Tag Archives: Lafayette Cosmetic Dentist

Porcelain Veneers Look Unnaturally Shiny

I’m curious if you can reduce the shine on porcelain veneers. Mine are unnaturally shiny looking. There’s so much shine on them they don’t look anything like regular teeth, more like a overly waxed marble floor. Is there anything I can do about this?

Martha

Dear Martha,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

When you pay money for a beautiful smile, this is what you should get. I’m very sorry you didn’t. I’m going to make a very good guess that your dentist isn’t an expert cosmetic dentist. Those who are create stunning smiles. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

While the shine on porcelain veneers is an important part of what gives it their beauty, they have to be done properly to achieve that result. Even more importantly, the glaze is what protects the veneers from picking up stains. However, in your case it sounds like the glazing wasn’t properly done.

Here’s what can create a fake looking shine. Look at the picture directly below. Notice that although these teeth have a beautiful shine, there’s texture. This makes the shine look natural. In fact, one of those teeth are fake. You probably can’t tell which one.

close up of teeth

The likely reason your shine looks unnatural is it is flat. It wasn’t given the texture of natural teeth, which makes the teeth look fake. You can remove the glaze by allowing your hygienist to clean your teeth with a prophy jet. However, doing that will actually cause your teeth to pick up stains rather quickly.

Getting Your Porcelain Veneers to Look Beautiful

I would not recommend removing the glazing. Instead, I’d ask your dentist to re-do them properly. If your dentist hesitates, it may help you to get a second opinion from an expert cosmetic dentist. Look on mynewsmile.com. All the dentists they list are expert cosmetic dentists.

They’ll be able to let you know what’s wrong with the smile and help your dentist to understand that as well. If your dentist doesn’t think he can follow through. He may be able to give you at least a partial refund.

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

Fixing Tetracycline stains

I’m feeling a bit desperate here. I’ve had tetracycline stains for as long as I can remember. They’ve always embarrassed me, but for some reason now that I’m older, they seem to embarrass me even more. Like maybe I should have fixed this years ago but haven’t bothered. I finally dragged myself to my dentist about it and he wants to crown every tooth. These tooth are all healthy. I’ve never had a cavity in my entire life. I don’t like the idea of grinding them all down. Is there an alternative?

Beth

Dear Beth,

A tetracycline case done by Dr. Mike Malone

Tetracycline stains are among the most challenging cases a dentist can face. Here’s the crux of the problem. These stains are so dark your dentist has to manage to get the coverage opaque enough to cover them, but translucent enough to look natural and beautiful.

Some dentists try to make up for this challenge by doing dental crowns instead. There are two major problems with this. One is that you’re grinding down healthy tooth structure. The second is that crowns don’t guarantee the darkness will be covered. Then you’re stuck with crowns the rest of your life.

Instead, you want the dentist who’s invested the time in training to develop the skills needed to do this the right way with porcelain veneers.

Finding the Right Porcelain Veneers Dentist

It takes a combination of expertise in color theory and manipulation along with detailed knowledge of the properties in a large variety of porcelains. Only about the top 1-2% of dentists in the country are able to do this with good results.

If you want to get the best results possible, you’ll want an accredited dentist with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists have been extensively screened for both technical skill and artistry.

They’ve passed stringent oral and written exams as well as provided visual evidence of the artistry they’ve accomplished on a large number of required cases.

Anyone of them can give you the stunning smile you want, even with tetracycline stains. Though, it may require driving to another city for the procedure depending on where you live.

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

“Reputable Dentist” Destroyed My Smile

I had an accident which caused me to need a crown on a front tooth. I was nervous about this because it’s my front tooth. Everyone will see it. I looked up many dentists in my community to see who was highly reputable. I found one which everyone seemed to love. The first crown he did wasn’t even close to matching the other front tooth. Even he said he needed to do it again. The second one was closer, but I wasn’t thrilled with it. He was and was going to place it anyway. Fortunately for me it didn’t fit. He went back for a third run and when that one didn’t fit he told me I’d need orthodontics. I gave up at this point even though I have a horrible temporary crown which doesn’t fit right. I need help but I don’t know what to do. Help me please.

Tanya

Dear Tanya,

close up of teeth

These stories make me both sad and frustrated with the dental industry sometimes. First, you should know that a reputable dentist and an excellent cosmetic dentist can be two very different things. There are two different mindsets at play here. In dental school, we’re taught that the dentist knows best. Cosmetic dentists have a different mindset. They feel unless the patient is satisfied (in fact, more than satisfied), they haven’t properly done their job.

Dentists who haven’t done extensive training in cosmetic work see this as pandering to the patient.

All that being said, matching a dental crown to a single front tooth is a very challenging thing even for the best cosmetic dentists. In fact, if your smile is important to you (and it sounds like it is) you will want a dentist with both technical expertise and artistry.

Believe it or not, one of the teeth in the picture above is a dental crown. I bet you can’t tell which one. That’s the type of results a true cosmetic dentist gets.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

The easiest way to find a top of the line cosmetic dentist is to go to aacd.com. This is the website for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. They have a find a dentist link. However, you don’t just want someone who is a member. Any dentist can become a member. You want to find a dentist who is accredited.

In their search options, there is a box to check that you’re looking for an accredited dentist. These dentists have passed stringent oral and written exams as well as demonstrated their artistry in a large number of cases they’ve done.

Anyone of them are more than capable of matching your front tooth with a perfect physical and aesthetic fit.

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

If My Teeth Keep Shifting Do I Need to do Invisalign Again?

I had Invisalign years ago and it did a great job. Then I wore a retainer full-time for a year. Even after that was done, I still have to wear one at night. I’ve noticed that my teeth shift quite quickly. Lately, I sometimes can barely get them to fit at night when it’s time to put them in. I almost have to force them on. Do I need to do Invisalign over again? I was really hoping to move on to the next part of my smile makeover—teeth whitening. I feel like I’m taking a step back.

Corinne

Dear Corinne,

A woman placing in her Invisalign aligners

It sounds like your teeth aren’t firming up. Doing Invisalign again won’t make any difference it that case. Some people just have to wear a retainer full-time to keep their teeth in place. That doesn’t mean you’ll need a mouth full of metal for the rest of your life.

There are lingual retainers they can bond to the back of your teeth. No one will even know it’s there. However, if your teeth have shifted out of a position you’re happy with then it would make sense to re-do part of the treatment. In those cases, it doesn’t take long. there’s even an Invisalign express for people who don’t need much movement. From there you could switch to a retainer.

Invisalign and Teeth Whitening

None of this will interfere with your smile makeover goals. Either way, you can move forward. If you need to move things back into place and have to redo part of your Invisalign, you could still get your teeth whitened without waiting. The clear aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. Your cosmetic dentist can provide you with professional whitening gel. You simply place the gel in your aligners and wear them for a minimum of 20 minutes a day.

If you don’t need to wear the aligners and choose to go straight to a lingual retainer, you could just do the teeth whitening as you normally would. That gives you two options.

Traditional Whitening

You could choose traditional whitening where you wear custom-made teeth whitening trays that your dentist designs for you. You wear them at your convenience, though many people choose to sleep in them. The biggest benefits to this method are cost and control. It’s slightly less expensive. It also enables you to determine how much whitening you want. Once you reach the level you’re hoping for you simply stop using the gel.

Zoom Whitening

If you want to get it done quickly, you can use Zoom Whitening. That will allow you to whiten your teeth in just one appointment. It will get them their whitest, so you have less control than if you did the tray whitening. But, if you want your teeth as white as possible as quickly as possible, this is the way to go.

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

Cosmetic Dentist Versus the Lab

Why is it you’re always hearing patients need to find a phenomenal cosmetic dentist to get their smile makeover when in reality 99% of dentists send the work out to a lab to do? The “great cosmetic dentists” are often more costly. Couldn’t I find a great lab and ask a mediocre dentist to send the work to them?

Misty M.

Dear Misty,

Brunette woman with beautiful smile
Beautiful smiles require great dentists and great labs!

This is a very astute question. It seems logical that this would be a great way to get around costly cosmetic dental work. For instance, it’s the sculptor that matters, not where the sculpture is sold. Unfortunately, the analogy doesn’t work completely for dental care. The lab is dependent on the skill of the dentist and vice-versa.

The dentist does all the tooth preparation and planning. First, their need to be quality impressions made which are sent to the lab. The preparation of the tooth also has to be done precisely. These are absolutely essential to a successful case.

Next comes the prescription. A better analogy would be for this situation would be, does the quality of the doctor matter when it’s the pharmacist who provides the medicine. If the doctor diagnoses the problem wrong, there’s no way you’ll get better, even if the pharmacist follows his instructions perfectly.

It’s the dentist who gives detailed instructions about the shade map of the final result. This includes the surface texture, the degree of translucency, a mock-up of the final result, and many other details. Once the porcelain veneers or crowns comes back from the lab, the dentist checks everything over and makes sure it was done properly or whether it needs to be sent back to the technician.

Finding a Great Cosmetic Dentist

Finding a great cosmetic dentist is much easier now thanks to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. They set up an accreditation program to help patients find the cream of the crop when it comes to cosmetic dentists.

Those seeking accreditation have to pass stringent oral and written exams as well as demonstrate their artistry on a large list of specific cases, showing that it’s their own work. Any dentist who becomes accredited through the AACD is an artistic dentist with skills that can provide you with a gorgeous smile. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

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

Switching from Braces to Invisalign

If I’m absolutely miserable with braces can I switch to Invisalign? I love that I’m getting my teeth straightened, but the metal cuts my mouth, I can’t eat anything I like, and I feel ugly.

Angela B.

Dear Angela,

Image top: A woman putting on her Invisalign aligners. Image bottom: a woman smiling with Invisalign on her teeth

If your case is a good candidate for Invisalign, then yes, you can switch. Though most cases work with Invisalign, there are a few more tricky cases that require braces. It’s just a matter of talking to your dentist or orthodontist and they can let you know.

Why Invisalign is So Popular

You named many reasons that people actually love Invisalign. There is no metal to deal with. That will mean no cuts for you. Until you switch, your dentist should be able to provide you with some wax to put on the braces which should help with the pain.

Invisalign has absolutely no restrictions as to what you can eat during meal time. You simply remove the aligners, eat as you wish, then brush your teeth and place the aligners back on your teeth. However, there are some restrictions when they’re on.

You don’t want to drink things like coffee or soda when the aligners are in. The reason for that is they’ll pool in your aligners, soaking your teeth with their ingredients. This will eat away at your decay, putting you at a tremendous risk for decay. You can still drink those beverages, just make sure you do it at meal times instead of between meals. While your aligners are in, drink water. Drink as much water as you want.

Oral hygiene is so much easier with Invisalign. You don’t have to worry about getting around the wires and brackets. That lessens your chance of the decalcification many people with braces experience.

You mentioned appearance. The beauty of Invisalign is that you can’t see it. It’s invisible even at a conversational distance. When you smile, they’ll just see your smile.

Whiten Your Teeth with Invisalign

Your Invisalign aligners can also double as teeth whitening trays. It’s an easy way to take an additional step toward beautifying your smile without having to also pay for custom fit whitening trays. You’ll only need the tooth whitening gel your dentist can provide.

Once you have a straight, white smile you’ll be astounded at the boost it gives to your confidence. You’ll find yourself smiling more and lighting up a room.

This blog is brought to you by AACD accredited dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Is Orthly Equal to Invisalign?

I told a friend the other day that I wish I could afford Invisalign. I’ve spent a lifetime embarrassed about my teeth. She sent me this link to a company called Orthly. It looks like Invisalign, but it’s 70% cheaper. I just want to make sure it’s safe to do it and it’s similar to Invisalign.

Ellen

Dear Ellen,

Image top: A woman putting on her Invisalign aligners. Image bottom: a woman smiling with Invisalign on her teeth

It sounds like you have a friend who cares about you. It’s lovely to have friends like that. If you won’t hate me, I’m going to help you understand the differences taking you back to High School. Do you remember geometry class where you had similar triangles versus congruent triangles? As you recall, congruent triangles were completely equal to one another in both sides and angles. But, similar triangles were only that, similar but not equal. They had the same angles but not the same lengths.

That’s how I would describe Orthly to Invisalign. Similar but not equal. It will save you money. Unfortunately, it could also cost you some teeth.

The first thing you should know is it wasn’t founded by dentists or anyone with dental knowledge. The idea came to two students who wanted to get Invisalign but couldn’t afford it. Their company is very straightforward about that. They say, “Orthly does not practice dentistry nor do any employees in the company.” That alone wouldn’t make it dangerous. I’m sure they consulted with dentists and orthodontists as they followed through on their idea.

Where Does Orthly Fall Short of Invisalign?

The way Orthly saves money is by avoiding orthodontic appointments. You see a dentist a total of two times. They can request photos through the app, but that’s the extent of the “looking after” you get. You may think that’s no big deal, but here’s what worries me about that.

The reason dentists keep an eye on you throughout the treatment is to measure things like mobility, root absorption, periodontal disease, and oral hygiene. None of these can be tracked through a photo. If they don’t catch any one of these problems in time, it could lead to the patient losing their teeth.

Then you’re talking about a much greater expense then they’d have had if they’d done the best treatment to begin with. They’ll need to replace their teeth.

So, in your place, I’d weigh the benefits with the risks before you decide.

You could always talk to your dentist about your desire and ask if there’s a way he’d let you pay out “the real deal” in installments you can afford.

This blog is brought to you by 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.

Scratched Porcelain Veneer

If I have a scratch on a porcelain veneer, does that mean I have to have it completely re-done? I asked my dentist about replacing just the one and he said for them to match I’d have to re-do the whole thing. I can’t afford that so I didn’t know if there were any other options.

Lisa

Dear Lisa,

Porcelain Veneer being placed on a tooth

It may be that your dentist can’t match a single porcelain veneer to the rest of them, but an expert cosmetic could. Some dentists, fairly new to cosmetic dentistry, are still developing their color skills and techniques. Because of that, the only way they can assure a uniform look to your porcelain veneers is by doing the whole set together.

You have a few choices here. You can allow your dentist to re-do your entire set, which will be quite pricey. I wouldn’t recommend that even if you had the money though. It just seems a waste of good resources.

Another option, however, is to have just the single veneer replaced with a dentist who’s qualified to do so. What you’ll want to do is find a dentist who’s AACD accredited. They’ll have the skills necessary to match a single veneer.

Polishing A Porcelain Veneer

Something your dentist may not even be aware of is there’s a way to polish the veneer to remove the scratch, without having to replace it at all. I can write out the procedure for you to take to your dentist or you can go to a dentist who already knows the diamond polishing technique.

If you want your dentist to do it, that’s fine. Just make sure you give him these instructions. Otherwise, he might just buff it which will take off the glaze, leaving you with a matte finish. Not only is that unattractive and won’t match your other teeth, but removing the glaze makes it susceptible to staining.

My suggestion would be for him to get Brasseler’s Dialite porcelain polishing system. It will include diamond polishing instruments and polishing pastes. He’ll need to end with the ultra-fine diamond polishing paste. that will give you back the glossy finish you need to protect your veneer.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone. Check out his smile gallery.

Must I Wear a Retainer After Invisalign?

I’m getting my teeth straightened. Yay! My parents never had the money before but dad’s new job is waaaay better. Because I’m in high school my parents are getting me Invisalign. I’m super excited about having invisible braces but wondered if I’ll have to wear a retainer afterward. That won’t be invisible too, will it?

Lacey B.

Dear Lacey,

Image top: A woman putting on her Invisalign aligners. Image bottom: a woman smiling with Invisalign on her teeth

Congratulations on getting Invisalign. It has a very high patient satisfaction rate. I think you’ll love them, not to mention how much you’ll love having straight teeth. After any orthodontic treatment, it’s common to wear a retainer for several months to a year. This helps to keep your teeth in their proper position. It used to be the only option you had in a retainer were the metal bars. That’s no longer the case.

Retainer Options After Invisalignwa

  • Traditional metal bar retainers.
  • Lingual retainers. These are metal retainers that fit behind your teeth where no one can see them.
  • Retainers with clear aligners, like Invisalign

The key is letting your dentist know ahead of time that you want options for your retainer. Tell him you’re hoping to have discreet treatment, such as you had with your Invisalign.

It’s also a good idea to talk to your parents about it too, hopefully ahead of time, so they’re not blindsided at your appointment. They’ll likely be grateful you’re already taking the initiative and are doing the research ahead of time.

Compliance with Invisalign

It used to be that Invisalign was only for adults. The fear with teens is that they would lose the aligners or wouldn’t remember to keep them in the prescribed amount of time. While Invisalign is an incredible treatment and will likely work faster for you than traditional braces, they only work if you keep them in the right amount of time.

You sound like a very responsible teenager, so I don’t think that will be an issue for you.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone. Check out his smile gallery.