I take good care of my teeth but I wasn’t born with a beautiful smile. I’d been saving up for YEARS to get porcelain veneers. I was thrilled when I could finally get them. My dentist gave me four across my front teeth. I do like them. They are much prettier than my natural teeth, but believe it or not that’s one of the two problems I’m having. I have a crazy wide smile. Now when I smile, I have these four gorgeous teeth and then the rest of my teeth which look like unloved stepchildren compared to my veneered teeth. Should he have made the veneers to blend in somehow with the other teeth? The second problem is my gums have started bleeding. I’m a fanatic about brushing and flossing. I even use a waterpick. Yet, when I went in for my last checkup, they said I’m developing gum disease. How can that happen if I’m taking care of my teeth the same way as I always have?
I can tell you the overarching problem here. The dentist who did your porcelain veneers isn’t very skilled. First, let’s start with the number of veneers he did. For narrow smiles, we’ll do six to eight porcelain. For wide smiles, like yours, you’d need two to four more. They’re not supposed to blend with your teeth, they’re supposed to improve them. He’s essentially given you two smiles—the pretty front teeth and the untreated rest. You’re going to feel self-conscious every time you smile with this makeover.
Additionally, he’s damaging your smile. That’s related to the second problem you mentioned. If you’re diligently brushing and flossing, including going the extra mile of using a water pick, there’s absolutely no reason you should be developing gum disease.
The more likely cause is he didn’t place the porcelain veneers flush against your teeth, the way he should. You’ve probably got what’s known as “bulky margains”, meaning your dentist left a mini shelf at the top. This allows particles of food and other bacteria causing enemies to get trapped there, leading to both decay and gum disease.
My suggestion is you ask for a refund and go to an expert cosmetic dentist to have this re-done properly.
Choosing a Cosmetic Dentist for Porcelain Veneers
There are different levels of skill and artistry in the cosmetic industry, just like there is in any artistic field. Now, you could draw up a list of cosmetic dentists in your area, review their credentials, and examine the results of cases they’ve done to determine who can give you a truly gorgeous smile, but that could take months of research.
Fortunately, knowing the dilemma patients face finding great cosmetic dentists, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) began an accreditation program. Here the candidates for accreditation will have to pass stringent oral and written exams, as well as demonstrate their artistry in a large number of varied cosmetic cases they’ve personally created. Essentially, they do all the work I mentioned above plus some. All you have to do is go to their website and search for accredited cosmetic dentists in your area.
Whoever you choose, make sure they have a beautiful smile guarantee so you’ll not end up in the same position you are in now.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Fred Arnold. Check out his smile gallery.