Cosmetic Dentistry Blog Cosmetic and General Dentistry Questions Answered

August 10, 2017

This cosmetic bonding went bad


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Dear Dr. Hall,

I recently had four of my front teeth bonded. My two very front teeth overlapped one another slightly and the dentist ground down both of them. The lateral teeth were set back in my mouth, and those are filled out to make it look more like a normal arc. My teeth are very uncomfortable and sharp feeling inside where he did the grinding down of the teeth. In other words, he “sacrificed” the one front tooth by grinding down the side of it in order to make the other front tooth look straighter. In addition, he also made the teeth a shade that is yellowish to “blend in”, no matter how much I protested. I have had such terrible regrets about doing this. I wish I could go back to the way my teeth were before the work because they were still intact and not damaged as they are now. I know there is no going back but would love your opinion on my options at this point. I have also had a problem at the gum line for a couple of years now, with there being a gap that has had to be bonded a couple of times before this work was done. I went with the bonding because I did not want to do anything drastic, but in fact that is what I had happen. I would like my teeth to be whiter and also not have that “damaged” feel to the back and sides of them. They were ground down quite a bit. I am very upset and this dentist is very difficult to deal with. I know this is rambling but if you have any advice for me, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your time and assistance.

Sincerely,
Alani from Washington

Alani,
Your explanation of what happened is clear enough that I can help you with what to do from here.

This type of cosmetic bonding work is really beyond the ability of, I would estimate, 98% of general family dentists. It requires some artistic sensitivity, stocking a variety of dental bonding materials beyond the ordinary inventory that most dentists have on hand, and a fair amount of training and experience beyond dental school in shaping, coloring, and polishing the dental bonding materials, besides the shaping of the teeth.

I would need a photograph to see exactly what went wrong here, but I can tell enough to be able to say, with a fair level of confidence, that you aren’t going to get a pleasing result from this dentist. This is not to disparage him. I imagine he did the best he could and the work is probably up to the standard of care for general dentists. Your case was just over his head.

The good news is that there are a couple of excellent cosmetic dentists in Washington who are not too far from you. Go into our find a cosmetic dentist directory, type in your zip code, and it will pull up the recommended cosmetic dentists near you, either of which I’m confident could get you an attractive, comfortable result.
– Dr. Hall

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Click here to ask Dr. Hall a question of your own.

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.

June 26, 2017

A couple of tips for selecting your new dentist

Filed under: Choosing a cosmetic dentist — Tags: , — mesasmiles @ 3:24 pm

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Dear Dr. Hall,

I was wondering if you could tell me what is the best way to find the right dentist. I find it to be hard because every dentist requires taking x-rays and by the time you find the right one a person could end up with lots of x-rays done. Is there way around this?
Thank you for your time
Grace from California

Grace,
I have a couple of suggestions for you, to check out a new dentist without getting more x-rays.

The first—check reviews.

There is a lot of information available online about dental practices, especially online reviews. If you go to Google Maps and search for the dentist, you can find his or her Google reviews. Yelp is another good reviews source. Facebook is a third.

The second—ask for a complimentary visit.

Most dental offices will let you have a complimentary visit if you ask for one. Just tell them you are trying to decide whether to pick this person as your new dentist and you want to come in, get an office tour, and meet people. Many offices will even let you sit down with the dentist for a few minutes and ask questions. But if not, they will at least let you come in and talk to some people on the staff and shake hands with the dentist. A few offices may not want to accommodate you in that way, but you probably wouldn’t want to pick them anyway. Visiting the office will give you a good feel for what the practice is like and whether or not you feel comfortable there.

I hope these tips are helpful.

Of course, if I’m wanting to find a cosmetic dentist near me, that’s what this website is for. I would just click the link, enter my city or zip code, and a list of dentists will display. But you seem to be asking for finding a general family dentist.

Dr. Hall

Do you have a comment or a question or anything else to add? We’d love to hear from you. Enter your comment below.

Click here to ask Dr. Hall a question of your own.

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.

April 4, 2016

Best cosmetic dentist near Huntsville, AL

Filed under: Choosing a cosmetic dentist — Tags: , — mesasmiles @ 7:52 am

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Dr. Hall,
Can you recommend the best cosmetic dentist near Huntsville, Alabama? I’m not happy with the options my dentist is giving me.
– Mary from Alabama

Mary,
It’s very simple to find my recommended cosmetic dentist. Just go to my “Find a cosmetic dentist” page, type in “Huntsville, AL,” and click “Submit.” If you want to, you can put in a mileage range for how far you are willing to travel, but you don’t even have to do that.
In Huntsville, I recommend Dr. Steve Murphree. I’ve checked out his credentials, interviewed him over the phone, and seen photos of his work, and he is excellent.
– Dr. Hall

Do you have a comment? We’d love to hear from you. Enter your comment below.

Click here to ask Dr. Hall a question of your own.

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.

June 18, 2012

Some expert tips on bleaching your teeth

Dr. Hall,
I have received various answers on retouching my bleached teeth with Opalescence PF used with trays. I want to do this before deciding on the color for crowns. I used 20%.

  1. How long should I touch-up (for example, 1 week, 2 weeks)?
  2. How many hours each day (1 hr., 2 hours, or 3 hours)?
  3. Is it necessary to stop whitening a certain length of time before appointment (not necessary, 1 week, 2 weeks)?

Cathy from Texas

Cathy,
There is no real fixed answer on how long you should touch up with Opalescence 20% PF or any other brand of bleaching gel, and I’m concerned if you’re having these crowns done by a dentist who can’t answer these questions for you. I would have to see your teeth, know a little of the history, and know how white you want them. Is this really the dentist you want giving you a new smile? Is this a dentist with an engineering mentality who has little passion for appearance-related dentistry and who will leave you with a well-fitting smile that looks very mediocre – kind of like the photo on our home page? Or is your dentist a true artist, one of the 1-2% minority of dentists who will actually give you a beautiful smile?

Here’s the deal on teeth whitening and how much to do it. No one has found a real limit on how much you can whiten your teeth. The longer you whiten, the whiter they get. The pace of whitening slows the more you do it, but the teeth keep getting whiter. So if you were my patient and had questions like this, I would ask questions like how satisfied you are with the current color, how much you bleached them before, have the teeth darkened much since you first had them whitened, and then how much work you are willing to go through to get them to what you would consider to be their ideal whiteness.

And the amount of time each day you should whiten depends on whether or not you are getting sensitivity from the bleaching gel. Do them as long as you can, is the bottom line, as long as you’re not having any sensitivity. Now if you are sleeping, your saliva flow goes way down and the bleaching gel will stay in the trays much longer. One application should last through the night. You don’t need a gel that is specifically designed for nighttime use – they all contain peroxide. During the day, depending on how tightly your trays fit, saliva will get into the trays and wash out the gel, and you’ll need to keep replenishing it. You do need a minimum period of 20-30 minutes for the gel to soak into the tooth. Beyond that, the more the better.

The one fixed answer that I can give you is how long to stop whitening before any color-matching is done on the new crowns. The whitening is accomplished by the peroxide gel releasing tiny bubbles of pure oxygen within your tooth, and the oxygen oxidizes the stains and darker colors. Once you’ve completed the bleaching, you need to give time for those little oxygen bubbles to disperse in order to get a true color for the teeth, and that takes a couple of weeks. Now if you are doing eight front teeth, the color of the back teeth and the lower teeth doesn’t need to really match – it just needs to be close – and a week would be enough time to wait. But if you need an exact color match of a front tooth with a crown matched to another front tooth with natural enamel, you need to wait the full two weeks.

So what I’ve answered goes beyond simple teeth whitening touch-up. Once your teeth are whitened to the degree you want, then there is a certain amount of teeth whitening relapse that you will have, as the teeth pick up stains from your food – coffee, tea, berries, fruit juices, etc. But whitening for two or three days maybe an hour a day and doing that once every year or two should take care of that and enable you to maintain that bright white bleached color.

But again, I’m quite worried about what kind of work is going to be done on you. An excellent cosmetic dentist would have brought up this subject with you when the case was treatment-planned and would have covered all these points. Do NOT rely on the claims of a dentist about being a cosmetic dentist, or advertising. The problem with the dentists who don’t do very good appearance-related dentistry is that they aren’t artistically inclined and they are blind to their own shortcomings in this area. Dentists with strong academic credentials, dentists who are prosthodontic specialists, and dentists with “high standing” among other dentists can be particularly problematic. They may do highly functional, long-lasting dentistry with absolutely no artistic taste. Be careful.

Dr. Hall

Link: Click here to read our page about the home teeth bleaching procedure.

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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.

December 20, 2011

I have a HUGE tooth gap. What are my options? Not Lumineers, please!

Dr. Hall,
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.
thanks again.
-Phyllis, from Flint, MI

Phyllis,
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.

Good luck,
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.

September 18, 2011

Looking for a cosmetic dentist in Indonesia

dear, i desperately looking for a dentist nearest my city/my country,iam women,36,a business woman. i need to makeover my smile,i have tetracycline tooth but not so bad,years ago dentist told me to do full veneer or crown that i refused to do,today i heard about lumineers but a doc says i had to braces my tooth before..about 1 year ahead.it seem long time .i just need to cover neck of my teeth with composite bonding but need a good trained dentist around jakarta or other country around south east asia cos my work make me travel often.can you suggest few names of dentist nearest my country ,hope you kindly give me their contact number/addresses.i’ll really appreciate and thank full.i am waiting so long to take decision since i also afraid of being dissapointed about the resultof my apperance if i got untrained cosmetic dentist who are many in around us but just announced by him/her self. from Indonesia.

Megan,
Maybe two out of every hundred dentists in the United States are good at appearance-related dentistry. When you go into some of these foreign contries, it’s much much tougher to find good cosmetic dentists.

We have a handful of world-renowned cosmetic dentists in Denmark, in Dubai, in Melbourne, in a couple of places in India, and in southern Brazil. With these other countries, I think you’re just going to have to lower your expectations somewhat. But at the same time, I urge you to be very careful, because covering tetracycline stain is very difficult. Ask the dentist to show you pictures of a tetracycline case he or she has treated before to see if they have experience at this.

Here are two dentists in Indonesia who are members of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, meaning they travel to the United States for training at these AACD annual meetings. This is at least an indication that they have been exposed to advanced cosmetic techniques and are interested in becoming skillsful cosmetic dentists. I would ask lots of questions and ask to see photographs of their work and ask to talk to previous patients, because of the uncertainty involved. But here are their names.

I have no knowledge of these dentists or their work, but these are two dentists who have been general members of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry:
Adrie Limen, DDS
Jl Tebet Raya #30 AB
Jakarta, 12810 INDONESIA
62-21-7278-0585
FAX: 62-8294236
General Member Print Profile
Doctor • Member Since 2006
Send an Email

——————————————————————————–

Charlius Tjiptarahardja, DDS
Kapuas 10
Surabaya, 602 65 INDONESIA
011-6231-5677-209
FAX: 011-6231-5666-610
General Member Print Profile
Doctor • Member Since 2008
Send an Email

That is where I would start. I make no promises about what kind of work they do. I only state that your chances are better going to one of these two than going to just anybody.
Dr. Hall

Click here to find an excellent cosmetic dentist in the United States.

 

 

We thank our advertisers who help fund this site.

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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