Tag Archives: Dental Bonding

What If I Can’t Get Porcelain Veneers?

I’m disappointed with my smile, but my dentist said I can’t get porcelain veneers because I grind my teeth. Is there anything else I can do to improve my smile? I have a gap between my teeth and they are quite discolored.

Mandy

Dear Mandy,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

I think your dentist may be a little confused. If the only issue is that you grind your teeth, there is a way for you to get porcelain veneers. It’s possible that he’s not comfortable doing smile makeovers and rather than admit that he’s trying to discourage you from moving forward with that. Don’t pressure him. You will not be happy with the results.

Here’s what I’d recommend. The first thing I want you to do is to get a second opinion. But, make sure you do it with a dentist who’s accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). These are the top cosmetic dentists in the country.

In all honesty, in order to get the gorgeous smile you’re hoping for that’s the type of dentist you’d want to do your veneers anyway.

If Porcelain Veneers Aren’t an Option

There are some cases, where other work has to be done before you can get porcelain veneers, such as when you have gum disease. In other cases, they’re good candidates, but this type of makeover is just over their budget. That doesn’t mean you can’t get an upgraded smile. Here are some great, affordable options:

  • Teeth Whitening: This is the most affordable way to brighten your smile dramatically. It will make you look years younger.
  • Invisalign: This is a great option to straighten your teeth without anyone knowing your wearing orthodontics. Plus, it works in half the time of traditional orthodontics.
  • Dental Bonding: This can repair chips and gaps on teeth.

As you can see there are many ways to upgrade a smile. However, no matter what you do, you’ll want to protect your teeth, especially after investing money in improving it. If your dentist hasn’t suggested a night guard to you, knowing that you’re grinding your teeth, then it may be time to get another dentist.

This is a simple orthotic device you’d wear over your teeth and it will take the pressure off of your teeth when you grind them. Without this, your natural teeth will eventually be worn down to nubs, requiring you to get each tooth crowned.

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

Cosmetic Dentistry Disaster

My dental bonding for a chipped tooth needed to be replaced. I had a new dentist who suggested I get porcelain veneers instead. He’d do four so they could match. Then, when he saw one of them had a cavity, he said I’d need crowns. So, now I have four crowns on my very front teeth and even though he said he had to do four in order for them to match, the two very front teeth look a weird grayish color. What do I do?

Valerie

Dear Valerie,

Porcelain Veneer being placed on a tooth

There are so many things which went wrong here I hardly know where to start. First, any dentist who says you have to do more than one crown or veneer is not a qualified cosmetic dentist. Yes, it takes skill and artistry to match a single front tooth, but isn’t that what you’re paying them for when it comes to remaking a smile—skill and artistry?

Second, you can still have porcelain veneers bonded to a tooth which has a cavity as long as that cavity isn’t so large that it would require a crown under normal circumstances. That would have prevented you from having to grind down healthy tooth structure.

Sadly, the only way to do this is to have the two front teeth re-done. Hopefully, he’s the type of dentist who cares about the quality of his work and will be willing to replace the crowns free of charge.

However, that’s not enough. You need to make sure he’s willing to get a professional try in the paste. These are clear enough to show the color of the underlying teeth on them, giving you a clearer picture of what the crowns will look like once they’re permanently bonded. Then, he needs to let you try them in and get a good look them in several types of lighting and you’ll approve them before they’re bonded.

If he’s not willing to do that, you aren’t likely to get any better results. In that case, it’s in your best interest to find an expert cosmetic dentist.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentists

Unfortunately, now that you’ve had crowns placed, you have to replace them with that forever. However, a skilled cosmetic dentist can give you gorgeous porcelain crowns. There are two places you can look to find a qualified cosmetic dentist in a reasonable distance from you. The first is at AACD.com. Do a search for an accredited cosmetic dentist. You need to check that you want them to be accredited and not just a member. There’s a difference.

The second is mynewsmile.com. This site only lists artistic and skilled cosmetic dentists who can give you a beautiful smile. You’ll be safe with anyone on their list or anyone who’s been accredited.

Best of luck to you.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Will Press-on Veneers Be a Good Option for Me?

I have stained teeth and a chip on a very front tooth. My smile has always embarrassed me. A friend recently got porcelain veneers and her smile is stunning. I was going to do that myself until she told me the price tag. I just can’t afford that. I saw an advertisement for Press-on Veneers. They’re about $1000, which I could afford. However, I don’t want to spend that much money if it won’t give me a comparatively beautiful smile. What do you think? Is it a good option?

Karen S.

Dear Karen,

Porcelain Veneer being placed on a tooth

I’m about to save you a lot of money AND give you an improved and pretty smile. First, don’t get the Press-on Veneers. It’s not what you’re after. They’re not permanently placed and more just fit over your teeth.

Additionally, they’re not made of the same material and will look fake to people you’re having a conversation with. They’ll also be bulky. To the credit of the site who sells them, they’re very open about these issues so customers know what they’re getting into. So what good are they?

They’re a quick cheap solution if you’re having a photo shoot and want a prettier smile. Other than that, I’d look for better cosmetic options.

Porcelain Veneers and Cosmetic Alternatives

Porcelain veneers are the top of the line treatment for a smile makeover. They can change everything about your smile— the shape, size, color, and character. As you noted, they’re also the most expensive of your options.

However, I think you can get a smile you’re proud of for less than half the cost of the Press-on Veneers with the additional benefit of being permanent instead of removable.

You mentioned your teeth are stained and chipped. First, get your teeth whitened. This is a very affordable procedure that can be done either at the comfort of your own home or in one appointment in-office. After the whitening, a dental bonding can be done to repair your chipped tooth.

While any dentist can do the teeth whitening. Dental bonding is done free-hand and requires a skilled and artistic cosmetic dentist. I’d look on the mynewsmile.com website to see who they recommend. The site is very reliable. They will only recommend skilled cosmetic dentists.

I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone, an AACD accredited Dentist.

Doubling Invisalign Trays for Teeth Whitening

I’m getting Invisalign which I’m very excited about. My dentist also offers teeth whitening. It appears that the trays for teeth whitening and the trays for Invisalign are quite similar. I noticed that I can buy the gel online. This will allow me to get both procedures done for so much less. Could I use the aligners as whitening trays?

Miranda D.

Dear Miranda,

A woman placing in her Invisalign aligners

I’ll start by telling you that, yes, your Invisalign aligners can double as whitening trays. The caveat being, you need to make sure you’re a good candidate for teeth whitening. I would not recommend just purchasing whitening gel online to use in the aligners, especially if this is your first time whitening your teeth.

You’ll want to be under the observational care of your dentist during your first whitening because there are complications that could arise which you won’t know the warning signs for. He (or she) can spot them and take helpful steps before any complications become more serious.

Secondly, you have no way of knowing whether the gel you’re purchasing is reputable or even equally strong as the gel your dentist can provide. Even worse, it could be material that will damage your teeth.

Teeth Whitening Only Works on Natural Teeth

If you have dental work, such as fillings or dental crowns, they will not whiten with the whitening gel. Instead, your teeth will whiten and the dental work will remain the same color. So, if they’re visible when you smile, you’ll want to replace them when the procedure is done. The same goes for dental bonding.

You will likely find that once your Invisalign and Whitening are done, you will have a stunning smile. You’ll gain confidence and smile more. In turn, you’ll appear more positive and successful to others, which will bring you opportunities previously hidden.

Also, keep your final pair of aligners. Keep them clean and stored carefully, then once a year or so, you can ask your dentist for another tube of whitening gel for a touch-up. Many dentists are willing to provide that if you keep up regularly with your cleanings and check-ups.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Can a Cosmetic Dentist Fix Spaces Between My Teeth?

I have some spaces between my teeth that I want fixed, but I don’t want metal braces. Are there cosmetic options?

Fiona L.

Dear Fiona,

A woman with a gorgeous smile created by cosmetic dentist Dr. Mike Malone
A gorgeous smile created by cosmetic dentist Dr. Mike Malone

You have quite a few options to fix the spaces between your teeth. If you want to close the spaces, you have options other than traditional metal braces. Invisalign is a brand of orthodontics which uses invisible aligners to straighten your teeth. They’re very effective, working in less time than traditional braces.

The aligners have the benefit of being able to double as teeth whitening aligners. That way you can whiten your teeth and straighten them at the same time.

Cosmetic Dentistry Options for Closing Teeth

  • Tooth bonding: Depending on the size of the gaps between your teeth, dental bonding is a fantastic, fairly inexpensive option for you.
  • Porcelain veneers: If there are other things you want to change about your teeth, then veneers are your best option. They can change anything—the shape, size, color, and character.

Choosing your Cosmetic Dentist

If you choose the cosmetic option over the orthodontic option, it’s important you choose your cosmetic dentist carefully. You want to make sure the smile you get will be a beautiful one. Not every dentist can pull that off. It takes both technical knowledge as well as an artistic eye. It’s very challenging for patients to know who is capable of that type of advanced cosmetic work.

Because of that, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) started an accreditation program. It’s designed to test dentists on their technical skill and their artistic ability. There are stringent oral and written exams and they have to show a series of cases they’ve done of specific procedures to make sure they create not just technically proficient but gorgeous as well.

If you want a beautiful smile, go to an AACD accredited dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Dentist Refuses to Fix Son’s Tooth with Veneers or Crowns

I’m really frustrated. My 9-year-old took a bad fall. When he did, he lost half his front tooth. I want his repair to be stable. My first thought was a porcelain veneer but my dentist said no. Then I suggested a crown. The dentist said no. I don’t know what to do. Why won’t they treat him?

Laura K.

Dear Laura,

Porcelain Veneer being placed on a tooth

I know you’re frustrated. You want the absolute best for your son and it seems like your pediatric dentist isn’t cooperating. He may not be explaining things well, but he’s not wrong. Though, he should have told you what solutions would work.

With a child, their jaws and bite are in an almost constant state of flux. He will outgrow both the porcelain veneers and dental crowns so fast it could mess up a lot of things about his bite. Not to mention the fact that it would cost you a fortune to constantly replace them.

Alternative to Porcelain Veneers for a Child

The best solution at this point would be to have dental bonding done to make the tooth look completely natural. It’s much less expensive than veneers or crowns anyway. Then, when his jaw has fully developed you can look for a more permanent solution.

I’m assuming at this point the dentist checked for trauma to his nerves and such and that the tooth is safe. If he hadn’t, I’d go see an emergency dentist just to have his teeth looked at and make sure no permanent damage is done where he’ll need a root canal treatment.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Is There a Poor Man’s Smile Makeover?

I’ve been waiting for years for my financial situation to change so I could get a smile makeover. Sadly, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s not going to change anytime soon and I’m really tired of hating my smile. I can’t afford porcelain veneers. But, hoped there’s such a thing as a poor man’s smile makeover.

Missy E.

Dear Missy,

There are several things you can do to improve your smile on a budget. Which procedures you do, depends on what bother’s you about your smile.

If it’s just the color, teeth whitening can totally remake your smile affordably all while taking years off your appearance. It can be done in one appointment at your dentist’s office or over a period of time at home with custom made whitening trays from your dentist.

If you have minor chips or gaps, you can have dental bonding done to repair them. Of course, if changing the whiteness of your teeth is still in the picture, you’ll want to do that first. The color of the bonding can’t be changed once it’s completed, so you’ll want to match it to already whitened teeth.

Another option is Invisalign. It’s a way to orthodontically straighten teeth without using traditional metal braces. It can be done without anyone knowing you’re doing it. A bonus feature is the aligners used for Invisalign can double as whitening trays, so you can straighten and color your teeth simultaneously, saving you additional money.

Invisalign and whitening can be done by just about any dentist. Dental bonding, however, requires a cosmetic dentist with some artistic ability. It’s done freehand and your teeth change in depth and translucency as you move down the tooth.

If your financial situation ever changes and you want a blow out the room type of smile makeover, then you’d get porcelain veneers.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Can I Improve My Smile Without Tons of Money?

I’ve wanted to improve my smile for a long time, but just don’t have that much money. I’ve heard porcelain veneers are the way to go, but when I looked into them they were way too expensive. Is there a less expensive way to makeover your smile?

Amanda S. – Topeka

Amanda,

It’s a tough economy right now, especially where we are in Louisiana, so I understand wanting to save money. It’s tough when you have a desire to improve something, but don’t feel you have the requisite funds. I have some good news for you though. There are cosmetic procedures you can do that will improve your smile without porcelain veneers.

One of the least expensive cosmetic procedures is teeth whitening. That simple procedure takes years off your appearance. If you can swing in-office whitening, it’s faster. Your teeth will be dramatically whiter in one appointment. However, your dentist can custom design trays for you to do professional strength whitening at home. That costs a little less. It will take a little longer, depending on the level of whitening you desire, but it can get them as white as the in-office option.

If you have chips or gaps in your teeth, dental bonding can repair them, and is significantly cheaper than veneers. Just be aware that while veneers can last a couple of decades when well cared for, dental bonding will only really last a few years.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Can I Close My Tooth Gap Without Invisalign?

I wanted to close a tooth gap. I wanted to do it with cosmetic dentistry, but my dentist wants to do orthodontics. Isn’t there a cosmetic way to do it?

Amanda L. – Idaho

Amanda,

Yes, there are a couple of cosmetic options to close a tooth gap without orthodontics. Two cosmetic options are dental bonding and porcelain veneers.

Dental bonding is the most logical if all you want to do is close the gap.  A cosmetic dentist will use a composite resin to fill in the tooth gap.

Porcelain veneers are a bit of an overtreatment for simply closing a tooth gap. But, if you had several changes you wanted to change about your smile, such as the shape, size, and color it would make more sense.

However, let me give you a small word of caution. If your dentist didn’t suggest either of those, it’s likely because he’s not confident in cosmetic procedures. You’ll want to find a skilled cosmetic dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Can porcelain veneers fix a tooth gap?

If I have a tooth gap between my center top front teeth, can porcelain veneers close the gap?

Lucy P – North Dakota

Lucy,

Yes, porcelain veneers can close a tooth gap. However, unless there are other things about your teeth you’d like to change, there is a less expensive fix.

Dental bonding is a simple way to close a tooth gap. It uses composite resin. Your dentist will manually shape it to your teeth, blending it to look naturally with your front teeth.

Porcleian veneers are better for a total smile makeover.  They can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth. They can completely remake your smile.

However, they do cost more than bonding. Which procedure you should get will be determined by your goals and desires for your smile.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.