I am in my 50’s with 5 grown children. I’d always put their dental health and appearance before my own. Now that they’ve all left the nest, I felt it was finally my turn to get a pretty smile. I have tetracycline stains so smiling was always embarrassing for me. My dentist gave me 8 Lumineers. First, they are way too white and bulky. It looks more like I have chicklets in my mouth than teeth. I did tell him I wanted a white smile, so that may be my fault. However, the other problems I can’t figure out. My mouth hurts all the time in an achy way because my upper teeth feel too long so I can’t really relax my mouth. I have to hold the arches apart a bit. Is there any way to change this?
After all these years, you deserve to have the smile of your dreams. It sounds to me like you went to your normal family dentist for this smile makeover. Unfortunately, most family dentists do not have the skills necessary to do beautiful smile makeovers. This is especially true when the patient has tetracycline stains, which makes your case one of the more advanced ones.
The big problem you have is your dentist is in over his head. I cringed a little when I heard he gave you Lumineers because I felt I knew what was coming. This is a particular brand of porcelain veneers that is highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. However, smile makeovers are not taught in dental school and take a great deal of training. Without that, the results will be disappointing, at best, as you’ve experienced. Lumineers especially are known for making teeth too bulky when done by a dentist without the right training. There are other, better brands.
Only about 2% of cosmetic dentists in the country are skilled enough to create stunning smiles when dealing with tetracycline stains. Those who aren’t, generally make one of two common mistakes. The first is that they make the teeth too opaque in an attempt to cover the stains. This can make them flat-looking, which is what is probably giving them that chicklet look. On the other end of the spectrum are dentists who don’t do enough to cover the stains and they show through the veneers.
My suggestion is you ask your dentist for a refund. Your teeth aren’t functional if you are in pain so your case will need to be redone. Once you secure your refund, I want to you find a dentist who is AACD accredited. This is different than just being a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists have passed stringent exams and had their artistry closely judged by a board of examiners. They are the 2% of dentists I mentioned earlier. Find one and let them give you a smile you will be proud to share for the rest of your life.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michael Weiss.