I want to get a smile makeover and have been looking at no prep veneers. My concern is that there seem to be very mixed results. I’ve wondered if the results had to do with the size of the teeth. One of the pictures where there are good results showed that the girl had very small teeth to begin with. Would I need tiny teeth in order to have a pretty result?
I am glad you wrote. It is good that you noticed there is a difference in the results when it comes to smile makeovers. Believe it or not, the biggest difference is not the type of smile the patient starts with or even the materials used (with one exception), but the artistry and technical skill of the dentist.
Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty. This means any general dentist can do cosmetic procedures regardless of the amount of training they’ve received in those procedures. In order to become technically skilled, a detnist needs to invest in post-doctoral training. Additionally, there is the needed X factor of artistry. You can have two dentists work on the exact same type of smile, with the exact same type of materials and the results will turn out completely different. This is because, like painting or sculpting, smile makeovers are an art form and much of how it turns out depends on the artist.
Are All No-Prep Veneers the Same?
There are several brands of no-prep veneers. Remember when I said that the materials don’t matter that much? There is one slight exception to that. I would be wary of a dentist wanting to do Lumineers. These are heavily marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists. However, the bigger problem with them is the company that makes Lumineers require dentists to use their lab. Unfortunately, this lab is not known for producing beautiful results. Most expert cosmetic dentists have their own lab and master ceramist they prefer to work with— one they know will give the results they expect.
Finding a Dentist for Your Smile Makeover
Focus on finding the right dentist. Then he or she will be able to tell you whether or not no-prep veneers would be a good option for you. Even if it is not, the amount of tooth structure that would be removed for traditional porcelain veneers is about the depth of a fingernail. It is not anything like the grinding that has to be done for dental crowns.
So, where do you find this elusive expert cosmetic dentist? The easiest way is to go to the the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) and use their “find a dentist” link. Make sure you click that you want an accredited dentist. That is important. Any dentist can be a member. AACD accredited dentists had to pass stringent exams as well as demonstrate their technical skill and artistry on a large number of cases. They are in the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the country. You will be in good hands.
This blog is brought to you by Lexington, KY Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Fred Arnold.