MEET THE MASTER CERAMIST
Jason Kim is a Certified Dental Technician who has developed groundbreaking techniques in dental ceramics for over 20 years, and founded the Jason Kim Dental Laboratory. He studied under Master Ceramist Willi Geller, founder of the world-renowned International Oral Design Foundation. Jason is currently the owner and president of the Oral Design Center New York.
Many times nature makes mistakes…To make a great smile, there has to be a design concept because you are essentially building something brand new. By considering one’s facial aesthetics, you have to put everything into harmony with the smile. You need both a dentist’s aesthetic views and a good ceramist to build it.
Whose teeth do you think are over the top white?
Some of the whitest opaque teeth we see on celebrities actually don’t have enough depth so they look too “white”. For example, if they step into a room, their teeth come in first and examples of well-known actors with this kind of white opaque teeth include Denzel Washington and Demi Moore. Additionally, some television stars are working in a very bright studio where there is a lot of light so their teeth don’t necessarily look that bad however, as soon as they step into daylight, their teeth look too bright and overdone.
How have ceramics changed over the past 5 years?
People are always asking for whiter teeth now. In the past, we only had one bleached shade over naturally white teeth. Now, there are four bleached shades. Therefore, it is in the hands of a good ceramist to create even more depth so that the veneers look like the most natural yet beautiful set of teeth.
What do you think makes a great cosmetic dentist?
A great cosmetic dentist knows just how much white to recommend for the veneers after the first consultation with the patient. In other words, they get inside their patients’ heads. Rather than just giving them what they ask for which is often “the whitest teeth” possible, a great cosmetic dentist has a strong sense of aesthetics and will recommend what will look best for each patient according to their lifestyle and image.
Many of these great dentists send their patients to me for consultations on veneers so that I can help to explain why chalky teeth look that way and how each environment absorbs the light differently. For example, outside in the sunlight, your teeth will appear brighter because there is a lot of light vs. an interior environment such as a dark-lit restaurant or bar-lounge, your teeth won’t look as bright.
Natural teeth have a certain mixture of translucence and whiteness. This whiteness has to be blended with translucency so that the whiteness looks deeper and not on the surface where it is bouncing a lot of light.
How strong is the porcelain you use and how long will it last?
Modern chemical bonding procedures of ceramic to natural tooth has improved significantly; in fact, the strength of this bonding is stronger than dentine enamel in nature. When ceramic materials are bonded correctly, the tooth vitality increases. With proper bonding and occlusion from the clinician side, porcelain veneers should last 12-15 years.
Do you have a signature look for your work or does it depend on the dentist’s eye?
Some artists have a certain style. With dental ceramic art, you almost need to become a chameleon to adapt to the needs of a particular person’s tooth form and color. It’s hard to have a signature style that would work for everyone. I create according to the needs of the individual.