Let me fill you in on a secret. Behind every great cosmetic dentist is an amazing ceramist—especially when it comes to the art of porcelain veneers. There is a scientific component understood by the dentist and the artistic component created by the ceramist.
I am a strong believer in naturally inspired veneers that are created with characteristics that mimic nature. In the past, I struggled to achieve predictable results for my clients because I used to prepare the teeth and send the moulds to an external lab with photos and a brief description of the brief.
At this lab, i was often just another dentist. Some technician or technicians were assigned to creating the job. Just like no two painters are exactly the same, every dental ceramist has different hand skills. So the jobs always came back looking different and very often different from my vision.
Very frustratingly, I often needed to make adjustments (in colour, shape, length) and would have to put temporary veneers back on the client for another week or two while the veneers were refined to my (and my client) satisfaction.
Now, our approach is different. Unlike most practices, we have our own in-house ceramic dental lab. Headed by master ceramist Ms Chloe Park, it is located within our clinic and solely create ceramic work for The Dental Room dentists. The philosophy here is different: I work directly with a ceramist, not with a lab that gives me any ceramist. Chloe sits in on planning sessions with clients from as early as the initial consultation. She understands my vision and this results in highly predictable results for my clients. I would not have it any other way.
With the ubiquity of computers and data, veneers are often milled by a machine with minimal human input. There seems to be a push towards mass production; artistic flair is disappearing. We have chosen to stay very traditional. Chloe is, in essence, an artisan who painstakingly creates each tooth by hand. She custom blends the porcelain according, in part, to our client’s desire and my direction, for the most natural looking veneer.
Her ability and passion to create a highly natural veneer that is almost indistinguishable to real teeth is what sets her work apart from that of ordinary professionals. The skill involved in achieving a perfectly natural smile is the complete opposite of a dental restoration that is too white, too large or unnaturally even.
Having an in-house ceramist speeds up the process of getting porcelain veneers. For example, we have recently completed a complete smile makeover for a client in three days from start to finish. The process is vertically integrated because my ceramist sits under the same roof. She can do the colour matching during the same appointment that I’m doing the treatment plan. She’s consulting with the client from the start to the finish. There’s no extra visits or trips to an external ceramist.
We often have clients from interstate who stay in Melbourne for a week while we have their veneers done for them. Time is critical when you’re working with these clients, as they have a flight to catch. So, if minor modifications need to be made that vary from the initial moulds, it can be done straight away.
Chloe is involved from the start. She sits in during the cosmetic consultation with the client, where we understand the client’s concerns and objectives together. She looks at each case from an artistic point of view where I look at it from a technical point of view. So, the client gets the best of both worlds from the very beginning.
Chloe and I are both heavily involved in the treatment planning process for each case. We bounce ideas between us regarding shape and colour and where we need to set the final position of the veneers. That’s never usually done when a dentist works with an external ceramic lab.
Chloe is also involved in veneer preparation process. Once the preparation work is completed, she makes sure that we’ve worked on the teeth adequately, so we get both the clinical and the artistic end result we want. We hand-make the porcelain veneers here at The Dental Room without using a milling machine.
When we insert the veneers, we are able to show the clients what the veneers look like. And if adjustments are needed, we can customise almost anything on the day of the appointment from the edges of the teeth to the amount of translucency, to the texture, to the colour. It can all be done straight away.
A great ceramist enables the team to exact a tremendous amount of oversight in the customisation process. That significantly reduces turnaround times and allows unprecedented access between ceramists and clients. It provides an unsurpassed level of quality, customisation and convenience.
I have been working closely with Chloe for more than five years and we communicate on a different level. I have a great understanding of her approach and ability, and she knows how I can add value to each case. Good ceramists are hard to find these days and we are blessed to have Chloe as part of The Dental Room team.
Contact us on (03) 9857 3988 or book an appointment with us online.