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Snap on Smile for straight teeth

Will snap on smile make my teeth look straight? I’m too old for braces.

Cathy- Maine


Whether Snap-on Smile can make your teeth look straight, will depend on how your teeth need to look straight. If you have a large overbite, then it would make your smile stick out further.  If your teeth are a little crooked, then it will make them look straight. You need to know that while this will give you a decent smile, it will not give you a stunning smile like you would get with porcelain veneers.

You mentioned that you are too old for braces, but have you considered getting Invisalign? These will straighten your teeth with invisable aligners. No one will even know you are straightening your teeth.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.


Treating a huge tooth gap

If I have a large tooth gap. i measured it and it looks like it is a little over half a centimeter. if I wanted to treat that would it be better to do lumineers, dental  bonding, or something else?

Eric S.- Philadelphia


Which treatment you use will depend in part about how you feel about your teeth in general. Are you happy with the shape and color of your teeth, but just want to fix the gap? Do you want to fix your gap and whiten? Or do you not like anything about your teeth and want a complete smile makeover? The only thing you mentioned that I would definitively say no to is the dental bonding. It is just too large a gap for that to be an attractive solution.

If you’re happy with your teeth and just want to fix the gap, then I would recommend Invisalign. These will straighten your teeth in less than half the time of traditional braces. The best part is the aligners are invisible. Even at a conversational distance people will not be able to tell you are wearing them.  It is also possible to do teeth whitening at the same time.

However, if there are other things, such as the size and shape of your teeth, that you want to change, then you might want to consider porcelain veneers. I know you mentioned Lumineers. I don’t know if you are aware that they are just a brand of porcelain veneers. Most expert cosmetic dentists are not happy with the quality of their product. Let me give you a word of caution. A gap the size you mentioned is large enough to fit another tooth into. Because of this, if you choose any type of porcelain veneers you had really better make sure you are going to an expert cosmetic dentist. I wouldn’t go to anyone who wasn’t accredited (which is different from just a member) by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Only about the top 1% of dentists reach the level of accreditation. They’ll be able to handle a complicated case like yours.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Tooth pain with Invisalign

I am on my fifth set of aligners with invisalign. I’m having pretty bad tooth pain. My dentist wondered if I could have a leaky filling. He wants to remove it and put in a temporary filling to see how it does. Do you think this is OK?

Brenda L.- Washington


There could be a few things going on. First, and a very probable one, is uncomfortableness from orthodontic work. Whenever you are moving your teeth, it doesn’t matter if you’re using Invisalign or traditional metal braces, your teeth can become painful because of sensitivity to pressure. Your teeth are shifting and then have to reform the bone over the tooth root.

A second possible reason for the pain in your tooth is what your dentist is suggesting. You could have a defective filling. It is not uncommon for amalgam (silver) fillings to begin to crack and leak.  He’ll put a temporary filling in and seal your teeth better. In a fair amount of time it will feel better, if that was the problem.

A third reason could be that your tooth is infected. You may want your dentist to do an x-ray to eliminate an infection.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Louisiana dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Appropriate Age for Invisalign

I was wondering what is the youngest age someone can be and still use Invisalign?  My 14 year old daughter needs braces, but she says she really wants invisalign. Actually, she says she’ll die if she has to wear anything other than invisalign. So I need to know if she is even old enough. Please save me from teen drama.

Breanne- Indiana


Well, rest easy. It is safe for teens to use Invisalign. They have a brand specific to them called Invisalign teen. There are a few qualifications. For a teen to use them they need to have already lost all their baby teeth. It is also important that their second molars be at least partially erupted. If all that is in order, than it is just a matter of having a dentist look at her mouth to see if her case is compatible with Invisalign.  Most cases are, so there is a good chance she’ll be fine. If she’s not for some reason, at least this way the dentist will be the bad guy and not you.

There is something to consider. Invisalign has a lot of positives: It is invisable, it works in a fraction of the time as traditional braces, it is much more comfortable than those wires and brackets. However, the one real negative is individual responsibility. The aligners are removable. Patients take them out to eat, as well as brush and floss their teeth. Though for most that is a positive because it makes personal hygiene much easier, sometimes for teens this can be a negative.

You know your daughter better than anyone else. If she is responsible and you’re sure she’ll keep the aligners in the whole time she’s supposed to and won’t lose them, then I don’t foresee any problems. They’re an excellent way to deal with crooked or bucked teeth. Just bear in mind they can’t work if she isn’t wearing them as much as is required.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Whitening brown spots

I’ve had brown spots on my teeth since I was a child and have finally gotten to the place financially where I can do something about it. My dentist has tried whitening my teeth, but it just makes it look worse. Do you have another recommendation?

Alicia S.- Broken Arrow, OK


Teeth whitening never works on brown spots. They will always whiten the teeth surrounding the brown spots, making the spots actually look darker.  However, there is definitely something else you can do. You could use dental bonding or porcelain veneers. Either one will help with the brown spots on your teeth. However, I want to stress that you should not use your current dentist to do either of these procedures.

Teeth whitening is a basic cosmetic procedure and she didn’t understand how it works. Porcelain veneers and dental bonding are much more advanced procedures. It will be a disaster if you let a beginner do the procedure. I’m not saying he or she isn’t a good general dentist. You can still go to that office for your general dentistry procedures. But, for the cosmetic procedures you need to find an expert cosmetic dentist.

Look on the website. They recommend cosmetic dentists that are qualified by state. You’ll be safe using anyone on that site.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Stuck impression

I had an impression done in my mouth in order to get a dental bridge.  Somehow it got completely stuck in my mouth. It took the dentist about forty minutes of yanking, pulling, spraying all kinds of gunk in my mouth before he got it out. I am a little afraid it damaged my other teeth. Is he incompetent? Should I find a different dentist?

Aaron B.- Newark, NJ


This sometimes happens to a dentist, so it is not anything to worry about. In fact, the only harm it does is being embarrasssing to your dentist and throw him or her dreadfully behind in their schedule.

This happens because there is a stiff putty used in conjunction with a lighter body wash impression material. The wash gets pushed into the finest crevices. Sometimes the putty gets into the undercuts. When that happens, it can be very difficult to remove.

You may be interested in learning a little more about dental bridges.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, Louisiana Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Porcelain Veneers when pregnant

Can you get porcelain veneers when you’re pregnant? I’m five months along.

Alissa M.- Birmingham, AL


Congratulations on your baby! Yes, it is perfectly safe to get porcelain veneers when you are pregnant. The procedure doesn’t require any anesthesia. Even if you needed novocaine, that is a safe drug that has been teste for use during pregnancy (one of the few ones).

I’d get the veneers sooner rather than later, because you don’t want to be in the late, uncomfortable stage of pregnancy, while sitting in the dental chair.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, Lousisana Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Can my teeth match my undershirt?

I was wondering if it is possible to get my teeth bleached so white that they match my white undershirt?  I bleach my shirts and they are really a brite white. I want my teeth the same color. Is that possible?

Curtis J.- Memphis


This has to be the most interesting question I have ever received. Thanks for making my evening. You can get your teeth very white with teeth whitening. How white they get really depends on factors that are outside the control of either your dentist or you. Therefore, if it is  a specific color you are after, I recommend you get porcelain veneers. Cosmetic dentists can control a lot more over not only the color, but the shape of the teeth.

However, make sure you go to an expert cosmetic dentist. If not, you could end up with a disaster. There are two easy ways to locate expert cosmetic dentists. Your first step would be to look for  a dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). They will be the top 1-3% of dentists. If however, you there isn’t an AACD accredited dentist in driving  distance, then I recommend you next check with the website. They recommend highly qualified cosmetic dentists in each state. You’ll be safe with anyone they recommend.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Difference in veneers

I’m going to get a smile makeover, which has taken me years to save up for. Because of that I’ve been doing a lot of research.  I want to make sure I use the perfect veneers. Can you tell me if MAC or JK veneers are better?

Olivia- Wisconsin


I hope you won’t mind if I don’t actually answer the question you asked. Instead, I’m going to answer the question that you needed to ask.  It is not the material that makes for beautiful porcelain veneers. There are exquisitly beautiful veneers from every type and brand.  It is the dentist you choose that makes the biggest difference. So, intead of asking which veneers should I get, you should ask how do I know if my dentist is a skilled cosmetic dentist.

There are a many ways to research cosmetic dentists, but I’ll tell you about the two I think are the quickest and most reliable.

1.  First, see if there is someone who is AACD accredited in your area.  AACD stands for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. I’m not talking about just looking for someone with a membership in the organization, but instead accreditation.  It might be difficult, because very few dentists reach that level.  Though I will say that many excellent cosmetic dentists though not AACD accredited do a fantastic job and are very likely working toward accreditation.

2. If you cannot find someone who is AACD accredited, then I would go to the website. They research cosmetic dentists for both their training and their artistry, both of which have to be verified. Any one of them would be able to give you a gorgeous smile with porcelain veneers.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Louisiana Cosmetic dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Ugly porcelain crowns

I think I made a mistake, but I don’t know what to do about it.  I needed my four front teeth crowned. I told my dentist that I wanted all porcelain crowns. He told me that he hasn’t done many of them, but I told him how important that was for me, so he said he’d go ahead and do it.  When the crowns were completed I was really disappointed. They didn’t look very natural to me. I expressed this to my sweet dentist and he said he’d do them over free of charge. He asked if I wouldn’t mind going to the lab in order to give them some idea of what I am looking for.  I said OK, but now I wonder if that was a mistake. I don’t really know how to instruct a lab. Do you have any advice for me?



You have a fantastic dentist, who obviously cares about you and values you as a patient. He is willing to do this again free of charge, which will actually cost him a significant amount of money in lab fees alone. Because your crowns are functional and the only problem seems to be you not liking the appearance, he is under no obligation to do anything. I hope this gives you some idea of what a generous, kind dentist you have.

You mentioned earlier that you think you’d made a mistake.  To be honest, the mistake wasn’t in agreeing to go to the lab, the mistake is in unintentionally putting your dentist in the position of needing to do a procedure he wasn’t adequately trained in  so that you would be happy.

Doing all-porcelain crowns requires artistry that takes significant post-graduate cosmetic training. You going to the lab won’t really help, because you don’t know any more than your dentist does what instructions to give the lab. Here is what I suggest. You’ll need to go to an expert cosmetic dentist and pay his consulting fee. Tell him the situation and ask him to advise you on what to ask the lab.  He may even suggest you go to a different lab depending on how he  feels about the quality of your dentist’s current one. Then you can tell your original dentist his advice.

The next step is for you to find an expert cosmetic dentist. First, I’d go on the website for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) and look for a dentist who is accredited with them in your area. That is different from just being a member.  If you can’t find an accredited dentist in  your area I would go to the website and look for who they recommend from your state. This site only lists expert cosmetic dentists, so you’ll be safe with anyone on the list.

From now on I recommend going to your invaluable dentist for all your general dentistry needs, but to another dentist for cosmetic issues.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Louisiana dentist Dr. Mike Malone.