Category Archives: Cosmetic dentistry

My crown didn’t whiten

I don’t understand what happend. I spent a few hundred dollars to whiten my teeth, but the crown, right in the front of my smile, didn’t whiten at all. Now my smile looks ridiculous. How do I fix this?

Kathryn C. – New Jersey


I’m a little frustratrated with your dentist. Even those with the most elementary skill in cosmetic dentistry know that dental work, such as dental crowns, will not whiten with teeth whitening.

The only way to fix this now is to have your crown re-done.  When you do that, make sure you use a different dentist. You’ll also want to make sure he gives you all porcelain crowns.

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Worst smile makeover ever

I got some Lumineers. Let me say I spent a small fortune. I was so excited about this. Unfortunately, I’ve come out of this looking like Mr. Ed.  The teeth are huge and bulky. What do I do?

Elaine – Maryland


I’m sorry for your experience.  Many inexperienced cometic dentists think they can place lumineers, because they’re advertised as simple. Plus, to become a lumineers dentist you just have to take an exam.

What you want to look for when you’re getting a smile makeover, is a great cosmetic dentist. You want someone with extensive post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry. It’s likely, that you’ll need to have this smile re-done. You could try to get a refund from your current dentist.

Any decent cosmetic dentist will have a smile gallery, where you could see what kind of results they get. You should also look on They recommend the best cosmetic dentists in each state.

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Invisalign or Wine…Having a hard time choosing

I’ve been wanting to get my teeth straightened for quite some time. I’ve always been a little uncomfortable with a small gap in my teeth. However, my dentist said I wouldn’t be able to drink wine while I was doing Invisalign. I think I’d rather impale myself then go several months without wine. Is there no wiggle room on this?

Sammie M. – Lawrence, MA


I think you may have misunderstood your doctor…or maybe your doctor is a prohibitionist and he was trying to keep you from drinking. Unlike traditional orthodontics, Invisalign can be removed by the patient. In fact, you’ll remove them every time you eat.  That means there will be no problem with you having a glass of wine with your meal.

He probably meant that you shouldn’t drink wine while your aligners are in. There is a good reason for this. Alcohol is corrosive and if you drink it while your aligner is in, it is likely to pool in the aligners and damage your teeth.

If the only problem with your teeth is a small gap, you have other options. Hopefully, your dentist also mentioned cosmetic dentistry, such as porcelain veneers or dental bonding.  Either of these would fix the gap without the need for orthodontics.

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Don’t become a cosmetic dentistry horror story

Here’s an ad that I spotted over the holidays in our Mesa Tribune:

North Scottsdale Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
A cheap smile makeover offer from Steven Poulos DDS and Sid Stevens DDS of North Scottsdale Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

I would skip this smile makeover offer – there are a couple of serious red flags here that, as an accredited cosmetic dentist, I can help you with.

The first problem is the fee of $695. This is a cheap porcelain veneer. You can easily pay triple that here in the Phoenix valley. It’s way below the minimum for which you can get a quality smile makeover. You need to pay at least $1000 or $1100 per tooth for a smile makeover.

Don’t try to cut corners here. Once the dentist grinds on your teeth and replaces your natural tooth enamel with porcelain, there is no going back. But if you get a cheap smile makeover, there is no going back, even though you may wish to. And I have corresponded with many patients who have wished they could have their natural teeth back after getting a mediocre smile makeover.

If money is an issue, try this cheaper alternative: do nothing. But if you want a smile makeover, go for beautiful and be willing to pay for it.

Wondering what your smile would look like with one of these cheap smile makeovers, I decided to check out their website.  When I did, I found this smile gallery:

bogus smile gallery
Bogus smile gallery from North Scottsdale Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

I was immediately suspicious, because nowhere on the page did it claim that this was the work of Dr. Steven Poulos or Dr. Sid Stevens, the two dentists at this office. So I decided to call. And I was fortunate to get Dr. Poulos himself on the phone. I mentioned the smile portfolio and asked, “Who did this work? Is this by one of your dentists, or is this just an illustration of the procedures?” He confessed that these were what he called “canned” photos. He said that they do good work but they’re not very good photographers.


My advice: Skip this smile makeover offer. Go ahead and take them up on their teeth whitening, but if you want a beautiful smile of porcelain veneers, you need to be willing to pay in the neighborhood of $1000 to $2000 per tooth. Avoid cheap smile makeovers as you would avoid cheap parachutes.

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