Tag Archives: AACD accredited

My Dentist Says I’m Being Unreasonable

I saved up for years to get a smile makeover. My dentist and I decided on Lumineers so that we wouldn’t have to grind my teeth. I did read that you should ask a dentist to try the Lumineers on first to make sure you like them before he bonds them on completely. I told him that’s what I wanted. He said okay. But, when the time came he didn’t try them on. He just bonded them onto my teeth without me even looking at them. I didn’t realize that’s what he was doing. I thought it was the try-in. When I first saw them I burst into tears. They’re so bulky they look like horse teeth and the color looks chalky, not natural. It’s so obvious these aren’t my teeth. I told him I didn’t want them and he said they’re already bonded. What?? Now I can’t fix this and I want my money back, but he’s refusing and saying I’m being unreasonable. Am I?

Miranda D.

Dear Miranda,

A Woman Giving a Thumbs up in the dental chair

Not only are you not being unreasonable, but your dentist has behaved unethically. He completed a procedure without your permission. If you turned him into the dental board, he’d get in a lot of trouble. You have a fantastic case for a full refund.

The biggest problem you’re facing at this point is your dentist is likely a decent general dentist but is in over his head with cosmetic procedures. There are a few things that lead me to believe this. He made several mistakes that the best cosmetic dentists would never make.

How Do You Know if You Have the Best Cosmetic Dentist?

First, his dependence on Lumineers is an error. Lumineers are highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place because they don’t require tooth preparation. Unfortunately, the result will often end up like you’ve experienced with bulky teeth.

It’s a common misconception that your teeth have to be ground down for porcelain veneers. That’s not true. Dental crowns require grinding. Veneers usually require mild tooth shaving.

Second, he didn’t use a try-in paste. Even without you requesting him to let you approve the veneers before they’re permanently bonded he should have done that. Good cosmetic dentists ALWAYS do that. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

Third, he didn’t care that you weren’t satisfied. A true cosmetic dentist would be horrified if a patient was so dissatisfied with their work it caused them to cry. They would instantly offer to do them over.

You need to get a little forceful about your refund. Remind him he bonded them on without your approval and you’ll be taking it to the dental board. That should be enough to light a fire under him. Then, go to a dentist who’s accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. If they’ve reached accreditation level, you’ll get a stunning smile.

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.

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.

How Can You Offer a Beautiful Smile Guarantee?

I saw on your website that you offer a beautiful smile guarantee. How is it possible to do that? Isn’t everyone’s smile different? Some people just have an ugly smile.

Justine M. – Oklahoma City


You’re right that everyone’s smile is different. You’re also right that some people have had unfortunate experiences with their smile, such as tetracycline stains or trauma to their teeth that causes chips or breaks. There are also those who are just born with less than ideal smiles. When Dr. Cha offers a beautiful smile guarantee, he’s referring to those who are getting a smile makeover.

Generally, that is done with porcelain veneers, though occasionally a patient will also require a crown or implant. He can offer that guarantee because he won’t stop with their restorations until they are absolutely astounded and thrilled with the results. Dr. Cha places their porcelain veneers with a try-in paste and gives them time to look at them from every angle with several types of light.
If they’re ecstatic with their new smile, he’ll bond the veneers. If they’re not thrilled, he will start over.

One of the reasons he does that is because of the number of smile makeover disasters other dentists have done. He’s had more patients than you could imagine come to his office in tears begging him to fix the fiasco done to their smile by another dentist. That is because not all cosmetic dentists are created equal. They might know the technical procedure, but not have an artistic eye.

In fact, two cosmetic dentists can do the exact same smile makeover on the same person and end up with completely different results. Many patients are not aware that cosmetic dentistry isn’t an official recognized specialty with the American Dental Association (ADA). So anyone who calls themselves a cosmetic dentist is just a general dentist who enjoys doing cosmetic procedures. Their skills vary widely. So how is a patient able to tell an artistic dentist from a less skilled one? That’s where the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) comes in. They started an accreditation program to award dentists who’ve reached the highest level of technical and artistic skill. So, if you’re looking for a stunning smile, an AACD accredited dentist would be the way to go. I’d be willing to guess many of them offer 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


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.

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


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.

Best Dentist for Bulimia Patients

I’m trying to find the best dentist for my situation. I have bulimia, though I’m in recovery and have it under control. I’m slowly starting to rebuild my life and am learning to love and accept the person in the mirror, but it’s twice as hard now because I have to come to terms with the damage that I’ve caused my body. I used to binge and purge a lot, and so most of my teeth have damage on some level. I want to focus on health first, but I’d also like to feel good about my smile. Part of me thinks it’s a bad idea to go to an office that strictly does cosmetic dentistry. I don’t feel like I’m ready for that kind of pressure. At the same time, I also think that would be the best dentist for me, so I can be sure all of my needs are addressed. Is there a certain type of office that specializes in reconstructing smiles after bullimia, so I can be comfortable and not feel like I have to explain everything?

Thank you,


Dear Erika,

I’m really proud of your progress. That’s fantastic. I know it’s likely been a hard road.

You won’t need to feel uncomfortable going to a cosmetic dentist. We have repaired damage from bulimia in our office, and I would wager that almost every other accredited cosmetic dentist has seen bulimia cases.

These are the best dentists for these situations. They are most likely to be sensitive to your situation, to understand your need for confidentiality and compassion, and to give you the beautiful smile you deserve and so badly want at this point in your life.

There is a different mindset with dentists like Dr. Cha who are passionate about appearance-related dentistry. Dental schools tend to inculcate an authoritarian approach to treatment–the dentist knows best. So we often see patients who have had smile makeovers by general family dentists where the makeover looks truly mediocre but the dentist told the patient that it was great and basically had the attitude that, “I am the professional–I know best.”

Expert cosmetic dentists are different. That minority of dentists who develop a passion for appearance-related dentistry develop that passion because they tend to be more sensitive to the patient’s perspective. For example, when they do a smile makeover, they will do a try-in and insist that the patient love the new smile before permanently bonding it on. If the patient has any hesitancy about how it looks, they will address all those concerns, even sending it back to the laboratory technician if necessary, until the patient is excited about how it looks. The average general dentist, confronted with patient reluctance, will just bond it on and tell the patient it looks great and it will only take time for the patient to get used to it.

My suggestion would be to find an accredited cosmetic dentist near you. If it requires some travel, I think it would be worth it. If you can’t find an accredited cosmetic dentist close enough, then look for someone who displays a smile gallery on their website with photographs that show detail, that clearly claim that this is the work of the dentist, and that look beautiful. Then ask to see before-and-after photographs when you visit the office. Most excellent cosmetic dentists will let you make a preliminary complimentary visit to the office before committing to a paid examination, so you may want to do that also to make sure you are comfortable with the dentist and staff.

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

Can You Get A Pretty Smile Without Porcelain Veneers?

I’ve been unhappy with my smile for years. They’re stained. I have a gap in my front teeth and a chip on two of them. I’ve always wanted porcelain veneers, but just can’t afford them. Is there a way to get a pretty smile without veneers?

Jullian S. – Arkansas


Yes! There are great ways to give you a gorgeous smile–even without using porcelain veneers. I’ll list them in the order they’d need to be done for best results.

The very first thing I’d do is teeth whitening. It’s inexpensive, it makes you look years younger, and depending on which teeth whitening procedure you decide on, you can have complete control of the level of whitening.

If you just want them as absolutely white as you can get them and you want it done quickly, I’d get Zoom Whitening (though it is more expensive that take-home).

If you want to control how white they get, take-home is a fantastic option. You simply wear the take-home trays for a period of time every day and when you’ve reached the whitening you’d envisioned, you stop.  It’s that simple.

After you whiten, it’s time to address the gaps and chips.  The simplest thing to do is dental bonding. Though you want to make sure you go to a good cosmetic dentist for the procedure. It has to be done freehand.

It’s importatn the  whitening gets done first so you can match the dental bonding to your new sparkling, white teeth.

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

My ultra-thin veneers look bulky

I’m hoping you can give me some advice.  I paid to get ultra thin porcelain veneers.  I was excited about them.  The color is fine and the shape is OK, but they look kind of bulky.  Is there anything I can do about that. I assumed because they were ultra thin, that issue wouldn’t even come up.

Janna T. – Oregon


I suspect you received the Lumineers brand of porcelain veneers. They are marketed as easy to place to dentists because they, technically, don’t require any tooth prep.  Unfortunately, that means a lot of inexperienced cosmetic dentists latch on to that and don’t consider the individual patient’s smile.

While ultra-thin veneers can sometimes be placed without any tooth preparation, that isn’t always the case.  There are occasions that if there is no tooth preparation, then  the smile can look bulky.

There’s nothing you can do to change the bulky look short of getting new porcelain veneers made.  I’d suggest if you do that, you don’t get them done by the same dentist.

To make porcelain veneers look as stunning as they’re meant to look, you really need a dentist who is both technically proficient AND artistic.

You average family dentist, who  does some cosmetic dentistry, doesn’t usually fit into that mold.  Look for someone who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).

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

I can save 7K by going to a different dentist

I’ve decided to get a smile makeover. I’ve been pricing around there are two cosmetic dentists close to me. One is $7,000 cheaper. What could possibly make something cost 7K more if it’s the same procedure?

Melissa H. – Indiana


There are times to go for the discount and times to go for quality.  When you’re talking about a smile makeover, it is time to go for quality.  One of the things you might need to ask is if the “pricier” dentist is more expensive or the “cheaper” dentist is just lowering his prices to draw in more patients.

It takes a significant amount of post-graduate training to be skilled in cosmetic dentistry.  You need to not only be technically proficient, but have an artistic eye.  Most dentists get into dentistry because they like to fix things. They can have the technical skill to give you porcelain veneers, but maybe they don’t know how to make those veneers beautiful.  This really is a situation where you’ll want the best dentist.

I have seen many cases of people who’ve spent thousands of dollars on their smile only to end up disappointed.  The key will be knowing your dentist’s qualifications. Ideally, you would want a dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Only the dentists with the highest levels of skill and artistry reach accreditation. It would even be worth it to drive to the next city if necessary to go to the best dentist available.

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