I am getting a smile makeover. I’ve narrowed the cosmetic dentist I’m going to use down to three of them, but have some questions before I settle on which one. All three are highly rated on Yelp. It sounds like dental bonding is less expensive than porcelain veneers but may not last as long. Do you have a recommendation on which to use? As I am in my 60s, would it look silly if I went with really white teeth?
Congratulations on getting a smile makeover. They can be life changing. I’m going to start with the bonding versus porcelain veneers question.
Dental bonding is typically for small repairs, such as a chipped tooth or a gap between two teeth. It will last a few years, but not much longer. While it is inexpensive with the small repairs, if you wanted to use it for a full smile makeover, you will find it will end up more expensive. It is done by hand and over such a large surface would be quite time consuming. You will definitely want porcelain veneers.
I don’t recommend that you choose your cosmetic dentists simply based on their Yelp rating. While I do use Yelp for certain recommendations, such as a plumber or electrician, it is not a great way to pick a dentist to do your cosmetic work. This is because they don’t distinguish the reason for the ratings. A dentist can have over one hundred 5-star ratings, but most of them could be just about how friendly he or she is and not their cosmetic skill.
As an example, I just did a search on Yelp for “Best Cosmetic Dentist” in a mid-sized city. Just looking at the top three dentists, only one of them even does cosmetic dentistry. On the one who did, when I looked on her website, there wasn’t even a smile gallery. That is a sure sign that they don’t do enough cosmetic dentistry to be serious about it.
A smile makoever is an advanced procedure. It takes more than technical knowledge. It also needs some artistry. I would look at whether or not they have any post-doctoral training in cosmetic work as well as the type of results they get with the cases they’ve done. This is where the smile gallery comes in handy because you get to see the before and after pictures.
As for the color, this is very subjective. If you want a white smile, you should get one. If you speak with the cosmetic dentist about the type of smile you hope to create, he or she will be able to advise you on the color.
This blog is brought to you by East Cobb Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.