i wanted to know what would be the best way for me to take care of my problem. i have a really large gap in the front of my teeth. i have already seen a local dentist in flint because i wanted to get the snap on smile. i paid for the x rays and everything and the dentist sent everything in to the snap on smile company. then i get a call saying the snap on smile would not work in my case. i dont want to do braces so what do you feel is the best way for me? from what i can remember the last dentist said the size of the space between my teeth is 8mm to 10mm something like that. i have an appt to talk to another dentist about the lumineers to see if i could go that route. thank you for your time and i really hope you can save me some time and money and let me know what you think.
-Phyllis, from Flint, MI
I’m glad you wrote to me because you are headed for disaster. Stop with this plan of doing Lumineers. This could end up looking hideous, and that’s not even the worst part. The really bad part is, if the only problem with the work is that you don’t like how it looks, you won’t have any recourse. So you could end up stuck with an atrocious smile.
A gap of 8-10 millimeters is huge. That is enough space to fit one more whole tooth in there. This is no job for the dentist on the corner. Here are your options:
1. You said you don’t want to do braces. By that do you mean traditional braces? What about Invisalign invisible braces? Do you know anything about that, and is there are reason you wouldn’t want that? With a gap this large, that would be my number 1 recommendation. The invisible braces are clear plastic pieces that snap over your teeth – no metal brackets, and no one can tell that you’re wearing them because they are thin and clear. It would probably take a year to close your gap.
2. If for some reason you don’t want to do that, you truly need an expert cosmetic dentist. If you go to a dentist who advertises for Lumineers, as a general rule those dentists are not very good cosmetic dentists. The Lumineers material does not have the best coloring, and their lab tends to make the teeth kind of long and extra thick, so most good cosmetic dentists stay away from that brand of porcelain veneers. But there are other brands that work well. Don’t pick the brand of porcelain – the important thing is to get a truly artistic cosmetic dentist who has a lot of experience doing smile makeovers and let them use the material they feel the most comfortable with. Depending on how your teeth line up, it may be possible to fill in the gap and re-shape the other teeth so that it looks natural. But this is difficult to do, so you have to have a dentist with a lot more expertise than your family dentist on the corner or a dentist who simply advertises that they do cosmetic dentistry.
I just did a quick check of dentists who advertise as cosmetic dentists in Flint, MI, and you’ll have to be really careful here. I did not find one right off the bat that I would trust with a job like this. If that’s the route you want to go, let me know, and we can try to find one for you. But it’s possible, in a city like Flint, that there really aren’t any good cosmetic dentists. But we can look. Otherwise, you may be interested in driving to the Detroit area. There are several good cosmetic dentists there. Let me know.
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. 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 advanced internet marketing for dentists.
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