Ever since we started doing six-month braces about five years ago, the number of smile makeovers that we’ve done with porcelain veneers has dropped dramatically. This is because we can create beautiful smiles much more conservatively with six-month braces than we can with veneers, simply because there is no drilling on the teeth. There are times however, when porcelain veneers are an excellent option. Caroline’s case is a perfect example of how the two can work together: we first used six-month braces to straighten her teeth, then whitened them. Finally, we used our CEREC CAD/CAM machine to make to 2 porcelain veneers right in our office, in a single appointment to complete the smile makeover by matching her peg lateral incisors to match the rest of her smile.
If you are interested in learning more about either porcelain veneers or 6MonthSmiles, please contact us at either 704-364-7069, or Request an Appointment Online.
A Full-Mouth Smile Reconstruction
Quite some time ago, I showed this case as an example of how badly teeth can be damaged by grinding them, whether at night, in the daytime, or both, and why something as simple and inexpensive as a nightguard (my recommendation is a NTI-tss). It is especially inexpensive in comparison to the cost of rebuilding a smile that is so broken down. This gentleman came to us in 2008, looking for options to feel good about his smile again for various reasons. After plenty of discussion, we agreed that the only option that would truly give him the smile that he wanted was a Total Smile Makeover/Reconstruction with porcelain crowns. After showing the Before-After pictures of his smile, I’ll discuss some of the issues you need to consider if you are thinking about significant cosmetic dentistry for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions about Smile Reconstruction
When rebuilding a smile such as this, it is crucial to establish a proper bite relationship of the top and bottom teeth. Sometimes this can take a little while to figure out, because – when the teeth are so worn, the patient has long since adapted to a very bad bite relationship. The muscles have to be relaxed, accurate records taken, and excellent communication is necessary among the patient, the doctor, and the lab, to ensure that the crowns are made to look good, feel good, and last a long time. However, in severe wear cases, we always remind the patient that s/he already did a pretty good job destroying their natural set of teeth, so a nightguard is an absolute requirement as “insurance” to protect their investment, and even then they are more likely to break or chip the porcelain than others who don’t have that history. Simply put, these cases are far more complicated and require a great deal of time to get right, so you need to be absolutely committed to proceeding and working closely with your dentist to get a good result.
How Much Does a Smile Reconstruction Cost?
It’s not unusual for a patient to ask why it costs so much to do a Smile Reconstruction like this; it often seems like there should be a “volume discount,” so-to-speak, when doing a lot of crowns instead of just 1 or 2. The difference between such scenarios is the amount of time involved, the skill, training and experience required to successfully diagnose, complete, and treat, and that your dentist will have to work with a highly knowledgeable lab to make the crowns to not just look good, but fit properly and work smoothly in eating motions. Your dentist will likely spend at least a couple hours just in the planning stages! It’s usually a case of “You get what you pay for.” IOW – if you want a cheap smile makeover, you should reasonably expect a cheap outcome. To get excellence……it won’t come cheap. Depending on various factors, a case such as this will be the equivalent of buying a fairly nice car. The main difference, of course, is that you should expect to be “driving” your smile for a lot longer than most people keep a car!
- How Long Will This Take to Finish?
When doing so many teeth, you need to plan on a minimum of several appointments that could take 1/2-day to a full day each, as well as several other appointments to refine, modify if needed, polish, etc. From beginning to end, if everything goes perfectly, you might be done in as little as 1 month. That would be somewhat rare; more likely, you should plan on the entire process taking at least 2 months, and maybe many more. Extremely complex cases that involve implants, different specialists, and very complicated lab work may take a year or more due to the time needed for healing, verifying each stage is correct, and even just the time needed for lab technicians to do the custom work.
- What kind of Crowns will/should you get?
Due to improving materials and with the right techniques, in most cases nowadays you can have all-porcelain crowns made to rebuild a smile. The crowns used in this case are made of E.max porcelain, which is extremely strong and resistant to breakage. Numerous studies now show that this type of porcelain will likely last for 15-20 years, and quite possibly longer. For certain cases, though, and for patients who are even worse grinders than this gentleman was, gold crowns might still be necessary for the back teeth, simply because they are the strongest, longest-lasting crowns available. They can also take more abuse than any other material. Porcelain-to-metal crowns are also an option and have a long track record, but it is very important for the lab to be highly skilled so that you don’t see dark grey lines at the gum from the metal showing through.
- How Do I Choose the Right Dentist?
This is one of the trickiest questions, because the public doesn’t usually know enough about the training necessary beyond dental school that trains dentists to handle complex full-mouth reconstructions with skill and confidence. But here’s my recommendation: ask to see pictures of their other cases that might be similar to yours. That’s one of the reasons digital photography is such an instrumental and daily part of our dental practice – you will be able to see similar cases and know how the outcome will be before ever committing. The large majority of dentists who are well-trained in these cases also use digital photography, both for communicating with you as well as for documenting and tracking their own work over time. If you meet a dentist who can show you pictures of cases that were completed 5-10 (or longer) years ago AND s/he has recent follow-up pictures to show how well it has held up, THEN you should feel very confident that your dentist can take good care of you.
And then start imagining how much better you’ll feel when you can smile like Wayne does now!
Please feel free to ask questions or post a comment below, or to share with your friends! If you’re interested in a Complimentary Consultation in our office, please call 704-364-7069 or Request an Appointment Online.
If you are in need of a dentist around the United States, whether for LANAP, cosmetic dentistry, or even a regular dentist to take care of you, I am fortunate to have become good friends with many colleagues around the country, and even a number of them around the world. Below you can find a list of these dentists, most of whom I know personally, and all of whom I would trust with caring for my own family’s dental needs. All dentists who also provide LANAP are labeled for easy reference. Should you be in need, please don’t hesitate to mention that you found them here.
- Dr. Howard Farran: Today’s Dental in Phoenix
- Dr. Frank Nelson: Nelson Family Dental Care in Bullhead City
- Dr. Ehfad Shah in Maricopa/Phoeniz
- Dr. Glenn Hanf: McDownell Mountain Ranch Dentistry in Scottsdale
- Dr. Sameer Puri: General, Esthetic, & Implant Dentistry in Tarzana
- Dr. Dan Marcus: General Dentist in Orange County (LANAP dentist)
- Dr. Donald J. Roth in Thousand Oaks
- Dr. Robert Gregg: Co-Inventor of the Periolase in Cerritos
- Dr. Dale Trudeau in San Diego
- Dr. Fadi E. Elzayat in N. Hollywood
- Dr. Delwin McCarthy: Co-Inventor of the Periolase in Cerritos
- Dr. Armen Mirzayan in Los Angeles
- Dr. John Coffey in Santa Cruz
- Dr. Rodger “Rod” Kurthy in Mission Viejo/Newport Beach, Developer of Deep BleachingTM
- Dr. Daniel Daniel T. Quevedo: General, Cosmetic,& Laser Dentistry in Longwood (LANAP dentist)
- Dr. Mike Barr: General & Cosmetic Dentistry and 6 Month Braces in Boynton Beach
- Dr. David Kimmel: Microscope and Laser Dentistry in Bayonet Point/Tarpon Springs
- Dr. Mark Flemming in Sarasota: General Dentistry in Sarasota
- Dr. Ivan E. Tererro in Bonita Springs
- Dr. Ramzi Matar in Maitland
- Dr. John Cannariato in Tampa
- Dr. Julio Maya in Terrance/Tampa
- Dr. Carlos Boudet in West Palm Beach
- Dr. William K. Gibson in Naples
- Dr. Al Bolholst in Tampa
- Dr. Matthew Brink in Wheaton/Chicago (LANAP dentist)
- Dr. Janet Century in North Barrington, Chicago: LANAP, Microscope, & CEREC
- Dr. Rich Rosenblatt in Lake Forest
- Dr. Mark Lind in Buffalo Grove/N. Chicago
- Dr. Tom Schoen in Wabasha (LANAP dentist)
- Dr. Janice Frederick in Mendota Heights/Minneapolis (LANAP dentist)
- Dr. Erik Marksberry in Minneapolis
- Dr. John Comisi: “Dental Care with a Difference” in Ithaca
- Dr. Donato Napoletano: Donato Dental Systems, LLC in Middletown (LANAP dentist)
- Dr. Jason Tanoory in Canandaigua
- Dr. Stuart Weinstein in Niagara Falls
- Dr. Marc Siegel in Snyder
- Dr. Don Franklin: Charlotte Periodontist(LANAP dentist)
- Herrin, Sykes, Swann, & Pelaux: Charlotte Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons
- Dr. Tarun Agarwal: Cosmetic, Implant, & General Dentistry in Raleigh
- Dr. Shannon McGee: Sleep Dentistry in Southern Pines
- Dr. Rebecca Schmoor in Raleigh
- Dr. George Jones in Sunset Beach
- Drs. Morse and Doyle in Kernersville
- Dr. Jeanine MacDonald and Dr. Michael Melkers in Spokane
- Dr. Mike Scoles in Issaquah (near Seattle)
- Dr. Aditi Agarwal in Redmond
- Dr. Thomas Caspers in Renton (near Seattle)
- Dr. Glenn van As: Microscope and Laser Dentist in Vancouver, BC
- Dr. Michael Ling in Brantford (near Toronto)
The Most Commonly Asked Questions at a Six-Month Braces Consultation
These questions really aren’t surprising, and you’ve probably wondered about them already yourself if you’re considering this remarkable cosmetic dental option, so here are your answers:
1) Can you REALLY move my teeth that fast?
Yes, we really can. I know it seems hard to believe, because most everyone thinks that you have to wear braces for 18 months to 3 years to get everything right. You can take a look at this Smile Gallery to see a whole bunch of people who’ve had their front teeth straightened in 6 months or less.
2) HOW do you move teeth that fast?
It’s quite simple, really, and it’s not magic or rocket science. Basically, since we’re really doing cosmetic braces, this is an alternative to porcelain veneers. That means we are just concentrating on straightening the front teeth, NOT trying to correct major bite problems. Answer these 3 questions and you’ll know if you’re a good candidate for 6MonthSmiles:
- Do you have any jaw or muscle pain, or a history of headaches?
- Do you have any difficulty chewing or biting normally, or is your bite really “off” in the back teeth?
- Do you have some spaces in the front teeth you’d like closed or crowded front teeth you want straightened?
If you answered NO the first 2 questions but YES to the last question, then you are probably a good candidate for 6MonthSmiles!
3) WHEN CAN WE START!?
This is, of course, the most fun question. It’s amazing how many times patients will want to start RIGHT NOW. As in, before they’ve even left the Complimentary Consultation appointment. And most of the time, we can accommodate. Getting started is literally as easy as getting molds of your teeth, a complete set of photos, and a panoramic x-ray (this one goes around your head and records your entire jaws, joints, etc. to make sure there are no complicating factors). We send the info to our 6 Month Smiles lab, which makes custom trays that let us put pretty much all the brackets on at once, just a couple of weeks later. It’s much easier and faster this way, I promise. And off we go!
One of my absolute favorite things to do, is to see patients for their Complimentary Portrait Session after they finish some type of cosmetic dentistry, whether it is Six-Month Braces, Porcelain Veneers, Teeth Whitening, or some combination of those. There is such a level of satisfaction when a patient LOVES to smile for pictures instead of hide their smiles because they’re embarrassed. Caroline is a perfect example of this; when she first came to see us, she was really unhappy with her crooked teeth. Given what an amazingly cheerful person she is, hiding her smile was not something she wanted, but — like so many others — she assumed that braces would take 2-3 years, and as an adult, she simply was not interested, but she also didn’t want to have her teeth ground down for porcelain veneers, nor did she want to spend that much. So, with a combination of Six-Month Braces, 2 Porcelain Veneers with our 1-Visit Crown system (CEREC), and Whitening Trays, we dramatically transformed her smile in about 10 months total. Just look at her smile now!
This is really what Cosmetic Dentistry is all about, really — it’s about helping you feel good and confident about yourself, about your smile. If you would like to smile with the confidence that Caroline now does, give us a call at 704-364-7069 or Request an Appointment Online!
As much as people are often amazed at the idea that we can give them a straight smile with Six-Month Braces, there really are times when it doesn’t even take THAT long. Take a look at Karim’s before and after pictures — literally, we put her brackets on back on September 9th, and we took them off today, November 24th. That’s NOT EVEN 3 months with braces on, but look what a difference! As she put it….”I love the results!”
USE IT OR LOSE IT!
Your Dental Insurance, that is. Did you know that, when your dental insurance year runs out, you LOSE whatever benefits you have left? Unlike phone minutes, there’s no “roll-over” for your insurance, so once they’re gone, they’re GONE.
We are rapidly approaching the end of 2009, and our schedule is already filling up for those last appointments of the year; if you don’t schedule now, you could easily miss out on the opportunity to use your benefits to help you get the dental treatment you need. If you want to use Flex Plan dollars (‘cause you lose those, too, don’t forget!) or Dental Insurance that is still available, please call Liz at your first chance so you don’t miss out.
In addition to using your Dental Benefits, we are offering some really cool End-of-Year specials to help you out (hey, if you save some money and I get to stay busy, we BOTH benefit, right?)
1) Get up to an ADDITIONAL $500 off our amazing Six-Month Braces! This has been incredibly popular, and patients tell us almost every day that they can’t believe how fast their teeth are straightening out. Many are going to have the smiles straight and white by Thanksgiving or Christmas already. Since we already have the coupon for $500 off, if you chose this option, you can save UP TO $1000! If you’re doing 1 arch, you save $250 extra, but $500 off if you do both top and bottom teeth.
2) SAVE YOUR TEETH FROM GUM DISEASE AND $500 OFF! If you have gum disease and we’ve talked with you about LANAP, here’s the best way to go: We are scheduling blocks of time in the last week of December and the first week in January JUST for LANAP patients. By doing the first ½ of your mouth in Dec., then the second ½ in January, you already get to use TWO years of dental benefits, which will really save you money. But if you call to schedule now, you can save $500 off your total treatment fee, too! Because we’re reserving 4-5 hours of time for you this far in advance, we do require a deposit so we know you’re serious. If you’re worried about how it will feel, especially around the holidays, visit us at www.YouTube.com/SmilesbyPayet and you can see some video testimonials from 2 of my recent patients and from other patients around the country. It’s amazing – all you’ll need is a little ibuprofen and the next day you’re back up to normal .
3) 15% OFF ALL OTHER TREATMENT! Regardless of what other dental work you need, you can save a full 15% off from now through December 31st. Just call Liz to schedule your appointment ASAP before others take them all.
So start planning and calling now, before time runs out, your dental insurance is gone, your flex dollars are gone, and our End-of-Year Specials are gone. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!
Request an Appointment Online or Call 704-364-7069
Linda came in to our office today with 1 serious issue: a broken porcelain dental veneer on her upper right lateral incisor (second from the middle). Naturally, since she’d been through the process of getting veneers done previously, she was expecting that she would leave with a temporary (aka provisional) veneer after we’d taken a mold of the tooth, and she’d have to come back in a few weeks to have the real one bonded in. However, she was pleasantly surprised by the end of her appointment today, because thanks to the CEREC AC Bluecam, we were able to make a brand-new porcelain veneer in just ONE visit! No second appointment to bond the veneer in, no temporary veneer, no tooth molds, no second time getting numb……..NONE of that! So judge for yourself…..how did we do?
If you are looking to transform or fix your smile, and convenience is important to you, then give us a call at 704-364-7069 or
Oh yeah…….almost forgot to mention, too….since Linda signed up with our Quality Dental Plan, she saved 20% on her work today!
People often have difficulty believing that we can really move teeth to create a more beautiful smile in only 6 months. Here’s a case to show just how well it works – Lynn has only had her almost invisible braces on for 2 months, and look how far the gap between her front teeth has closed already!
It’s easy for me to tell you that Laser Periodontal TherapyTM is both effective and comfortable, but we both know that it’s easier to believe when you talk to someone who has actually been through it. So, right after we finished up treating a really sweet patient yesterday, we asked her if she wouldn’t mind recording a short video so our other patients could hear directly how easy it was. That said, let me introduce you to Milli: