When one thinks of a makeover they don’t always include their teeth in the big picture. Consider for a moment how big of a part our teeth play in our self-confidence? Our teeth can affect the way we smile, the way we talk, the way we pose for pictures – so why don’t we take care of them first? This article reviews several case studies where people had porcelain veneers and the outcome was major. -Dr. Mark McCauley DMD

By Thomas P. Connelly, D.D.S.

Dentistry is one of those professions where many people think the actual “work” done by each dentist is similar. After all, a filling is a filling is a filling, right? Not so. In reality, just like any other profession, all dental work is not created equal. To give an example, we have seen the bad veneer makeovers glowing in the dark (“chicklet teeth”), and the dental crowns with black lines showing thru the gums.

Besides the dentist’s skill, a large part of poor-looking cosmetic dental work is determined by the ceramist that your dentist chooses to work with. Dentists can use a small “boutique” style ceramist that will custom create each tooth like a work of art; or they can opt for a machine-made veneer from a national chain type laboratory that spits them out “quickly and cheaply”… sometimes 90 percent less than the boutique will charge!

I have my own point of view here. Although some of them have been nice, overall, I’ve never been a fan of the machine made ceramics. So in 2002, along with world-renowned ceramist Yasu Kawabe from Japan, I founded Oral Design Boston, a ceramics laboratory on Newbury Street in Boston, MA. There, I was involved extensively in developing the technical and laboratory portion of high end porcelain veneer fabrication — from importing rare porcelain vacuumed furnaces from Germany and Hawaii, to testing microscopes and elaborate porcelain combinations. I took this level of involvement because understanding and managing every step on the process is vital to ensure superb porcelain aesthetics when dealing with high-level cosmetic dentistry.

Now, I am not saying that you need to go to a dentist who’s gone through the level of involvement that I have with the fabrication of ceramics. My patients like my work and are happy I go to the lengths I do, but thousands of people go a dentist who uses the machine-made route, and they are perfectly happy with the work they receive. And that’s fine. It’s up to you and what “look” you prefer, and also what you can afford.