I made the mistake of getting a smile makeover done before doing some research. I didn’t realize how much was involved in it and just went to my family dentist. He did say he was certified to place no-prep veneers. He sounded like he knew what he was talking about, so I went ahead with it. Everything seemed to go fine until they were put on. The two issues I noticed right away was they looked bulky and off-centered. The dentist said that it was the angle I was looking at them which made them look off-centered. He also said they probably look bulky because I’m used to how thin my teeth were. He felt this is more full and attractive. He’s the dentist so I decided to go with his assessment. But, it’s really bugging me. I’ve taken selfies to make sure I’m looking at it directly and they still look off-center to me. I don’t know if this can be fixed or if I should just re-do the whole procedure.
My suspicion is your dentist received certification to place Lumineers. They’re a no-prep brand which is heavily marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. But, as you’ve learned in your subsequent research, there’s a lot of training both in technical proficiency and artistry dentists need in order to do the job well. The Lumineers brand just provides a short seminar and then magically the dentist is certified. That’s not enough time or training.
Let’s address the bulkiness of your teeth first. That is a common issue with no-prep veneers. Even though traditional porcelain veneers only need minimal prep, that tiny bit makes a huge difference. Without it, many smiles end up looking bulky as you’ve noticed. Some dissatisfied patients have come to us after having Lumineers done by another dentist begging us to fix their “horse teeth”.
As for them looking slightly off. A great cosmetic dentist needs to balance where the teeth end with where the gums start and create symmetry throughout. The midline of your face is extremely important. Your teeth should naturally fall on either side of it. They don’t always do that in nature. Sometimes people will have gaps and teeth will shift or they’ll have narrow arches. In those cases, the adult teeth coming in may push the others out of alignment. In either case, orthodontics (such as Invisalign) or cosmetic dentistry can be used to create symmetry. Your dentist didn’t do this.
For an example of this, find a portrait online of Tom Cruise. Look at it carefully. Look at the midline. Notice anything? His midline is off-center by quite a bit.
If you already had a natural symmetry, which you likely did because the off-centered teeth are bugging you, then your dentist misshaped the porcelain veneers. The only way to repair this is to completely re-do them. You may want to give your dentist a chance to get it right, but I’ll understand if you don’t want to take a chance of wasting more time.
In that case, you’ll need to find an artistic cosmetic dentist. When checking out a cosmetic dentist ask about their post-graduate training. You’ll also want to ask to see their smile gallery. Make sure it’s actual cases he or she has done. And make sure you think they’re absolutely stunning. If so, you are likely safe with this dentist.
This blog is brought to you by Kalamazoo Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.