My girlfriend has what I think is a pretty smile but she’s always been uncomfortable with it. I understand it’s not perfect, but I like it. However, she’s determined to get porcelain veneers. Here is my concern. My sister got these several years ago and I actually thought her smile looked worse after the procedure. While they were whiter, they were so bulky to me it looked like she had horse teeth. I mentioned this to my girlfriend and she just shrugged her shoulders and said my sister probably had a bad dentist and we’ll need to do some research. How do we find the dentist that can give her the beautiful smile she wants?
It is so refreshing to see a young man caring about his girlfriend. What I love the most about this is you’ve tried to make her feel good about her natural smile and haven’t pressured her to “improve it”. You’ve also recognized that she has to feel as good about her smile as you do. This may mean some cosmetic dental work, but she’ll be happier with her smile, which in turn will make her more confident.
Let’s talk about your sister’s case first. Your girlfriend is correct that an ugly cosmetic case has more to do with the dentist than the procedure. However, I feel there is a combo effect going on with your sister’s case. You mentioned they looked bulky and described them as horse teeth. This is a fairly common complaint with a brand of porcelain veneers known as Lumineers. One of the reasons for this is they are typically marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place because they don’t need the tooth to be prepared, as they are thinner than some other brands.
However, as you saw with your sister’s smile makeover, this doesn’t always work out as advertised. Yet, the dentist doing the case doesn’t have enough training to know when or why the teeth need preparation.
Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist
Porcelain veneers can look stunning. Celebrities know that as it is their go-to procedures. However, one of the problems patients face is there isn’t a recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry which allows patients to know who has had the training and who hasn’t. Any general dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist regardless of the amount or quality of the training they’ve received.
To makes things even harder, doing smile makeovers isn’t taught in general dentist school. That means to get really good at it, dentists have to invest time and money in post-doctoral training.
One thing I suggest to patients looking for a great smile makeover is to go to an AACD accredited dentist. These cosmetic dentists are proven for both their technical knowledge and their artistry. In fact, they make up the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the country because the accreditation process is such a high achievement, requiring the dentists to pass rigorous oral and written exams as well as provide visual evidence for a large number of cosmetic cases they have done proving their technique and artistry.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michael Weiss.