Q: I had a bad experience twenty years ago when my final upper dental work of crowns, veneers and implants, turned out nothing like what I expected! I want to re-do all my work, but want to know how to avoid another “surprise”.
A: I have an old anesthesiologist friend and fellow car-guy, Paco. This guy can put you asleep like a cat watching CSPAN.
Years ago he decided to buy a Chevy Colorado pickup truck. On his way home with his new ride after only one mile, he made a U-turn and returned the truck. He told me it road so badly that instead of being called the “Colorado” it should be called the “Newark New Jersey”. He said even the smallest of potholes sent his head careening into the headliner. Moral of the story? Test drive. Helloooooo?!
How to Avoid Cosmetic Dentistry Surprises
Here are some techniques that we use in our office to assure you wind up with exactly, or even better results, than what you imagined.
- Take many pre op photos and models of your current dentition so the lab has a “starter” canvas to work with.
- Meet with lab ceramist face to face to discuss what you want
- Bring in photos from magazines or of you when you were younger to use as a guide.
- Place temporary crowns or veneers on the teeth during the three weeks it takes for the lab to make your final work.
- Use digital impressions vs. the goopy, gagging molds to create a virtual model of your teeth for greater accuracy and predictability
- Treat the gummy smile with a diode laser for an overall better esthetic result. Excessive “gumminess” makes teeth appear short and dark.
- Add length to the front teeth porcelain to allow you to show more teeth for a younger look. Build out the side teeth to widen your smile.
- Take impressions and photos of the temporaries that you approved. This gives a 3D model that the lab can now copy.
- Bring your significant other to the first consultation and the temporary evaluation appointment.
Dr. Mitchell Josephs practices Implant, Cosmetic and General Dentistry with an emphasis on implants, porcelain veneers, and complex crown and bridge treatment. He is on staff at JFK Medical Center and is a Faculty Advisory Board member at McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry. He completed his residency at Manhattan’s Beth Israel Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital.