for you.

A Tale of Two Dentists Who do Porcelain Veneers

Dentist “A” costs a fortune. He gives gorgeous smile makeovers. Dentist “B” isn’t the cheapest but is less than dentist “A”. He gives gorgeous smile makeovers. It’s more about the skill of the dentist than it is the price.

In your place, because you’re already repairing a disaster, I’d say you need a highly skilled and artistic cosmetic dentist. See if there’s an AACD accredited dentist in your area. Most of them even have a beautiful smile guarantee.

If there’s not one within a reasonable distance, then look on the mynewsmile.com website. They list artistic cosmetic dentists by area. A dentist can’t buy their way onto the site. Either way you’ll get great results.

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

Dentist Refuses to Give Son Porcelain Veneers

I’m looking for options for my 10-year-old son. A neighborhood child chased my son with a dog. He was so terrified he ran too fast and tripped, chipping his front tooth. He’s really embarrassed to smile. I want to get a solid fix for him, like a porcelain veneer. Our dentist refuses. I suggested a crown. He refused that too. I need options. What CAN I do for my son?

Olivia N.

Dear Olivia,

I’m sorry your son had such a horrifying experience. Hopefully, the neighbor boy’s parents are taking some initiative in helping with this expense. I hope this experience hasn’t soured him on dogs.

There is a good reason for not giving your son either a porcelain veneer or crown, though I do understand you want a solid treatment.

Your son’s bite is still developing. If you did one of those other treatments, though fantastic for adults, you’d have to replace them every few years. That’s an unnecessary expense. Plus, with a crown, you’d be forced to ground down perfectly healthy tooth structure. Fortunately, there is a great solution.

A Conservative Repair for a Chipped Tooth

A smile with a chipped front tooth
Before Dental Bonding
A smile after a chipped tooth is repaired
After Dental Bonding

Traditionally, a chipped tooth is restored using dental bonding. This uses composite resin to fill in the chip and blend it naturally with his natural tooth structure. If it makes you feel better, this solution is the go-to for adults in this situation as well.

One word of caution. This is done free-hand. If your pediatric dentist isn’t a skilled cosmetic dentist, you’d be better served having a general dentist who is willing to treat children do the procedure who’s an experienced cosmetic dentist to ensure his restoration will look natural.

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

How Custom Designed Can Porcelain Veneers Be Made?

After the last election I grew discouraged and decided to do something about it. So, I’m running for office. My wife insists I need to improve my smile. She suggests porcelain veneers. I do have an unattractive smile. My teeth are cigarette stained and chipped. One of them is even missing. But, I don’t want my smile made too perfect or I think I won’t be viewed as trustworthy. How custom made can these things be done?

Matt M.

Dear Matt,

Tulsa Porcelain Veneers

It’s noble that you’re wanting to make a difference and are actually doing something about it instead of merely complaining but taking no action. If your smile is unattractive, then your wife is correct. One of the first things people notice about us is our smile. And unfortunately, they’ll make preconceived judgments about us based on its appearance.

Based on your description of your teeth, porcelain veneers will be a perfect solution for you. They can be custom designed to the minutest details. However, how successful and attractive the smile will be, depends a lot on the dentist you choose.

You can have two different dentists work on the exact same smile, attempting the same design, and you’ll get two different results. Ideally, you want a skilled and artistic cosmetic dentist. So, how do you go about finding one of those? The top cosmetic dentists in the world have achieved accreditation level with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD.com). They can tell you where the closest accredited cosmetic dentists are to your area.

The great news is most of them will have some form of a beautiful smile guarantee, so you can be sure you’re getting exactly the smile you want.

As for your missing tooth, the best solution will be to get a single dental implant. This is the closest thing to having a natural healthy tooth as you can get.

Best of success with your political endeavors. Our country needs statesmen more than politicians.

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

My Porcelain Veneer Is Turning Dark at the Top

I need some advice. I had a large chip that my dentist repaired with a porcelain veneer. It always looked okay, but for some reason it’s turning dark at the top near the gumline. I don’t know why. I’ve only had it for two years. The dark line is really visible and is making me feel awkward about smiling. Do you know if this is normal? My dentist never mentioned this as a possibility.

Serena A.

Dear Serena,

I can think of a couple of possibilities for what is happening. If you truly have a porcelain veneer (and I’ll explain why I’m not positive that’s what you have in a moment), then it means it’s not bonded on properly. A porcelain veneer should sit flush against your gums so that nothing can become trapped there. If it’s not properly placed there can be a ledge. This will attract food and bacteria. If it’s not dealt with it will lead to decay. Poor bonding can also leave a space between the veneer and your tooth which will allow things to seep between them. Not only will this also lead to decay, but your veneer will turn dark from the things gathering beneath it.

However, if you had a very large chip it’s possible you were given a dental crown instead. Porcelain veneers are used for smile makeovers and only cover the front of your teeth. Dental crowns are used to cover the whole tooth when there are large chips or decay over a majority of the tooth.

If you were given a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown, it would explain the dark line as well. These will begin to show the metal at the top of your gums eventually. However, it generally takes more than two years for that to happen. There are a couple exceptions to that time rule. One is if you have gum disease. Another is if you brush hard. That can cause your gums to recede.

Either way, the only way to fix this is to have either the crown or the veneer re-done. If it is a crown, be sure to have them give you an all-porcelain crown this time, so you don’t have to worry about a dark line eventually showing up. However, if there is gum disease you’ll want to address that as well. If it’s a veneer, the problem resulted in an error on the dentist’s part. They should repair it for free.

I hope this helps.
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.

Ortho Bands or Porcelain Veneers?

I’ve got this gap in my teeth and they need some whitening. My dentist tells me porcelain veneers will take care of both those things.  The price tag is a tad out of reach for me. I could do it, but am wondering if I should spend that much money just because my smile bothers me. Ortho bands are a lot cheaper. They would take care of the gap. What do you think? I’d feel better with a professionals opinion.

Gracie – Ohio

Gracie,

The ortho bands are a bad idea. In fact, I’m surprised they haven’t been sued out of business. What they do to close the gap is tip the teeth together. That puts you at risk of losing your teeth because the roots of your teeth aren’t properly adjusted. They don’t have bone support. They become loose. They’re no better than putting rubber bands on your teeth.

I don’t necessarily think porcelain veneers are your solution either. You have a couple of more affordable options that will give you the results you’re interested in.

First, get teeth whitening done. Once that is completed, you can do one of two things.

  • Invisalign:  These will straighten your teeth without anyone knowing. They’re truly invisible, even at a conversational distance. Some dentists will even whiten your teeth using the Invisalign trays saving you money.
  • Dental Bonding: This uses composite bonding to close the gap.  You’ll want to do the whitening first, because you want the bonding to match your new color.

I’d only invest in porcelain veneers if you’re wanting a full smile makeover. Veneers can change everything about your smile. Size, shape, color–anything you want. But, to get it done right, you’ll need an expert cosmetic dentist, preferably someone who is AACD accredited.

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

My Porcelain Veneers Are Making it Hard to Speak

I got porcelain veneers. Ever since he put them in I’ve been having a hard time speaking. They’re so bulky. I don’t know if it’s because of the brand he used or the way they’re put in, but I’m suddenly lispy. I looked up lumineers online and a lot of people seem to complain about how bulky they look. Will I get used to it?

Jennie L. – Ohio

Jennie,

There is a lot more to doing porcelain veneers than most dentists who place Lumineers understand. That brand in particular are marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place.

If he’s a dentist who just took the Lumineers seminar and learned how to bond them to get certified, he didn’t have the expertise to understand how your bite affects not just your speech, but many other aspects.

It’s possible you can get used to it, but it might be better to have an expert cosmetic dentist to look at them first. If they’re improperly placed, you could get your money back and have them done well by someone with significant skill.

It’s not always easy for a patient to know which cosmetic dentists are top of the line and which are just average family dentists that also do cosmetic work. Your best bet is to find a dentist accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).

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

Will No-Prep Veneers Look Good

I want to get a smile makeover. I talked to my dentist about it and he suggested Lumineers. I wasn’t too keen on the idea because I’ve heard they end up bulky. I mentioned that to him and he said I have small teeth so it’s fine.  Is that true? Can no-prep veneers look good? I’m a little concerned. I want this makeover to look great. I love my dentist, but I’m wondering if maybe he won’t be my best choice for cosmetics. Am I being a snob?

Laura A. – Franklin, TN

Laura,

You’re not being a snob. In fact, I share your concern. Lumineers can be beautiful under certain circumstances. Though, generally, they’ll need some tooth prep regardless. Though the most important thing is the right dentist. Cosmetic dentistry takes a completely different skill set than general dentistry.

Though even with the right kind of dentist, the Lumineers tends to tie the hands of the dentist by requiring them to only use their lab, which frankly isn’t that great. Most cosmetic dentists prefer to use a lab where they’re confident with the technician and have a good working relationship with them. Some dentists even have their own labs.

If I were in your place, I’d research the dentist. What type of post-graduate training does your dentist have in cosmetics? Is he both skilled and artistic. Does he have before and after pictures to show you of cases he’s done? Don’t let him show you stock photos. It needs to be his cases.

Ideally, you want a dentist who has reached accreditation level with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). These are  the top cosmetic dentists in the world. You will get a stunning smile.  It’s even worth the drive if you have to go to a nearby city.

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