I recently got six porcelain veneers and two crowns one month ago. I’m in my mid-forties and have suffered from tetracycline stained teeth. I’m extremely disappointed in the results because of a couple factors: I have darker-toned skin and the teeth look too white against my complexion. I was given the option of color but I’m not an expert so I did not get the right shade and I’m stuck with this problem. I don’t feel like I have a beautiful smile and instead of feeling confident, I don’t smile with my lips open.
The worst part is my teeth feel like they are loose and falling apart. My molars hurt when I bite down and I can’t relax my mouth because it feels like my upper teeth are too long. It’s almost feels like pain from clenching and grinding teeth. I have finally decided to take care of my dental needs after my children moved away from home. Now, my dream of having a beautiful smile is dashed. Do you have any advice?
– Debbie from Texas
This story is common as over 90 percent of dentists don’t know how to do beautiful cosmetic dentistry. Although they’re great at fixing things, many of them haven’t had extensive artistic training that would take them from engineers to artists.
In terms of the colour of the teeth and your results, you are not totally to blame. There are three key things a dentist should do to create a beautiful result.
First, the dentist should ensure you get the beautiful smile you desire. You should have a smile makeover to see how your smile looks before the work commences. Since you never had this procedure, there was no way of knowing your outcome. An artistic cosmetic dentist would give you the option to see your smile and make corrections if necessary.
Second, the best cosmetic dentists use a method so you see how your new smile looks before it’s ever bonded permanently. Often, cosmetic dentists create a set of provisional acrylic veneers that are temporarily cemented to your teeth so you can ‘test drive’ them. This way, you know if they will work. Additionally, cosmetic dentists have a ‘try-in’ with the final veneers – they use a special paste to temporarily attach the veneers so you see the final result. You have time to wear them and show friends and family, study them under different lighting conditions and so forth. When you’re completely satisfied and love your new smile, the veneers are permanently attached to your teeth.
The third and final thing that great cosmetic dentists do is re-do the case for free. Because they believe in excellence, they’re embarrassed when a project is not successful and go out their way to deliver a beautiful smile – even if they have to redo the whole procedure.
Many dentists are not aware of how to properly treat tetracycline-stained teeth and they either use materials that are too translucent and the stains show through, or they make the teeth too opaque and they look fake and pasty. It looks like this is what your dentist did.
The other issue is that you feel like your veneers are loose and will fall off. They won’t but your teeth may be getting loose. You mentioned your face ached and felt like you were clenching and grinding and that your upper teeth were too long. It’s hard to know unless you’re seen by a dentist but your bite might be out and if this is not remedied, it could lead to a serious TMJ disorder, causing breakage of teeth, periodontitis, headaches and early tooth loss.
So you’re probably wondering what to do now? The only thing you can do is have the porcelain veneers redone. If you speak to your dentist, you may be able to have them redone. If not, you will need to do your homework and find a dentist with the right expertise to handle your situation.
For information about Plano cosmetic dentist, Dr. Whitmore, please see his Whitmore Dental website .