Tag: accredited dentist

Cosmetic Dentistry 101 – Get What YOU Want!

Super White Teeth – some love it, some hate it. It is a personal preference. What it really comes down to is what type of teeth do YOU like?

A smile is very personal – actually, I think a smile is just about as personal as you can get. It needs to reflect who you are and what you are trying to say about yourself. If you never said a word but smiled really big people would know more about you than you may imagine.

The white smile above is easily identified.  It is Simon Cowell from American Idol. It says something about Simon. He specifically chose to get porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns that are as white as it gets. It is bold, powerful and in your face. Does that reflect who Simon is? I think it does.

Does Simon’s smile look “natural”? I don’t think so, but I also don’t think he told his dentist that he wanted a natural smile.

When you are considering a smile makeover you need to be honest with yourself. What type of smile do you want? White? Natural? Powerful? Sexy? There are so many different types of teeth shapes and colors. One size does not fit all!

Cosmetic Dentists that have a lot of experience in smile makeovers know that first and foremost we need to determine what type of smile you want, and since you are not a dentist you won’t be able to tell us what type of line angles you prefer. So, I ask my patients to cut out at least 3 smiles they love and 3 smiles they don’t from magazines. Then at our consultation we discuss the smiles and this is how I find out what you like. Now I can create a wax model of your smile prior to ever touching your teeth! You will be able to see what our goal is and then watch the transformation take place. There is no guesswork.

A cosmetic dentist has the training and experience to deliver the smile you want. When it comes to something as personal as your smile, make sure you get what you want!

Pain After White Composite Filling

Question:  Why does my tooth hurt after it just received a new white filling?  It did not hurt before!

Answer:  Your tooth should obviously not hurt after the filling, especially if it did not hurt before.  In this practice I do not have patients complaining of pain after white fillings are placed.  If you are experiencing pain, here are some reasons why:

  • Polymerization Shrinkage:  Composites (white fillings) shrink a little when they harden.  Generally the dentist will place the material into the cavity in a liquid to pasty form and then use a strong light (LED or Halogen) to instantly harden the material.  If the composite material is placed incorrectly or in bulk then the composite will shrink enough to either allow a little gap to form around the filling, or it will actually pull the tooth together.  Either way the tooth will become sensitive to hot and cold.
  • Too Large Composite:  Composite is a great material, in small fillings.  Once the filling reaches a certain size (1/3 the distance between the cusps or more than 2 surfaces) then it generally is not strong enough to function correctly.  Composite material is not strong enough to function exactly like tooth structure.  The tooth will bend, the composite will wear or fracture, and eventually failure is inevitable.  When the filling fails it will then require a much larger restoration or worse.
  • Fractures in Tooth: Often old silver mercury fillings, amalgams, are removed and replaced with white fillings for various reasons. These amalgams have too many issues to list here (let’s see if any ADA dentists complain), but the main one is that the expansion and contraction as well as compression over time results in tooth fractures. Removing these fillings and not recognizing the fractures (visually) will result in trouble. A fractured tooth should not receive a white composite filling!
  • Other Issues:  The two scenarios above are fairly common.  Often I see patients that have super large composite fillings (patches), and that is usually a warning sign to the quality of dentistry found in all the other teeth.  Composite material is great if used correctly.  It is not a cure-all.  It can have bubbles in it, fail to bond correctly, not cure all the way, etc.  Composite is very technique sensitive and is often placed without enough care.  This is where experience becomes important!

So, to answer this persons’ question – Your tooth could hurt for many reasons, none are good.  Talk to your dentist about this problem and see what they say.  If the answer is “wait and it will get better”, then seek out a second opinion.  Unfortunately Kentucky is not known for its quality dentistry (we are 49th and 50th in the US when it comes to number of teeth in adult mouths and oral health), so do your research and find a top dentist.  I suggest you look at the AACD (American Academy Of Cosmetic Dentistry) as one of your sources.  Select a member as they have gone through some of the most rigorous training in the world and must live up to their reputation.

NOT so “Cosmetic” Dentistry

What is the difference between a Cosmetic Dentist and an Accredited Cosmetic Dentist?  Well, the difference is in the details.

Understanding facial aesthetics, not just teeth, is critical. The goal with every cosmetic smile makeover is to improve the whole smile, the whole face, the whole person, not just the teeth.

Here are a few cases I found online that are touted as “Smile Makeovers“. You be the judge. Are these smiles complete? What is missing? More after the pictures.

Please remember, these cases are NOT MY DENTISTRY!

Do these cases sound like “Smile Makeovers?”

  1. A smile goes from one corner of the mouth to the other.  Teeth are framed by the lips and need to follow the lip line.  A “black corridor” will result if one side of the smile, or frequently both sides, are neglected.  This dreaded black corridor makes the person look like they have no teeth on that side when they smile, especially in photos!  Who wants that?  How is that “cosmetic/aesthetic?” All these patients above spent a lot of money on their smiles, significantly more than their insurances would ever cover.  Why would you not finish the case and get rid of that black corridor?  Until that is done right, it is not a “smile makeover”, but simply a few veneers on some teeth.
  2. Bulky.  Teeth are not bulky, why are so many veneers bulky?  They shouldn’t be.  It does not look real, and it is not good for the teeth.
  3. Shine through.  Meaning, you can see the prepared tooth shine through the porcelain.  Look at the last before and after.  Can you see the darkness in the middle of the two front teeth? That is of course ignoring the blackness of the back lower teeth and the black corridor on the top side.

Long story short, everyone is a cosmetic dentist, but if you are going to invest in your smile, why not see someone who has the experience to give you a result that really can be called a Smile Makeover?

Most of our Smile Makeovers are Smile Redoes.  Who wants to go through this whole process twice, not to mention pay twice?

That is what being an Accredited Cosmetic Dentist is all about.  Having the experience to do it right the first time!

EVERYBODY seems to be a Cosmetic Dentist…Here is the Scary Truth

You have an accident and get a facial laceration – a big cut across your cheek.  Where do you go to get that fixed?  A General Surgeon?  No, a Plastic Surgeon.

You have a bad case of acne, nothing seems to make it better.  You want the best and right treatment. Where do you go? Your regular MD? No, a Dermatologist.

You have a heart condition that concerns you. You want the best treatment possible. Where do you go? Your regular MD? No, a Cardiologist.

The list goes on and on, and everyone knows the answers, they are common sense. Or are they?  Let’s look at another example:

You have an accident and break off your front teeth.  Or, you just plain want the most beautiful smile possible.  Where do you go?  Your regular Dentist? No, a Cosmetic Dentist.


The same principles apply as with all the other examples.  You want someone that has the expertise, experience, and training to deliver the best possible result.

I still have yet to meet a dentist that is not a self proclaimed cosmetic dentist!

So, what do you do?

So, if you want to have the most beautiful smile possible or just need to repair a cosmetic issue on your teeth, where do you go?  Ideal Dentistry.

You would be surprised how many patients come to me dissatisfied with cosmetic dentistry they just spent a lot of money for.  It is very sad.  Going through all that time and spending all that money to not be completely thrilled with the result.  What a waste.  Now it will cost more time and money to fix.  Plus, the situation is complicated by the fact that someone else has worked on the teeth and tissue, possibly making the situation even more complicated.  It would be so much easier for even an accredited cosmetic dentist to treat the situation first, rather than be the fix-it guy.

Cost is always an issue.  Everybody wants a good deal, including myself.  How much more expensive is it to do it right the first time?  Well, in short, not much at all.  The cost of redoing it or just not being happy with it is much more!  Just like all the examples above, cost should not be the determining factor when deciding such important issues as your smile – the gateway to your soul (shared equally with your eyes!).  The difference in cost is not as much as you might think!

So, the next time you consider cosmetic dentistry, think about the examples above, do your online research and find out for yourself why you would be better off with an accredited cosmetic dentist.  Your smile is too important to be experimented on!