Tag Archives: Tulsa cosmetic dentist

Dentist Ruined My Front Teeth

I had two front teeth which slightly overlapped. I decided dental bonding would be the more conservative route to go. Unfortunately, he ground the overlapping tooth down in the front and sides to make it look straight. Then, he ground down the adjacent teeth so far they were set back in the smile. He told me he’d build them back up with the bonding. Then, he proceeded to stain everything yellow to look “natural”. I argued with him about this but he did it anyway. So, now I’m in pain and have ugly front teeth. Honestly, the stain looks worse than my natural teeth. Is there anything which can be done to fix this or am I stuck like this?

Miranda

Dear Miranda,

Woman with beautiful smile
The key to a beautiful smile is going to the best dentist

The biggest problem here is the dentist. It sounds like you went to a family dentist who dabbles in cosmetic dentistry, but isn’t skilled. Dental bonding requires a great deal of skill because it’s done freehand. After everything you’ve been through, you’ll be glad to hear I have some good new for you! Because your dentist ignored your instructions, you’re entitled to a full refund. Now you can get this done properly by a competent cosmetic dentist.

Finding the Best Cosmetic Dentist

You’ll need a top of the line cosmetic dentist. The mistakes your dentist made will take superior skills to repair. He or she will evaluate the best solution. They may re-do the dental bonding or, more likely do porcelain veneers. The benefits to the veneers over the bonding is longevity. Plus, porcelain will give a more stunning final result.

So, where will you find this miracle worker dentist? My suggestion is you look for a dentist who has reached accreditation level with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). AACD accredited dentists are the among the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the world. Any one of them can give you the smile of your dreams. You can find them on their website www.aacd.com.

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

Mismatched Front Teeth

I had a root canal and the tooth needed a dental crown. My dentist has had a very hard time getting it to look natural. The first one looked way too white. Then he redid it. The next one was a more realistic shade, but still doesn’t match my adjacent teeth. He bonded that one on. At first, I thought I could live with it but I’m really uncomfortable having mismatched front teeth. He’s willing to try again. Do you think I’m being too picky? I can tell he’s getting frustrated, even though he hasn’t said anything.

Louisa

Dear Louisa,

Image of a crown being placed on a tooth

You’re not being too picky. You have every right to have matching front teeth, especially when they’re being crafted for you. However, you might be asking too much of your particular dentist. Matching a single front tooth requires cosmetic skills that are likely above his artistic and technical ability at this point.

Even many expert cosmetic dentists, will charge extra for matching a single crown to a front tooth because they know it could take three or four try-ins. A dentist should never permanently bond on the crown until they are 100% sure it matches the adjacent tooth absolutely. There are many subtleties in colors. It’s rare to get it spot on first time out of the box.

You have two choices. The first one is for you to continue to allow your dentist to try and get it right. He may and it won’t cost you any extra. However, there’s no guarantee he will.

Your other option is to find an expert cosmetic dentist and let them do your crown. They’ll be more likely to get the result you’re both hoping for and deserve. But, it will cost you some extra. It’s possible your dentist would be willing to give you a partial refund because you’re having to go elsewhere for the crown.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

How is a patient supposed to know which cosmetic dentists have the skills and artistry to create a gorgeous restoration? The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) realized the quandary many patients found themselves in. Because of that, they began an accreditation program. This requires the dentist to pass stringent oral and written examinations demonstrating their technical knowledge of their craft. In addition to that, they have to provide examples of a large number of specific cosmetic cases they’ve done within a recent time period.

Anyone who reaches accreditation level with the AACD can not only match your crown to your front teeth, but if you ever decided to go all out and get a total smile makeover with porcelain veneers, they’d give you an absolutely stunning smile.

If you were to pick a new dentist to do your cosmetic work, they should be on the top of your choice list. To find one in your area, you simply go to the aacd.com website and choose “find a dentist”. Make sure you click that you’re looking for an accredited dentist.

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

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.

Pain During Teeth Whitening

I went to see my dentist so I could get my teeth whitened. He knows I have bonding done on one of my teeth. He said I was a good candidate. Everything was going fine until today. I keep feeling this horrible zing on the tooth. It’s painful enough where it makes me jump a bit. It’s on the tooth with the bonding. I’m wondering if the bonding is being weakened by the whitening gel.

Casey

Dear Casey,

Woman covering her mouth with hand.
Can Teeth Whitening Cause Pain?

I’m glad you’re doing this under the supervision of a dentist. Too many people try to skirt the dentist to save money. Then, issues like this turn-up and they’ve got nowhere to turn for help.

The teeth whitening gel will not weaken your bonding. When bonding gets old and needs to be replaced a portion of it may just come off. If your bonding has been there for a while, it’s possible part of the coating has fallen off.

Tooth bonding is usually done on a chipped tooth, which means trauma and exposed parts of the tooth. This is a simple fix. Go see your dentist and let him know what’s going on. He can determine the exact source of the pain and put something there to coat the sensitive area so you can whiten your teeth without pain.

Just be certain not to whiten any further until you see your dentist. You don’t want to nail down what is going on.

Dental Work and Teeth Whitening

Whenever you have dental work, such as dental bonding, porcelain crowns, or even white fillings, the natural tooth will whiten. While the whitening gel will not damage your crowns and such, it won’t whiten it either.

The best course of action is to whiten your teeth, then when you’ve reached the level you want, re-do the bonding or white filling, to match your new color. Of course, this is only useful on work visible when you smile. If it’s on a back tooth, I wouldn’t bother with the expense, unless it will bother you.

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

Cosmetic Dental Disaster! Can it be Fixed?

I’ve had a cosmetic dentistry disaster. I asked my dentist about finding a cosmetic dentist so I could get a makeover. He said there isn’t a cosmetic dentistry specialty and they’re just general dentists who do cosmetic work. I didn’t realize that, so when he offered to do my smile makeover I figured I was safe. I think that was a huge mistake. My smile seems bulky and opaque. It’s very obvious they’re fake. They don’t look at all beautiful. Can this be fixed? If so, how?

Ingrid

Dear Ingrid,

Beautiful brunette woman with gorgeous smile
Getting a Gorgeous Smile Requires Finding the Best Cosmetic Dentist in Your Area

I’m very sorry this happened to you. While your dentist is technically right about there not being a cosmetic dentistry specialty, that doesn’t mean any general dentist can give you a gorgeous smile. Think about it in terms are art. Yes, many people graduate from art school, but aren’t some artists better than others? That’s what you’re facing.

You said the smile makeover you received is opaque and bulky. Is there any chance your dentist gave you Lumineers? That would explain both of those issues. There are many different brands of porcelain veneers, but Lumineers are often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. All that’s required for being certified in them is to watch a simple seminar. That’s it. Nothing which determines if they can do a good job or not.

Also, the Lumineers brand insists dentists use their lab, which isn’t thought to be that great among the cosmetic dentists who really know what they’re doing.

Finding the Best Dentist for a Smile Makeover

When you want a gorgeous smile, you need to find the best cosmetic dentist you can. But, as you’ve learned, it can be tricky. How can a patient know who is an artist and who isn’t? Fortunately, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) realized this was going to be a problem for patients. Because of that they began an accreditation program so patients would have a way of gauging the artistic and technical skill of dentists.

If a cosmetic dentist wants to be accredited they have to pass both an oral and written exam that clearly demonstrates they have advanced technical knowledge about the procedures, color theory, etc. In addition to that, there is a long list of cases where they have to submit photos of work they’ve actually done to demonstrate they’re not just knowledgeable but artistic.

An AACD accredited dentist can give you a gorgeous smile. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

Can Your Smile Be Fixed?

The short answer is yes. But…. You were waiting for that “but” weren’t you? In order to get it fixed you’ll have to completely start over. I’d start by getting a refund from your current dentist. If he knows how unhappy you are with his results, he shouldn’t mind refunding the money. Though, he may not refund the lab fees, because he had to eat those.

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

Are Dentures of the Devil?

I have chronic kidney disease. For some reason, which not even my dentist understands, since I’ve been diagnosed my oral health has taken a nose dive. I haven’t changed my habits, so I don’t exactly know what’s going on. Regardless, I’m now in the untenable situation of losing my teeth. My dentist tried valiantly to save them, especially because I’m only in my thirties, but we lost. I was horribly upset at first, especially with everything else tanking with my health, but have sort of resigned myself at this point. My dentist wants me to get dental implants. I’ve had so many medical procedures and surgeries, I am kind of surgeried out. So, I suggested dentures. He acted like I told him I’d like to worship the devil. But dentures have been used for years. Surely they can’t be that bad.

Linda

Dear Linda,

An image of a woman before and after facial collapse
If dentures are worn too long it can lead to facial collapse

First, let me express my compassion for what you’ve been going through. I have a friend with chronic health problems and it’s been a painful and helpless experience watching her suffer. I’m sure you’re suffering too. That being said, and especially because of your other health issues, I want to make sure you get the best treatment possible.

Just because something has been used for years doesn’t always mean it’s your ideal solution. Look at leeches. Yes, they can remove blood, but we have much better means of doing that now. Yes, dentures were used for years and are still in use. In the past, that’s because it was all we had available.

Now we have a much better solution. Your dentist suggested dental implants for a very good reason.

Dental Implants over Dentures

The upper arch of dentures is held in by suction. The lower arch just kind of rests on the ridge of your jawbone. While many people adjust to wearing removable dentures, others find them intolerable. They’re never secure, food gets underneath them while you eat, and even the best fitting dentures reduce your chewing capacity by 50%.

Though those things can be adjusted to, there is something much more serious in your particular case because of your age. You’re just in your 30s, which means you’ll have to wear these for many years. When you remove your teeth your body begins to reabsorb the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere.

After about 10-20 years, you won’t have enough jawbone left to support your dentures. You’ll be a dental cripple, barely able to eat. Look at the picture at the top of the page and it will give you some idea of what to expect.

Getting Beautiful Dentures or Dental Implants

Regardless of which procedure you get, you’ll want the results to look both natural and beautiful. Every dentist has a different skill level when it comes to cosmetic work. It’s hard for patients to know ahead of time which ones do beautiful, artistic work and which just barely get by.

To be safe, you’ll want a dentist who’s reached accreditation level with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). They’re among the top cosmetic dentists in the country and are sure to give you a gorgeous smile. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

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

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.

DIY Teeth Whitening

My dentist refused to whiten my teeth until I got my teeth cleaned. It kind of ticked me off so I’ve been looking into DIY Teeth Whitening options. The one which seems to be the most legit is charcoal whitening. Is there anything I need to know about it to make it the most effective?

Dan

Dear Dan,

An image of charcoal

First, let me explain why your dentist was insisting on a cleaning. If you haven’t had a cleaning in a while and your dentist whitened your teeth anyway, the results would end up splotchy. You will end up embarrassed by how your teeth look. But, when you start with professionally cleaned teeth, the results are smooth and amazing. So, don’t get too annoyed at your dentist. He’s just trying to make sure you end up with results you’ll be happy with.

Charcoal and Teeth Whitening

The type of charcoal they’re talking about when it comes to DIY whitening isn’t the kind you’d use in a grill. They’re referring to activated charcoal, which is completely different.

The theory behind activated charcoal is it’s natural, non-toxic, and absorbent. All of that is true. You can ingest it and you’ll be perfectly safe. Unfortunately, it’s not safe for your teeth. Charcoal has quite a high abrasiveness rating. The upside is it will whiten your teeth— temporarily. The downside is because of its abrasiveness it will also scratch the enamel on your teeth, causing it to pick up stains much more readily. That lost enamel doesn’t grow back. You’re stuck with teeth that look duller because their shiny glazing is damaged and pick up stains so often you need to whiten your teeth much more than you’d ever need to under normal, healthy tooth circumstances.

If you truly want beautiful, white teeth you’re better off having professional teeth whitening done. Or, if there are other things you want to change about your smile, you could go all out and get a total smile makeover with porcelain veneers.

Professional Teeth Whitening Options

Most cosmetic dentists offer two types of teeth whitening:

  • In-office Whitening
  • Take-home Whitening

How do you know which option is better for you? It really depends on the level of whitening you want. If you just want to get your teeth as white as they possibly can get, then I’d suggest in-office whitening, such as you’d get with Zoom Whitening. The benefit is you can get it done in just one appointment. The downside is you have no real control over the level. Your teeth will be as white as they can get. It also costs just a little more than take-home whitening.

IF you want to whiten your teeth, but gradually with control over just how white they’ll get, then take-home whitening is for you. It costs a little less, but if you want them very white, it could take several weeks.

Getting a Total Smile Makeover

I mentioned porcelain veneers earlier. This is the top of the line for cosmetic dental procedures. These tiny wafers of porcelain can remake every aspect of your smile. They can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth all in one fell swoop.

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

My Dentist Lied about Porcelain Veneers

My dentist made me four porcelain veneers. When they came in, he held them up for me to look at. I told them they looked bulky but he assured me that’s because they weren’t bonded on yet and that once they were bonded on I’d see they were perfect. He’s the cosmetic dentist so I thought he knew what he was talking about. When they were bonded, they looked even worse than I imagined. Even worse, you could see the teeth next to them which didn’t match in color. It makes it very obvious my other teeth have had work done. I told him I didn’t like them but he said nothing could be done now that they’re bonded on. Is there anything I can do or am I stuck with these?

Marianna

Dear Marianna,

A single porcelain veneer being held by a dental tool

Calling your dentist a cosmetic dentist is a little generous at this point. He’s made so many fundamental mistakes I don’t know where to begin. First, let’s start with the mismatched teeth. At a minimum, your dentist should have suggested you whiten your teeth before getting porcelain veneers. That way they’d have a better chance of blending in with the veneered teeth. Ideally, your dentist should have suggested you get the number of veneers necessary to cover the teeth which are visible when you smile. Most cosmetic dentists do six for narrow smiles and 8-10 for wide smiles.

Secondly, he didn’t bother to use a try-in paste, so you could see the veneers on your teeth without the restriction of permanently bonding them. Either he didn’t bother learning the basics of his craft or he doesn’t care.

Here’s what I want you to do. First, give him a chance to make this right by giving you a refund. If he refuses, I want you go to an expert cosmetic dentist and have him look at your case. If he agrees with you, he can call your dentist and put some pressure on him. Sometimes a dentist is more willing to listen to a peer.

How to Find an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

It’s hard for patients to know who is qualified and artistic enough to create a beautiful smile for them. Even if you could interview them ahead of time about their training and technique, you likely wouldn’t know what was a good answer. Fortunately, there are two great resources for patients in your position.

  • The American Academy of Cosmetic Detnistry

The AACD has an accreditation program which vigorously tests dentists in both their technical skills and artistry. Anyone can be a member, but accredited members are the cream of the crop. You will get a beautiful smile. In fact, many of them even have a beautiful smile guarantee.

  • mynewsmile.com

If there isn’t an AACD accredited dentist in your area, there’s still hope. I’d look on the mynewsmile.com website. You can input your zip code and the number of miles you’re willing to travel and they’ll recommend expert cosmetic dentists in that radius.

Best of luck to you.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Jerome Cha.

Avoiding a Dental Implant Horror Story

I keep hearing you have to be careful with who does your dental implants or it can be a complete disaster. I’ve read countless horror stories online. How do I find the best dentist to do my dental implants? I don’t want to end up another story on the internet.

Celina Y.

Dear Celina,

Illustration of dental implants in three parts

You’re wise to check ahead of time. I don’t know if you’ve already talked to your dentist about this. It could be that your dentist will be the best dentist for you, but let’s go through a few things first.

The Best Implant Dentist Will Have Extensive Post Graduate Training

There are several very reputable schools for dental implant study. General Dental school does not give enough training in such an advanced procedure. Never hesitate to ask a dentist where he received his (or her) implant training. Here are some of the best programs for that study:

  • The Misch International Implant Institute
  • The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI)
  • Dawson Academy

The Best Implant Dentist Can Do Both the Surgery and the Restorative Crown

Many mistakes are made regarding dental implants because of simple miscommunication between the dentist and the surgeon. If the surgeon places the implant in the wrong place, then what? You’ll have to have the implant completely re-done, which would mean the additional procedure of bone grafting and then a second surgery. Believe it or not, this happens more often than you’d think.

When the dentist and the surgeon are the same, there isn’t that danger. The dentist knows exactly where the implant needs to be placed for optimum security and aesthetic value.

The Best Implant Dentist Can Give You a Beautiful Restoration

You don’t want to just have a secure implant. You’ll also want a beautiful restoration. Check out your dentist’s smile gallery to make sure the dental crowns they craft are natural looking.

If your implant is being placed in a visible spot, and you’re not completely satisfied with the color of your teeth you’ll want to get them whitened before you have the implant crown made. Once the crowns completed, the color cannot be changed.

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