I’d scheduled an appointment with my dentist for a consultation for porcelain veneers. I thought it would be completely canceled because of the quarantine, but he did it over Zoom. That was actually kind of fun. The reason I’m writing is because of the number of extra procedures he’s requiring when we are able to move forward with this treatment. A cleaning I understand. What I don’t understand is why he also wants me to do teeth whitening and Invisalign. I thought the porcelain veneers would whiten my teeth and the only thing on my smile which is even a little crooked is one tooth. I thought the porcelain veneers would take care of that too. What gives?
Here is what I would agree with your dentist on.
First, a good cleaning is always a good idea before any major procedure. That will be especially true after the quarantine. Another thing which makes sense is the teeth whitening. You are correct that the porcelain veneers themselves can be made any color and will whiten every tooth you place them on. The reason a cosmetic dentist recommends teeth whitening is so the adjacent teeth you may not have any veneers on will blend in. It also is useful for your bottom arch of teeth to blend with the made-over teeth.
One thing I don’t agree with is the Invisalign. Nothing you’ve mentioned indicates you have a complicated orthodontics case. If it is simply one tooth that is a little crooked, the porcelain veneers will make it look perfectly straight. In your case, Invisalign is a completely unnecessary procedure. It brings up a small warning bell with me. Is it possible your dentist isn’t skilled with porcelain veneers and doesn’t know how to make a tooth look straight? If so, that is a problem.
Smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school. In order for a dentist to develop expertise in this type of cosmetic dentistry, they have to invest in a significant amount of post-doctoral training. Your dentist may not have done that. What that means is you will get a mediocre smile makeover. You’re probably paying for a stunning smile, so you certainly don’t want to end up with one that is sub-par.
What Type of Cosmetic Dentist Do You Want?
As I mentioned above, you will need an expert cosmetic dentist. There really isn’t a recognized specialty in cosmetic work. This means any dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist regardless of the amount of training they’ve invested in the procedure. That makes it difficult for patients to know who is skilled and artistic and who isn’t.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry realized that. As a result, they started an accreditation program where dentists can show they have what it takes. They’ll have to take stringent exams as well as provide visual evidence of a large number of specific cases they’ve personally done in order to prove they have more than just technical knowledge. They also have artistic skill. Dentists who pass these become accredited. It’s a long and difficult process so only the top 1% of cosmetic dentists end up AACD accredited. If I were paying for a smile makeover, I’d want an accredited dentist.
This blog is brought to you by West Seneca Dentist Dr. Warren Krutchick.