Cosmetic Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and General Dentistry Questions Answered

April 3, 2019

No, these weren’t really da Vinci crowns

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My dentist sold me da Vinci crowns for my front teeth. He said they had to be made by da Vinci in California because they had found they did the best work. I waited a long time and they finally said they had come in the mail, so I went in that day to get them placed. Anyway, they weren’t happy with them and said they were going to have to get them worked on a little. To my surprise a “man from the lab” showed up in the door to take the teeth and work on them. I saw him. Now I am in Tennessee and the lab is in California. I don’t think he flew in that fast to work on my teeth. Why would the sell me da Vinci teeth made only in a lab in California then have the work done in this area? This area has never made any teeth that suited me. I told them that. Damn. I think I have a problem no matter what you tell me!

– Charlene from Tennessee

It does sound like there is some funny business going on here. While it is possible that your dentist had the laboratory work done at da Vinci and then had a local technician do modifications, that doesn’t seem likely to me, since the local technician would charge extra where da Vinci would make adjustments for free.

But your question gives me an opportunity to say something about dental laboratories in general and da Vinci Dental Studios in particular. When I was practicing in Iowa and was getting into top level aesthetic work, I tried to find a dental laboratory in Iowa that would help me create beautiful smile makeovers. I couldn’t find one, so I ended up sending my smile makeover work to da Vinci. I did that for several years, but at one point it seemed to me that da Vinci was going through some upheavals, so I switched. Uri Yarovesky was one of the partners at da Vinci, and he split off to form his own laboratory, Opus One. I began sending my work to him, and was extremely pleased with the work he and his associates did for me.

In my opinion, the vast majority of dental laboratories don’t have ceramists with the artistic talent required to create a beautiful smile makeover. But I wouldn’t say that da Vinci is the best in that department. Yes, they are very good. And they have a name that lends itself to their branding as a dental laboratory that produces beautiful work. But they are a large laboratory, and not every ceramist there is what I would call a master ceramist. During the years I used them, while most of their work was truly beautiful, I got some cases from them that I wasn’t happy with and had to send back. And the very best cosmetic dentists usually have a very close relationship with a master ceramist working out of a small dental laboratory. And I will add that those master ceramists often have fees considerably higher than da Vinci.

Back to your situation. There are some very mediocre cosmetic dentists who advertise that they place da Vinci crowns and veneers. As I said, da Vinci is a fairly large dental laboratory and, unlike some master ceramists, will accept work from just about any dentist. Don’t be fooled thinking this is going to give you a beautiful smile. It’s not that easy. A great dental laboratory cannot make up for the deficiencies of a mediocre dentist, which is why many master ceramists are picky about the dentists they will work with. Larger labs like da Vinci are also picky in that their top ceramists will work with the big name cosmetic dentists, and they will refer the “lesser” dentists to their other ceramists.

Bottom line for all our readers—if a dentist advertises that he or she places da Vinci crowns or veneers, take that claim with a grain of salt. Not only is da Vinci no guarantee that you’ll end up with a beautiful smile, it sounds like you don’t even have a guarantee that the dentist will actually send the work to da Vinci.

– Dr. Hall

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About David A. Hall

Dr. David Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does complete Internet marketing for dentists.

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