The Smiles Blog

Everyone has one’s own smile story

Your Smile Analysis

And all of us want a happy ending. This Smiles-Blog is for those who want to share their story and learn from others. Sharing your smiles will sharpen how you vision your own teeth. You will not only know your own smile down to the nitty-gritty, in every detail, without the intimidation of a dental office, you will also learn what others might think about your teeth. In addition, Dr. Rabanus may give you some professional feedback. You will then be well prepared to visit your own dentist, get a thorough examination, and discuss your personal goals.

Upload your story with a picture that depicts clearly what you’d like to discuss.

Share your smile!


Matthew on July 30, 2015

Dear Dr. Rabanus,

When I was a child I chipped my left front tooth. I've had a bonding ever since but when I got the bonding replaced 2 years ago it was replaced with a bonding that doesn't match my tooth as well as I would like. I feel that there is a clear line demarcating where the bonding is adhered to my natural tooth, and it appears much grayer than the rest of my tooth. Is it possible to get a bonding that more closely matches my tooth color?

Response from Dr. Rabanus

Hello Matthew,

I agree that the bonding is more translucent than your natural tooth and looks grayer. The demarcation line is clearly visible. Bonding commonly matches tooth color much better with the right choice of materials and a bevelling of the fractured margin. It appears that your upper central incisors are not symmetric. The one with the bonding appears slightly wider. Is it just because of the angle of your photograph?

Hong Anh on June 13, 2015

I had 8 teeth prepped for veneers two months ago. The dentist cemented six veneers and placed temporaries on two teeth. A few days after being cemented one veneer fell out. Now another veneer (left front tooth) is discolored, the tooth aches and is very uncomfortable. I'm currently wearing four temporaries and four veneers. Why did the tooth turn a different color and is now aching? This process has been very stressful and traumatizing. I'm hoping to have this fixed as soon as possible by a different dentist.

Response from Dr. Rabanus

Dear Hong,

I am sorry to hear about the problems that your are experiencing with your current veneers, which are in the process of being placed by another dentist. I sent you an email to arrange meeting with you and to discover what needs to be done at this point.

See you soon.

Dr. Rabanus

Stephen Dempsey on June 6, 2015

Hello Mr. Rabanus,

I'm finally doing research to get the smile I've always wanted. Am I fixable?!


Response from Dr. Rabanus

This is a great picture of your smile and teeth. Yes, you are definitely "fixable" :)

If you wish we could discuss the next steps via e-mail at or schedule an appointment for you to have a complimentary consultation with me.

Thank you for reaching out!

Dr. Rabanus

Vanessa Mendoza on March 18, 2015

Hi I have a canted smile and it's been more noticed since my dentist gave my my elastics to close my teeth together any help or anything I should do to help my smile ?

Response from Dr. Rabanus

Hello Marie,

Since you are already treated with braces, the best solution to address your canted smile would be an orthodontic correction. You might also want to seek the advice of another orthodontist to learn about all your options. Porcelain veneers can be an option in situations such as yours, but they should be your last resort if orthodontic treatment fails to address your aesthetic concerns.
I hope this helps.

All the best,
Dr. Rabanus

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Drew on December 16, 2014

I have a snaggle tooth at top and come crowding at the bottle. Are veneers acceptable for my front. I hope I can get veneers at the top and bilingual braces on the bottom and maybe explore the bottom for veneers done the road. Confused but want to get it down soon. Amy input? Ortho said 6 months to Fox, but being in business. I'd prefer the best look and quickest options. Thanks the help

Response from Dr. Rabanus

Hello Drew,

I just returned from Germany and read your inquiry.

It is good that you saw an orthodontist to see what needs or can be done to optimize the relationship between your upper and lower teeth before proceeding to porcelain veneers.

I would be happy to look at the report of the orthodontist and meet with you for a consultation. Do you live in the San Francisco Bay Area?

Thank you very much for reaching out.

Best regards,
Dr. Rabanus

Hazel on August 16, 2014

I just got my braces off about 9 months ago. I'm extremely unsatisfied with my results. My top teeth are misaligned with my bottom teeth and they kind of protrude out. I've expressed my concerns with my Orthodontist and he doesn't think anything is wrong with my teeth. My jaw also clicks and I believe that is a sign of TMJ. Please help me. Any advise would be great!

Response from Dr. Rabanus

Hello Hazel,

I am a little concerned about your TMJ symptoms. Did they start during the course of your orthodontic treatment? Has it been getting worse?

I see that you live in San Francisco. Do you want to come in for a complimentary consultations? I would be happy to help you. Please contact me at if you want to schedule a meeting.

Thank you very much!

Dr. Rabanus

Ermelita Allera on December 12, 2013

Hi doctor Rabanus
My name is ermelita. I am 28 yrs old born & raised in San Francisco.For a long time now I couldn't afford braces or any method to help fix my teeth. Both top & bottom are crowded & messed up. I'm so ashamed to smile when I start to laugh I cover my mouth guarding it for anyone to see but I'm tired of hiding some people close to me are aware of my teeth defect. I hope there's a way u can help me at all? I am even ashamed of posting a picture of my smile

Response from Dr. Rabanus

Hello Ermelita, thank you very much for submitting your smile picture. First of all let me tell you that there is no reason why you should hide your smile. Your picture clearly shows that you have a beautiful smile. Getting your teeth straightened and/or enhanced with cosmetic dentistry is only secondary. I am going to contact you to see when we could meet to take a closer look at your teeth. Okay? Talk to you soon. Dr. Rabanus

Andrew Dunkle on October 20, 2013

Hi Dr. Rabanus,

Can you please take a look at my smile and tell me how I can make it better? I'm concerned with my lower set of teeth. They seem overcrowded.


Response from Dr. Rabanus

Hello Andrew,
I see what you mean. Yes, your lower teeth are pretty crowded and it appears that some kind of orthodontic treatment, such as traditional braces or Invisalign would be your most likely options.
I see that you live in Berkeley, California. We could schedule a complimentary consultation with you to get a better idea about your current dental condition. We also will have to see current x-rays that will tell us about the health of your teeth, gums, and surrounding bone.
Sounds good?
All the best!
Dr. Rabanus

Megan on October 4, 2013

Dr. Rabanus,

I am dealing with a canted smile right now. I just recently got engaged, and wanted to see what my options are as far as fixing this goes. Some people have recommended gum shaving and then filing the teeth that go lower in my mouth down a little bit, but I’m not sure how that would work. Please help me out!

Thanks so much,

Response from Dr. Rabanus

Hello Megan,
the procedure that you mentioned is called "surgical crown lengthening." It is a minor surgical procedure that removed part of your attached gingiva and commonly the same amount of crestal bone. Biological reasons require meticulous attention to the amount of gingiva and bone to be removed. Once the gingival margins have healed and settled at the required level, porcelain restorations (veneers or crowns) are placed to cover the exposed root surfaces and to develop proper emergence profiles and establish proper proportions of the teeth.

Ryan on September 19, 2013

Dr. Rabanus,

I noticed that a number of dentists who are members/fellows at the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry charge different prices for veneers depending on which lab the patient decides to use (apparently some labs have “master” ceramist while others do not and the price of the price of each veneer is higher if the patient goes with a master ceramist). One dentist seems to have an in-house lab.'

Can you comment on what lab you use and how important it is to use a master ceramist? How closely does a patient need to work with a lab/ceramist? Does the choice determine the amount of tooth structure that is removed? Sorry for the many questions! Thank you for a very informative website!

Response from Dr. Rabanus

Hello Ryan,

The choice of the lab is very important. I have tried many different dental labs throughout the years. The most valuable labs are the ones that are willing to communicate and try to understand what exactly is needed and wanted. Every business owner determines the value of his services. It is determined by expertise, expense, and time devoted for a client.

The level of communication is proportional to the quality of the final product. A dentist who strives for the best communication possible with both, the patient and the dental laboratory, establishes realistic expectations and delivers the best possible solution for a given situation. The work of a dental laboratory is only as good as the information it receives. This includes study models, images, treatment plans, requests for specific techniques and materials, and a very specific language.

Both, the dentist and the lab technician, need to understand that language. The more differentiated a dialogue is, the more predictable the result will be. Last but not least, the dental technician/ceramist needs to be a master in his craft. There are many master technicians, but only a few are willing to communicate and invest the time necessary to truly understand the patient’s goals.

The goals for aesthetic elements vary from patient to patient and need to be carefully duplicated. The dentist is the quarterback that communicates the patient’s goals to the ceramist. A system of consecutive steps needs to be established that guide the patient to be involved in every decision and to communicate that decision to the dental technician

The time involved in the entire process (besides expense and expertise) determines the fee for the service. The amount of tooth structure that is removed depends on the current dental condition and the desired outcome. Please feel free to watch a series of videos that I published on YouTube describing this issue in detail. You can find the videos by searching for my name on YouTube.

Curtis on September 2, 2013

Hey Doc,

I really feel like my smile could improve a lot if i could close the gaps and whiten the yellow areas, in your professional opinion what options do i have in terms of closing the gaps? Would I require veneers to do so, or are there other options? Also, one of my concerns is going for a cosmetic procedure and coming out with a mouth full of horse teeth or chicklets, are there ways to prevent that from happening?

Response from Dr. Rabanus

Hello Curtis,

Thank you very much for your picture. Many patients with diastemas (gaps) benefit from porcelain veneers and/or orthodontic treatment. The possibilities are best studied on study models of your teeth. It appears that your camera took the picture with a slight “fish-eye” effect, which distorts the true proportions of your teeth and spaces. Do you live in San Francisco? Feel free to contact me directly if you want to come in for a consultation.

verce on August 16, 2013

make my teeth better

Response from Dr. Rabanus

Hello Verce, it looks like cosmetic dentistry could easily address your aesthetic concerns about your smile. Do you have any specific questions? Do you live in San Francisco?

Marcia Copeland on August 4, 2013

Hi Dr. Rabanus,

I’m concerned about the uneven angle on the tops of my front bottom teeth, and would like to get it fixed. Right now my bottom teeth are leaning to the right a little, and not in alignment with my top teeth. I looked at photos of myself 5 and 10 years ago, and the unevenness was less noticeable, and I think it’s because my front right tooth is moving forward.

I went to an orthodontist to get suggestions on how to fix this, and I was basically told my only option was to get braces on my upper and lower teeth, with rubber bands to fix the alignment. He thinks I would have to wear the braces for two years. I was hoping I could get away with invisalign, but he told me invisalign would not fix the problem and it’s less effective. I also asked about veneers, and he doesn’t recommend them at all, because my teeth would look odd with a few longer than others, and they might need maintenance from chipping, etc. So I thought I would email you to get a second opinion.

Some more info: I am almost 40 years old and have had braces two times on my bottom teeth, once in junior high and the last time was 10 years ago. I never wore my retainer after I got my braces off in junior high. Currently I have a built in retainer on the back of my bottom teeth, which has been in place for 10 years.
Any info would be appreciated when you can.


Response from Dr. Rabanus

Dear Marcia,

Thank you for sharing your concerns on this blog.

Your pictures show clearly what you are describing. I can see the cant of the smile line as well as the cant of your mandible. Was this the result of your orthodontic treatment? It seems like you have had a retainer at the back of your bottom teeth, which would indicate that your lower teeth have not changed much in the last ten years. I would have expected a better outcome. However, you may have some skeletal asymmetries that could not be handled with orthodontic treatment at all.

I would gladly take a look at current x-rays of your jaws (panograph) to get a better idea about your overall situation.

I do not want to exclude any treatment option without having seen your teeth how they relate within your mouth. This is usually done with mounted models of your teeth.

I am going to send you an e-mail to which you may respond directly. Thank you very much again for sharing this interesting situation.

Mary on July 26, 2013

Hi Doctor, my one wish for myself is to get my teeth fixed, I have started going back to the dentist but I have not been satisfied, she suggested that I get braces to straighten out my teeth and to close the gap in the front of my teeth, then go on from there, this would be time consuming however she stated that nothing else would work for me at this point. Would you please take a look at the picture and let me know what you think there is a quicker way to fix smile.

Thank you very much.

Response from Dr. Rabanus

Hello Mary,

thank you very much for your picture. It shows very well a situation that often can be corrected with porcelain veneers. When teeth are too small, orthodontic treatment does not correct their size, but will move them together. This will often create a flat profile or other aesthetically compromised situations.

Multiple spaces such as yours are often caused by small teeth. Veneers are the appropriate treatment for those cases. Porcelain veneers close spaces while making timid looking teeth larger and more vivid. In very challenging situations, limited tooth movement (possibly with Invisalign) may be necessary before placing porcelain veneers.

Janeth on July 12, 2013


I have a canted smile and would like to get some feedback by anyone who has a similar situation. I would like to get an idea how involved the treatment would be.
Thank you very much.


Response from Dr. Rabanus

Hi J.,

Thank you for your picture.

Canted teeth may be caused by a combination of things. It may be caused by skeletal asymmetries and by severe misalignments of teeth. It may be a combination in your case. However, your left lateral incisor is much higher than all you other teeth. If it was as far down as its counterpart on the right side, your smile would appear much less canted. Please also note that the line that connects all incisal edges of your upper teeth is quite parallel to the curve of the inner border of your lower lip. This means that it is not as bad as you may believe.

Please feel free to send me more images of your mouth via e-mail and I will be happy to give you more feedback.

Jessica on June 21, 2013

I was wondering whether there are any subtle ways to improve my smile.

Thx Jessica

Response from Dr. Rabanus

Hi Jessica,

Your teeth and your smile look great. I don’t think that you need any enhancements. Do you have any specific concerns? If so, I would like to recommend a higher magnification of your teeth that clearly shows the area of concern, okay?

Take care.

Leila on June 6, 2013

I have done laminate in my teeth.what do u recommend I’m not happy with them why ?

Response from Dr. Rabanus

Hello Leila,

Thank you very much for your picture. It shows your smile very well. Thank you very much.
It looks like you received at least 6 upper veneers/laminates. They seem to be very long. Are they longer than your natural teeth used to be? How long ago did you receive them? The left central incisor seems to be longer than its counterpart on the right side. Does your lower lip sometimes get trapped under your laminates?

Scott on June 5, 2013

Hello, I would like to get some feedback about my current dental situation. My teeth are worn and have lots of fillings. I was wondering what can be done to rebuild my smile. I would like my teeth to look healthy again. I remember that I was really happy with them 15 years ago. Thank you for your advice in advance.

Response from Dr. Rabanus

Hello Scott, could you send a picture of your teeth/smile to allow me to get an idea about your current dental condition? Thank you very much.

Morgan on May 28, 2013

Hi, I have some old dentistry in my mouth. I received porcelain crowns a few years ago, but I am not happy with their appearance. In addition, my teeth have been shifting and my bite feels funny. I would love to get some feedback from you.

Jim Foster on May 22, 2013

My teeth are very crowded and my question is, Should I get veneers or braces?

I hate the idea of going through the ordeal of braces to tell you the truth, especially at my age, so veneers seems intriguing. I’m attaching my picture which I previously omitted.

Response from Dr. Rabanus

It looks like you have a certain kind of veneers (lumineers) that are placed on unprepared teeth. This is one of the problems that can occur with them. Teeth may become overcontoured (bulky) and the darker shade of the tooth structure may show through as in your case.

Thomas on May 11, 2013

I want to get my smile improved. My teeth are far too yellow. Do you have any suggestions?

Response from Dr. Rabanus

Hello Jim,

Thank you very much for your question. It is of concern to many people. So, here it is: First of all, every dental condition is different and therefore dictates the final treatment plan. It would be great if you could send a close-up picture of your teeth. This would give me a better idea about your crowding.

Veneers and orthodontic treatment are two valid treatment options. However, many of my patients are at an advanced age and have a lot of social and professional interaction. They cannot imagine walking around with braces for more than a year. They may either decide to get veneers (if the clinical situation allows) or to get Invisalign.

Invisalign is much much more comfortable than braces for several reasons. It still has the drawback that once the teeth have been repositioned, they will have to be retained in that position with an appliance. This is not necessary after placement of veneers.

Wil on April 27, 2013

I am liking this service!

Antonio on April 17, 2013

I’m interested in learning more about options for my lower teeth. In particular I have a chipped tooth from an old sports accident and wonder how it can be fixed. Please let me know your thoughts.

Response from Dr. Rabanus

Thank you for your submission. Do you have any questions?