I have lived with tetracycline stained teeth most of my life. The staining is pretty severe, and for the most part I have just tried to live with it. I recently took a job where I interact with the public about 60 percent of the time and often times I feel like shrinking back during conversations – and it’s mainly because of my smile and how my teeth look. I am also afraid my teeth could affect my earning potential. Here’s my problem… this is not a cheap proposition. I have had to really sacrifice and save – and I’ve managed to put away over $25,000. When I talked with my regular dentist, he said he could fix my teeth, but I am just not sure I am ready to commit to such a major procedure with someone who mainly does general dentistry. So now I’m looking for the right cosmetic dentist who can help me. So far, I’ve met with two and they both have different approaches. One is suggesting all porcelain crowns, which I’m not opposed to because it’s under my budget. The other one wants to do a couple of crowns and porcelain veneers for the rest of my teeth; however, it’s way over budget. I just want to get my teeth fixed as soon as possible, but also want to make the right decision. Either way, I’ll probably try and finance a portion of the costs. Which will give me better results? — Mark
Many general dentists will say they offer specific cosmetic services without really the training and skill to do it well. You will need an expert, but that doesn’t mean you can’t consult further with your dentist and dig a little deeper to find out what actual training he does have. If it does sound like he has what you are looking for, ask for some before and after photos of other patients who he has done similar work on before committing to anything further.
When you’re talking about crowns vs. veneers, the advantage you will have with veneers is that it will preserve more of the tooth. To prep for a crown, he will have to shave down quite a bit of the tooth with could put you at risk later on of breakage or other issues — and it will make repairs more difficult and sometimes even impossible. A veneer only requires the dentist to shave a small amount.
The pricing of treatment can vary. There will be some dentists who charge a premium if they are highly skilled, but don’t always believe that the more expensive the better. You could ask the dentist who is cheaper if he would do veneers instead, but don’t push him into it if he does not seem completely comfortable because you could end up with a result that is not aesthetically pleasing. Many cosmetic dentists will offer a beautiful smile guarantee. That simply means if you’re not satisfied with your result, he or she will do everything they can to make sure you end up happy with your smile.
This blog post is brought to you by Des Moines cosmetic dentist, Dr. Phelan Thomas. For more information on the services he provides, please visit his Des Moines cosmetic dentist website.