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

Charlene,
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.

February 27, 2018

Another porcelain veneer horror story


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Hello Dr. Hall,
I have had 6 veneers done on my top teeth. They are too bulky and not natural looking.

When I first started the process I was very clear with the lab and the dentist what I wanted. He sent back the first set because they were too bulky yet continued to use the same lab. At this point most of this was paid for so it wasn’t like I could have just gone somewhere else. It was all very rushed. There was no style guide whatsoever provided either. I really tried to be patient and put my trust in this dentist professionally. He was nice and everything but that is totally irrelevant.

The day of the cementing I was totally stressed with this whole process and when they held up the veneers for me to see they kept falling out making it impossible to make a proper judgment call. I was unsure about it but they kept telling me that they could make adjustments after. Which was untrue. They were not able to, hence me reaching out to you.

I have tried for the last month or so to get a hold of the dentist, asking for a refund and I’m being avoided it seems. Any advice would be so appreciated, how do I get my refund? I’ve cried so much over this, literally. It’s my teeth not a haircut—teeth don’t grow back after all.
– Leanne from Toronto, Ontario

Leanne,
Your basic problem is that the vast majority of dentists, while they may know in theory how to place porcelain veneers, don’t have the artistic inclinations to do a smile makeover. At the same time, most dental laboratories, while they know the mechanics of making the porcelain veneers, don’t know enough about the artistic aspects of the work to do a smile makeover.

So you go in to this dentist and you say you want porcelain veneers, and he thinks he can do this and thinks his regular dental lab that he uses for crowns can do this. When the first set came back completely inadequate, he’s not going to sour this long-standing relationship with the lab by demanding a refund and switching labs.

Every excellent cosmetic dentist has had a first smile makeover. I had mine, and I will tell you honestly that I wasn’t proud of how it turned out. But I have learned over the years in talking with hundreds of cosmetic dentists that the excellent cosmetic dentists have a fundamental difference in attitude in that they will not be satisfied unless the patient is excited with the result, and they will go through whatever expense or work they have to until the result is beautiful and makes the patient happy. You will never have what happened to you, where they pressure you to accept the result. In my case, my first smile makeover patient was borderline satisfied with the result and didn’t object to my bonding the veneers. But the teeth didn’t have any sparkle, and when she came back for a checkup I told her that her results weren’t good enough, that I didn’t want a mediocre smile out there attributed to me, and I re-did them with a different lab completely at my expense. I have learned since that this is what all of the really good cosmetic dentists will do.

So your dentist, because he lacked this commitment to your satisfaction, either didn’t bother to learn about try-in pastes or decided to skip that step so that you weren’t able to see for yourself how this would turn out before they were bonded. And now, rather than wanting to fix it, he doesn’t want to be bothered.

To get satisfaction and to hopefully get a refund, you’re going to need to get an excellent cosmetic dentist on your side. We’re a little thin on recommended cosmetic dentists in the Toronto area, but we do have Dr. Goodlin there. I would go to him for an opinion, and see if he will work with you to try to get a refund from your dentist. A call from one dentist to another can be very persuasive. Your legal leverage in this case, unfortunately, isn’t that great if the veneers have stayed on and are functionally okay. Your dentist has probably met those two standards, which is how the profession at large will judge your case. Your best point to make, legally, is that you were pressured to have the veneers bonded on against your will with false promises. If you have to go to a lawyer to get enough pressure on this dentist to refund your money, that is the point your would want to make.

I wish you well and hope you end up getting the beautiful smile you thought you paid for. And a tip for others in your situation—even though you have paid for the work, you can switch to another dentist at any point. A dentist is ethically obligated to help facilitate that change, for whatever reason you feel you need to switch.
– 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.

February 5, 2018

My dentist wants to give me CEREC veneers


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Dr. Hall
I’m about to have CEREC veneers done by a dentist I’ve used very little. He has told me that he does 1.5mm veneers, and that, after research, seems very thick.

I’m not sure of his abilities, and CEREC takes a magician to do correctly and natural.

Should I reconsider?
– Terry from Aurora, Colorado

I wrote back to Terry and asked this:

Terry,
Who’s the dentist? That makes all the difference in the world!
Only about 1-2% of dentists are artistic enough to create a beautiful smile makeover.
So who’s the dentist? That’s the key question – not what material he’s using or how thick.
Dr. Hall

Whereupon he wrote back and gave me his name. Let’s not use the dentist’s real name—let’s call him Dr. Doe. So I responded with this:

Terry,
That’s very helpful.
It’s tough to find out any information about Dr. Doe—no website, no Yelp reviews. His Facebook page tells me nothing useful, no Angie’s List reviews.
I also checked databases that I have of institutions that train dentists in smile makeovers, and cannot find him listed anywhere.
Bottom line—highly risky. Especially given that he wants to make these veneers with a CEREC. There are some dentists who can do that, but this is harder than using a ceramist and requires an exceptional amount of skill. So not finding him among the alumni of these training institutions is troubling. He may be doing that to save money—he doesn’t want to pay a ceramist.

And you have to realize that if you get a smile makeover and end up hating how it looks, you have no legal recourse. As long as the veneers meet the standard of care—they stay on the teeth and function all right—the legal standard of care does not require you to like how they look.

Use one of our recommended cosmetic dentists. We have a couple in the Denver area, and either one could give you a beautiful smile makeover.

I have a bad feeling about Dr. Doe.

– Dr. Hall

And Terry responded:

Dr. Hall, thank you very much for doing the informative research. Even though not much was found, it was enough for me to reconsider my decision, and will give one of your recommended dentists a call, and mention your name.
I appreciate your time, of course your effort, thanks for everything.
– Terry

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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.

February 3, 2018

My mouth seems to be collapsing


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Hi Dr. Hall,
I really hope you can help me.
I am not sure if my issue is related to my lips, teeth or jaw but I absolutely can’t stand my smile. It feels very forced to be able to show my upper teeth. When my mouth is in repose it is just empty space and you cannot see my teeth (especially my upper) and it makes me extremely self-conscious.
I also have jaw pain and wear a night guard and when I wear it my mouth feels more comfortable and I feel like it supports my lips better. It also gives an impression of upper tooth show that I would very much like. I also find I have difficult pronouncing certain words especially when it’s cold, almost as if my jaw tighten and I can’t open it properly to speak. P and T words are especially uncomfortable.

Are my only options veneers? Do I even have any options?

It’s very frustrating for me. I can attach pictures as well if need be.
– Laura from Toronto

Laura,
You’re going to need to be very careful how your proceed here, and if a dentist has told you that porcelain veneers will solve your problem, I would find another dentist. While that could help with your appearance, it could exacerbate your other problems—the jaw pain and trouble with pronunciation.

It sounds to me like you’ve worn your teeth down, making you overclosed. This could cause TMJ disorder, which would be characterized by jaw pain and possible tightness in your jaw. The fact that you feel better wearing a nightguard lends credence to that diagnosis, but you’ll need an examination by a dentist trained in TMJ therapy to confirm that.

The needed treatment, unfortunately, is likely to be extensive—probably a full-mouth reconstruction.

The problem is finding a dentist you can trust to do this. This is way beyond the capability of your average family dentist. I would look for a dentist with advanced training from one of three institutes:

  • The Pankey Institute in Florida
  • The Dawson Academy, also in Florida
  • The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies

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.

January 12, 2018

My teeth look splotchy after my bonding was removed


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Dr. Hall
I had extensive bonding on teeth to improve some wear and chips. I hated it as it felt bulky and I couldn’t speak properly. I had it removed but my teeth have been left patchy and discoloured. My dentist and the one she referred me to for another opinion both tell me it’s my natural teeth and I just hadn’t seen it before. I’m devastated as feel my teeth have been damaged.
– Marie from the UK

Marie,
I can’t fully tell what has happened to you without seeing your case personally, but I can make a good guess based on what you are telling me.

It sounds like you are in the hands of a basic general dentist who doesn’t know enough about cosmetic dentistry to give you a beautiful smile, and there are two things that were done wrong.

The first is that your bonding made your teeth bulky, so much so that it interfered with your speech. Dental bonding should never add significantly to the bulk of the teeth. That doesn’t produce an attractive appearance, plus it can interfere with speech, and it could create food traps that can lead to either tooth decay or gum disease. I don’t understand, if you’re just dealing with wear and chips, why you would need any bulk at all added to your teeth—the dentist should be able to just fill in the chips and replace tooth structure that has worn away. Look at the photographs of dental bonding work on this website. None of them look bulky at all.

The second mistake was in removing the bonding. While some dentists who lack confidence in their cosmetic dentistry skills will tell patients that dental bonding is a reversible procedure because it can simply be ground off if you decide you don’t like it, that may not be as easy as it sounds, especially in the hands of a basic general dentist. So the dentist starts grinding off the composite bonding and stops when he or she hits the enamel. But the composite looks just like the enamel, so how do they know when it stops? In this process, it is very easy to believe that your dentist may have removed a small amount of the enamel of your teeth. I don’t know—I’m just guessing. But you clearly know that they don’t look the same as they did. Of course she’s going to want to tell you that this is how your teeth were. And as far as the dentist she referred you to, there is no way for that dentist to tell you how your teeth used to look or whether any enamel was removed. Your complaint is very credible to me. If your teeth were always splotchy, that would have been your chief complaint and the reason you got the bonding, and you would certainly know it.

A good cosmetic dentist would have taken “before” photographs, and there would be no argument then about how your teeth looked before the work was started.

So what do you do now? I would go to an expert cosmetic dentist and either have this bonding done correctly or go with porcelain veneers, which will be the much more durable and cost-effective alternative. You should be able to get a beautiful smile out of this. We have an excellent cosmetic dentist listed in London, and I see by the city you mentioned that you are just outside of London. He should be able to take care of this for you.

I think your leverage for a claim against your current dentist is rather weak, because of the lack of documentation of what you are saying. Maybe you can get some kind of refund from her, but it seems to me that this would be entirely voluntary on her part.

– 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 4, 2017

Wanting a cheap way to fix tetracycline stains


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I have terrible Tetracycline stains and thinking about Veneers, I am curious if the they cover just the front of the tooth?
Also, I am 60 years old and really want a nice smile before I pass on, not wealthy at all. Are there any dental schools that do work with interns?
Thanks
Tony from Louisiana

Tony,
Porcelain veneers cover the fronts of the teeth, but in the case of tetracycline-stained teeth, they need to wrap around the teeth somewhat in order to completely cover the very dark stain of tetracycline.

As far as the cost, you are in for potentially serious trouble if you are looking for cut-rate porcelain veneers. Covering tetracycline stains is a very demanding cosmetic dentistry procedure and I wouldn’t consider going to any dentist who would charge less than about $1000-1200 per tooth for this. I would absolutely not go to a dental school for this. Dental schools exist to teach the fundamental techniques of dentistry, not the artistry, and they are so ingrained with an engineering mentality that most dental school professors actually look down their noses at cosmetic dentists and procedures that patients want just to enhance their appearance. Also, not only would your “intern” be doing his or her first tetracycline case, but likely the instructor would also.

If you want to save money, the best way to do that is to do nothing. Otherwise, I would simply save up and have this done right. Make a selection from among the best cosmetic dentists in your area. Check out my recommendations in Lousiana–I list several excellent cosmetic dentists there. You want a dentist who has done several tetracycline cases and can show you beautiful before-and-after photographs of his or her results. Otherwise, your first attempt at having this done would probably end up being throwaway money, and then you would have to swallow hard and pay the full price to have your teeth re-done right. I have a huge stack of emails from patients who have made the mistake you’re contemplating making.

Another option for saving money without risking the need for expensive corrective work would be Kör whitening. I believe that Kör is the strongest whitening system available, and while it doesn’t whiten as much as some dentists claim, it could lighten your stains considerably for a fraction of the cost of porcelain veneers and without the risk of needing later expensive corrective work.

– 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.

November 14, 2016

Will Medicaid cover porcelain veneers for me?

Filed under: Dental insurance — Tags: , , , — mesasmiles @ 8:33 am

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Dr. Hall,
I’m a cancer survivor and am on Medicaid. I’ve been bulimic since I was 15. I’m now 52. I had porcelain veneers done in 1987 and have loved them! my problem now is my upper gums have receded due to the bulimia and the cancer. Will Medicaid cover veneers since my problem is due to a medical problem?
– Terri from Texas

Terri,
Unfortunately, Medicaid is designed to cover only the cheapest treatment that will solve any given problem, and with the cheapest materials. And at that, they never pay the provider the full fee. So you have all those obstacles.

In the minds of the architects of Medicaid, the problem with your teeth could be solved by extracting all your natural teeth and providing you with removable dentures. That they would cover. That is assuming that they buy your reasoning that this is actually a manifestation of a medical problem.

But even if they did cover porcelain veneers, they would not cover beautiful porcelain veneers. For dental procedures, they are now paying about one-third to one-half of typical fee schedules. From the start, that will cut out practically any dentist who provides quality cosmetic dentistry. And then for the dentist who is willing to take a case like that, he or she will be looking for any possible way to cut corners and deliver some type of veneer. Unfortunately, that is the state of Medicaid in the country. And still the program is going broke trying to make ends meet.

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.

June 23, 2016

Follow-up on trouble speaking with new veneers


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This is a follow-up to the previous post, where Susan emailed Dr. Hall telling about problems she was having speaking with her new porcelain veneers.

Susan commented at the bottom of the post:

Thank you for the reply. I think I am going thru a bad nightmare. After complaining about my speech and bite, the dentist took off the front four permanent veneers, to replace them. As he was taking them off he broke #9 [the upper left central incisor] after which I had to have the tooth pulled and an implant put in. I am currently 2 months with the implant temporary. I have to wait three months for it to heal. I asked him to make a matrix of the temporary veneers and the final veneers to see what is wrong. He said all the molars are each side were made too short and the lab made the mistake by using my original bite. Right now I have 9 temporaries in my mouth with the implant. He didn’t replace the 1st molars because he claims they are fine. My temporary veneers were 12.4 length for #9 and #10. Now they 11.8 and hitting my lip. Could it be those back 1st molars being too short? Or should I just run and find a new dentist?

And here is my answer:

Susan,

Again, I do have to qualify what I answer here by saying that not being able to see exactly what is going on, I may be missing something, but I CAN tell that something isn’t right here.

The molars being made too short—that would definitely explain your speech problems. But passing the mistake off onto the lab saying they used the wrong bite? No, that doesn’t work for me. It’s not the lab’s fault. The dentist gives instructions to the lab and the issue isn’t your bite, it’s the vertical dimension. And that has the potential to cause long-term problems. It is called bite collapse. You absolutely need to have your bite opened to its original position. What is starting out as just speech problems can easily progress to TMJ disorder with possible chronic headaches and jaw pain.

Cases like yours where the vertical dimension is altered need to be approached with great care, and a dentist needs more training than what they receive in dental school to pull this off. The dentist will replicate your bite on a machine called an articulator where he or she can carefully study all your bite movements. He or she will establish a vertical dimension by testing it in your mouth with temporary restorations, and then will send your case to the laboratory on the articulator with careful instructions on how to reconstruct your mouth.

And then I’m aghast at what happened to your front tooth. When you take off veneers, the way to do that is to grind them off. You can’t “pop them off” or remove them in any way like that if they’re bonded on properly. They become like a second enamel and the only way is to grind them off, which is a gentle process that is similar to preparing the teeth in the first place. I am again suspecting that he didn’t actually do porcelain veneers but did porcelain crowns and called them veneers. But even then, with front teeth, crowns should also be ground off, and there is no excuse for breaking a tooth.

I would not let this dentist touch your teeth any more—this is getting worse every time he sees you.
Actually, I do know an excellent cosmetic dentist in northern New Jersey. I will send you the name. I know her personally and have absolute confidence in her. She is AACD-accredited, which is no mean achievement, and a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry, and I believe she is one of the best cosmetic dentists in the entire state.

A couple of additional points:
1. You need to get tough with this dentist. As I said, not seeing your case personally I’m at a little bit of a disadvantage, but based on what you are telling me he has violated the standard of care and is very vulnerable legally. He seems to have got in way over his head and has done multiple things wrong. If I were you I would call him and say that you’re going to be nice and not take him to court where you could sue him out the wazoo, but to avoid that he needs to pay for everything that this new dentist needs to do to fix you up. Go to the new dentist first, confirm the details of what has been done wrong, and then confront him.
2. I can’t imagine that your bite and vertical dimension are the only problems with your case. You haven’t said anything about how your teeth look, but it is rare for functional incompetence in dentistry to be blended with artistic excellence. In my mind’s eye right now I can’t imagine that you have a beautiful smile. But based on what you have told me, your case needs to be completely re-done. That is your silver lining. The new dentist, in re-doing this, can give you a beautiful smile.

– 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.

June 15, 2016

My composite bonding is turning yellow


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Hello Dr. Hall, 9 months ago I had dental bonding done on my four front teeth. There is quite a bit of composite on each tooth because I have been re-doing it every 3 or 4 years for 20 years. My question to you is, I see a bit of yellowing, is it possible to just polish them to try and whiten them again since they were done just 9 months ago? Thank you for your time!
– Linda from New Jersey

Linda,
One of the big differences between composite bonding and porcelain veneers is that the porcelain is very hard and stain-resistant (it resists stains better than tooth enamel), and composite is much softer and much more susceptible to stains, so it has a much shorter lifespan.

The good news is that with the composite bonding, usually those stains can be polished out, depending on the type of stains.

Composite is susceptible to two types of staining. The first type, the type that can be polished away, is a surface discoloration. The surface of the composite will get tiny scratches in it and become roughened which causes it to attract stains of all kinds. A good polishing will get rid of the scratches and the accompanying stain and restore gloss to the surface. Below is an example of this type of staining. You can see that the surface of the two front teeth has a matte finish from all the tiny scratches, as contrasted with the gloss of the adjacent natural teeth:

dental bonding with yellow staining

Photo courtesy of Dr. Robert Soto, San Francisco, CA

But composite will also absorb stains into the actual substance of the material. Composite is composed of inorganic filler particles such as quartz or glass bound together in a plastic matrix. Certain colored liquids, such as coffee, tea, cola drinks, or highly pigmented fruit juices, will actually penetrate the plastic part of the material and become a part of it.

dental bonding stained yellow

Photo courtesy of Dr. Mark W. Langberg, Southfield, MI

This type of stain will not come out with polishing. But this staining also occurs more slowly and can take a couple of years to become noticeable. At the right is an example of this type of staining. You can see that the composite has retained its gloss. The discoloration is coming from deep within, as stains have been absorbed by the material.

Preventing This Staining

There are several preventive measures you can take to get the bonding to keep its nice appearance for longer.
1. First, choose an expert cosmetic dentist who stocks a full inventory of esthetic bonding materials. General dentists will typically stock general purpose composites that are actually impossible to polish to the high gloss needed to resist stain and look like enamel. The surface of the bonding should be a microfill composite that is polished to a high shine.
2. Second, don’t use an abrasive toothpaste. While Supersmile toothpaste is quite a bit more expensive than your typical Crest, Colgate, or other drugstore brand, those general brands have abrasives in them that will scratch the surface of your bonding. Some of the abrasives are worse than others. I always provided my bonding patients with a first free tube of Supersmile, because it has no abrasives but rather lifts stains off by chemically dissolving the protein pellicle on the teeth.
3. Third, make sure your dental hygienist is polishing your teeth with a very fine abrasive. Pumice tooth polish is a big no-no. She or he should be using a fine aluminum oxide polish. Ask for this. (See my web page giving tips for maintenance of dental bonding.)
3. Fourth, beware of staining beverages. If you need to drink them, swallow them quickly rather than letting them sit in your mouth. And remember that hot beverages have more staining power than cold ones because they cause a slight expansion of the plastic, opening up microscopic pores that can be penetrated with the stain.

Finally, I would seriously consider switching to porcelain veneers. I don’t know how much your dentist is charging for this bonding, but dentists who do it well will charge quite a bit. Which costs more–doing composite bonding six times over 20 years, or doing porcelain veneers once for those same 20 years? Porcelain veneers done by an expert cosmetic dentist can easily look beautiful for 20 years. Porcelain is harder than tooth enamel and more stain-resistant. But go to an expert cosmetic dentist for porcelain veneers–don’t ask your family dentist to do this.

– 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.

March 28, 2016

How Donald Trump got his smile makeover

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Does Donald Trump have porcelain veneers? Yes, he does, and here’s the interesting story behind his getting them.

It was back a little more than 15 years ago that I heard this story from Dr. Larry Rosenthal, a prominent cosmetic dentist with offices just off Madison Avenue on Manhattan’s upper east side. I had gotten to know Larry when we worked together on the first Public Relations Committee of the AACD in 1994-95.

In one of his lectures that I attended, Larry told about Donald Trump coming to him for a smile makeover. Larry was famous as a “dentist to the stars,” doing many new smiles for famous models, actors, and actresses.

Dr. Rosenthal looked at Donald Trump’s teeth and then told him he needed a certain number of porcelain veneers for his smile makeover. I don’t remember the exact number. Let’s say it was ten. Trump said he didn’t want to do that many. Maybe he only wanted six. Again, I don’t remember the exact numbers here, only that he said he wanted to be significantly more conservative. Dr. Rosenthal was adamant that he didn’t want to do the case unless he could do it the way he wanted and insisted that he needed to do ten teeth or he didn’t want to take the case. So Trump walked out.

Donald called back later that day and scheduled an appointmentDonald Trump has porcelain veneers to get the work done.

When Dr. Rosenthal told this story, it gave me the impression that Donald Trump had actually thought over what Dr. Rosenthal had said and changed his mind about going forward. But knowing now what I know about The Donald, I am convinced that this was only a tactic that Trump had used to determine that Dr. Rosenthal was being straight with him. I’m confident, for example, that if Dr. Rosenthal had waffled and as Trump was getting ready to leave said, “You know, if you insist, we can do just the six teeth,” that Trump would not have gone forward. It was a negotiating strategy, walking out, to see exactly how strongly Dr. Rosenthal felt about it and if he was willing to lose him as a patient over it. Once he knew that, he trusted him.

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Donald Trump's smile makeover

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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