Tag Archives: AACD Accredited Dentist

Are CEREC Veneers Risky?

I plan on getting CEREC veneers, but I have not exactly used this dentist before. He told me that he generally makes porcelain veneers 1.55 mm. I have done some research and that seems a little thick to me. Should I reconsider? I understand that the dentist who does the veneers could affect the outcome so I’ll tell you ahead of time, his name is [ name withheld ].

Patricia,

Dear Patricia,

porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

I am very glad you wrote. Instead of saying “the dentist could affect the outcome”, I would say the dentist determines the outcome. He or she would be the key to the outcome of your smile makeover.

Doing CEREC veneers is much harder than doing traditional porcelain veneers using a master ceramist. In that case, the skill and training of the dentist becomes even more important. I looked up the dentist you mentioned to me. I started by looking at his website and I saw nothing that indicated any cosmetic training. That was a red flag. But, I went ahead and did some extra work and looked up the institutions that do the type of training he would need. He is listed on none of their alumni lists. Because of that, I am going to recommend you go a different direction.

If you are set on CEREC veneers then I suggest you go to a practice that has an AACD accredited dentist on their staff. Nothing less than that would give you the outcome that I believe you want.

Let’s say you go to a dentist to get a smile makeover and he or she does a terrible job. You will have no recourse. The standard of care is that it the results of the procedure are functional, not attractive. This is not what you are going for when you want a smile makeover. Therefore, you as a patient, as to be proactive and find the dentist who will not only care that you have a beautiful smile, but has the training and skills to provide them for you.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Forman and Thimmesch.

Getting White Teeth Fast

I had read on a dental blog similar to yours that over the counter Crest whitestrips actually works. I’ve been using them, but they seem to take forever. I want really white teeth, but need it faster because I have an event coming up. Is there a product for that?

Misty

Dear Misty,

Zoom Whitening Logo

While it is true that Crest Whitestrips really will whiten your teeth, the whitening gel concentration is pretty weak. That is why it is taking so long. It’s not Crest’s fault. Because they are over-the-counter, there are regulations on the strength they can use in order to protect patients.

If you are looking for something to get your teeth really white really fast, than I will suggest you see a dentist who offers Zoom Whitening. This is a procedure that you will do in-office and your teeth will be white in just one appointment. The gel is highly concentrated. Plus, there is a special light they use to activate the gel and kick the whitening process into gear. You’ll get remarkable results.

Make sure you ask for a take home tray so you can do upkeep and touchups in a year or so. That will save you money in the long run.

Getting a Complete Smile Makeover

single porcelain veneer being placed

Another option you have, if you’ve ever considered a total smile makeover is to get porcelain veneers. These use tiny wafers of porcelain that can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth simultaneosly. It is the go-to for Hollywood to get that celebrity smile they all seem to have.

It is quite an advanced procedure, though. You won’t want to let just any dentist do it. They need training, technical skill, and artistry. We have an AACD accredited dentist on our staff which means he is in the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the country. If you decide you want to go the complete makeover route, find one in your area. If you have to drive to a nearby city or state, it will be worth it.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Advice on Fixing One Crooked Tooth

I have one crooked tooth in the front that is well behind the other front tooth. So far behind you can barely see it. Dentists keep suggesting different things and I don’t know who to trust. One dentist said to get braces. Another suggested I just pull that tooth. Then there are all the pieces of advice in between. Would Invisalign even be a possibility for me?

Marie

Dear Marie,

Invisalign aligners
Invisalign Aligner

It used to be that Invisalign would only work on the more ideal cases. These days are different. Invisalign can work on all but the most complicated cases. Because of that, there is a great possibility that Invisalign will be a good solution for you.

They also have the added benefit of the aligners being able to double as teeth whitening trays, which means you can straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time, if that is something you are interested in.

Don’t let the dentist pull your tooth. First, if you left it as is, you would never look normal with a smile that is asymmetrical. If you wanted to replace the tooth with something like a dental implant, you would still need to open up the space with some type of orthodontics. In that case, why not keep your natural tooth structure?

If you decide not to go with Invisalign, another possibility is to use porcelain veneers. These will not actually straighten your teeth, but it will make them look straight,

Veneers are typically used by someone who wants a full smile makeover. That is because they can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth. If you decide to go that way, you will need an expert cosmetic dentist, like an AACD accredited dentist because your case is more complicated.

My suggestion, if the only thing that bothers you about your smile is that one crooked tooth, is to see a dentist who offers Invisalign. Let them examine you and they’ll be honest about whether or not you are a good candidate.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Invisalign or Porcelain Veneers

I had been saving up to give myself a smile makeover. I’d planned on porcelain veneers. There is not anything major wrong with my smile, but I heard porcelain veneers were the procedure to do for a smile makeover. When I met with my dentist he suggested I do Invisalign first and then get the porcelain veneers. I was under the impression you do one or the other. I don’t have a major orthodontic case, just one crooked tooth. My dentist suggested Lumineers, which I was fine with, but that confused me more because their advertisement said they can make crooked teeth look straight. What am I not understanding?

Olivia

Dear Olivia,

Invisalign aligners
Invisalign Aligners

I can understand your confusion. In general, unless as you said there is a major orthodontic case, the porcelain veneers can make your teeth look straight if the dentist is skilled enough to do it right. I am concerned that your dentist is not and that is why he is suggesting Invisalign first. The fact that he wants to place Lumineers reinforces my fears. That particular brand of porcelain veneers is highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists.

If you decide to go with porcelain veneers, you need to find a different dentist to do it. I would look for a practice that has an AACD Accredited Dentist on staff. That being said, I don’t think you actually need porcelain veneers.

Based on your description, it sounds like you are just wanting to whiten and brighten your teeth and change the appearance of that one crooked tooth. You could do that at a fraction of the cost of any brand of porcelain veneers using Invisalign.

Plus, the aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. This allows you to straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time. Now, if there are other things about your smile you want to change, such as their shape or chips, then, yes, spend the extra money on porcelain veneers (though I do not recommend the Lumineers brand). Just make sure you get them done right with an expert cosmetic dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

what is essential treatment?

I know during this time of quarantine that we all have to do our part. I’ve been doing very well and not going anywhere. Unfortunately, I took a spill down our stairs and ended up chipping a tooth. Would this be considered an essential treatment? I feel silly. I know it is just a chip but it is bugging me.

Camille

Dear Camille,

a before and after picture of dental bonding for a chipped tooth.

The CDC hasn’t listed what procedures and treatments are considered essential and what isn’t. For the most part, they expect us to avoid routine procedures. If it were just a cosmetic issue alone, I would say you would need to wait until the quarantine is over.

However, based on what you said, there is more to this than just cosmetics. You took a fall which caused the damage. There could be underlying trauma to the tooth which needs immediate treatment. Sometimes the ligament can be stretched and if you don’t splint the tooth you can end up with a tooth that comes loose. Other times, the trauma is so severe, the pulp of the tooth dies and you need a root canal treatment.

Under normal circumstances, I’d suggest you call your dentist and ask him to squeeze you in for an emergency dental appointment. In this case, the only appointments are for situations like yours.

If you’re going to need an emergency appointment. This is the perfect time!

Getting the Chipped Fixed

If it turns out there is not damage from the trauma that requires immediate treatment, then your dentist can likely go ahead and fix the chipped tooth. I mean…you’re already there.

The ideal solution for this is to have dental bonding done. You can see an example of that in the image above. I will warn you. It does take an expert cosmetic dentist. If your dentist isn’t one, my suggestion is you see him for the trauma. Then, once the virus calms down, see an AACD accredited dentist to do the bonding to repair the chip to your tooth.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

How white can I get my teeth?

I am trying to figure out how white I can get my teeth. Ideally, I’d like them to match my eyeballs. Is that possible?

Miranda

Dear Miranda,

I love it when I get questions that surprise me. This is one I’ve never encountered. Whether or not your teeth can match your eyeballs really depends upon how white your eyeballs are. There are limits to what teeth whitening can do. Though, you certainly can get them very white.

In general, when a patient is striving to match a certain color, we suggest they have porcelain veneers done. These can be more specifically designed to match certain colors. In addition to color, they can change the shape and size of your teeth as well. It is the go-to procedure that celebrities use to get their Hollywood smiles.

Even when patients do get porcelain veneers we always have them whiten their teeth first, this way if they have a smile that is ten teeth wide but only get six porcelain veneers, the adjacent teeth will blend in with the veneered teeth and not look out of place.

Who Should Do Your Cosmetic Work?

Here’s what I recommend. Start with the teeth whitening. That may be all you need. If you get the level of whitening you want, job done. Any dentist can do teeth whitening, even your family dentist.

If it doesn’t get to the color you want, then you’ll have to decide if you want to get a total smile makeover with porcelain veneers. This does require some rather specific training.

Unfortunately, cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty. That makes it hard for patients. Doing smile makeovers isn’t taught in dental school. The dentist has to seek post-doctoral training. The best cosmetic dentists are AACD accredited.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

cerec crowns on front teeth

I was in a car accident and damaged both my front teeth. I need to get crowns on them. I am trying to decide between regular crowns and CEREC crowns. Is one better than the other?

Benjamin

Dear Benjamin,

porcelain block for CEREC crown

CEREC crowns are made out of single block of porcelain. This will give it a very uniform look. This works fine on most teeth. However, our front teeth are much more visible and exposed to light.

Natural teeth aren’t uniform. Look at this image of a tooth directly below. There are varying levels of translucency and opaqueness depending on where you are on the tooth.

image of a tooth

When a dentist does a traditional crown, it is built in layers with varying shades of porcelain. This can make a crown look more natural. However, even then, you’d need an expert cosmetic dentist because this takes a high level of skill.

If you really want a CEREC crown, then having an expert cosmetic dentist is even more important. They need to have a high level of skill in color theory so they can use various stains to give it that variated look while keeping that natural translucency.

Cosmetic Considerations with Dental Crowns

The dental crown can be made to match your teeth exactly. However, the color is permanent. If you are happy with the color of your teeth, then you do not need to take any further steps. However, if you want your teeth any whiter, the time to take care of that is before having the crowns designed.

In that case, your first step is to have your teeth whitened. You can do that in one appointment if you see a dentist who does Zoom Whitening.

Then, give it a couple of weeks for the color to calm down. That’s when your dentist can match the permanent color for you.

When you’re talking about front teeth, whether you get a traditional or CEREC crown, you will need a dentist capable of the skills required. I suggest you see an AACD accredited dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Solution for huge tooth gap

I have a large tooth gap. It was last measured at 9mm. I thought about doing Snap-on Smile, but after all the tests and things, it turned out I wasn’t a candidate for that procedure. I’m too old for braces, so I’m thinking about Lumineers. I have scheduled an appointment with a Lumineers certified dentist in a couple of weeks but thought I’d check and see if you thought that was a waste of my time and money.

Kevin

Dear Kevin,

I am very glad you wrote before going through with this plan of Lumineers. While I am sure you could find a dentist willing to do it for you, it would end up a disaster!

The size of your gap is enough to fit another tooth. Unless the dentist is a top of the line, expert cosmetic dentist you are going to end up with something that looks ridiculous. And I will tell you right off the bat, dentists who advertise as placing Lumineers tend to be at the bottom of the barrel of cosmetic dentists.

The Lumineers company markets themselves to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place because they don’t require any tooth preparation, the way other brands of porcelain veneers do. There are two problems with that.

One, that rarely turns out looking anything but bulky. Some people have described it as horse teeth. And, two, there is a whole lot more to creating a beautiful smile than just the tooth preparation.

An Invisible Alternative to Braces

side by side compairison of braces
Braces versus Invisalign

You mentioned you were too old for braces. Has your dentist discussed Invisalign with you yet? These are sometimes called invisible braces.

Both people in the image above are wearing orthodontics. The one on the left is wearing traditional braces. The one on the right is wearing Invisalign. No one will be able to tell you are wearing them even at a conversational distance.

With the size of the gap you are talking about Invisalign would be my number one recommendation for repair. It has an added benefit as well. Invisalign uses clear plastic aligners to straighten your teeth. Those aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. This will allow you to straighten and whiten your teeth all at once.

If you don’t like the idea of any orthodontics, then you will need to go with porcelain veneers. However, as I mentioned above, you will need an expert cosmetic dentist in your case. I would only see an AACD accredited dentist to do your porcelain veneers case, if that is what you decide on.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

gums inflamed after porcelain veneers

I had porcelain veneers placed on four teeth almost a month and a half ago. Since they’ve been on, my gums have been inflamed. I went in to see the hygienist and she said it is probably that I’m babying the teeth and not brushing well enough. I can assure you that is not the case. Then, at my one-month follow up the dentist removed some excess cement. That helped a little but it has been a week and a half since then and they are still inflamed. My dentist doesn’t seem concerned but I’m worried, not to mention in pain. What do you recommend?

Kay L.

Dear Kay,

Our experience has been patients love their new smiles so much, after getting porcelain veneers, they tend to take better care of them, not worse. Isn’t it a tad annoying when medical professionals blame the patient when they can’t figure out what is wrong?

Cosmetic dentistry is both an art and a science. The health of the gums is one of many things the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry looks at in evaluating cases when dentists are working toward accreditation.

The lateral incisors, in this case, received porcelain veneers. Because of the gum inflammation on these teeth, this case would be rejected as unacceptable by AACD accreditation examiners.

In the case above, the gum inflammation on the lateral incisors would be an indication this dentist did something wrong, causing the case to be rejected by accreditation examiners as a means of demonstrating competency.

While there are several reasons your gums could be inflamed, I’m leaning heavily toward your dentist not removing all the excess cement. You said he removed some at your one-month follow-up appointment. When done properly, all the excess cement would have been removed immediately after they were bonded. There shouldn’t have been any to remove at the follow-up appointment.

A couple of other possibilities would be uneven margins or the porcelain veneers going too far under the gumline. To truly know what is going on, though, you’re going to need to see an expert cosmetic dentist.

Getting a 2nd Opinion from an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

The first thing I want you to do is go to the website of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. (aacd.com). They have a link to find a cosmetic dentist. However, make sure you check the boxes for an accredited dentist. Membership is easy. AACD accreditation requires real skill.

Pick one which is reasonably close to you and schedule an appointment for a second opinion.

Finally, make sure when you go, you get a “blind” second opinion. This means you won’t tell them which dentist did the work or anything they said could be the problem. You want the accredited dentist to give his unbiased opinion without anything to sway him.

Best of luck.

This blog is brought to you by Lousiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

can I fix the color of my cerec crowns?

I had a CEREC crown done on one of my canine teeth about three weeks ago. We never really discussed the shade while I was in the office, but as soon as I got home, I realized that it was a bit lighter than the rest of my teeth. Well, once I saw it, I couldn’t un-see it, and now every time I look at myself, all I see is that darn tooth. It looks fake.

I didn’t want to bother my dentist with this at first, so I started playing around with at-home whitening products to try to get the rest of my teeth to match, but I’m just not getting them as bright as that CEREC crown. This probably sounds crazy, but I’m starting to wonder if he can darken it just a bit, so it’s a better match. Is that even possible?

Thanks,

Stan

Dear Stan,

CEREC crown restorations and materials

There are a couple of things about your case that give away that your dentist isn’t really what I would call a cosmetic dentist. Every dentist who is serious about cosmetic dentistry, when they place a crown on a front tooth, will make sure you get a good look at it before it is permanently bonded on. He didn’t do that.

The other problem is that it is a CEREC crown. The CEREC material is a block of material that is a set shade. Unless the dentist is an advanced cosmetic dentist, he won’t know how to use color theory and stains to match a front tooth.

To match a front tooth, a true cosmetic dentist has the ability to customize the shade. Each tooth in your mouth has differences in color from the neck of the tooth to the tip, and it is quite a process to mix different materials to get a crown to match the surrounding teeth.

Tints and Stains Exist

There are tints and stains that can be applied to the CEREC to customize the shade. But on a ceramic, that has to be baked into the crown, so that has to be done before the crown is put in your mouth, obviously.

Sounds Like You Will Have to Have Your CEREC Crown Replaced

You deserve to be happy with your smile and he biffed the color. Hopefully, your dentist will agree to re-doing the crown. However, this time, make sure you get to look at it BEFORE they cement it. Check it out under various lighting conditions—seriously. Look at it in the chair. Get up and go into the bathroom and check it there. Venture to an outside window and view it in natural sunlight. If it isn’t right, don’t let them cement it.

Request a Lab-Made Restoration if All Else Fails

There are crowns that have a core that is made like a CEREC crown and then have porcelain baked over the top. If you want a natural-looking crown on a front tooth, this is the way to go. Although you’ll have to wait two weeks for the lab to make it, the lab technician will be able to tint the crown to match your existing teeth. But the dentist also needs to have a good eye for color and the ability to describe the color variations in your tooth, and your dentist doesn’t sound like he is that much into that. For the best results, you’d really want to switch to someone who specializes in cosmetic dentistry for these sorts of things, but you’ve already started with him, so as long as you’re keen to continue, give him the chance to fix his work too.

If he can’t, look for a dentist who has been accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists are the top cosmetic dentists in the country.

This blog is sponsored by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.