Tag Archives: Teeth Whitening

will a dental flipper make my teeth look straight?

I’m too old for braces, but the way my teeth stick out is really holding me back professionally. Is there a way if I put a dental flipper over my teeth it could make my teeth look straight?

Kimberly

Dear Kimberly,

Invisalign aligner
Invisalign: The adult solutions to braces

I think you are confusing a dental flipper with Snap-on Smile. A dental flipper is a temporary tooth replacement that clasps onto the adjacent teeth. It’s designed to be used while you are waiting on the completion of your permanent tooth replacement.

Snap-on Smile is a false tooth arch made of crystallized acetyl resin. It can snap over your teeth. Because this will add bulk to your teeth and you mentioned your teeth are already sticking out, I don’t think this would be a good solution for you. Your teeth would stick out even farther.

Invisalign: The Adult Orthodontic Solution

I know you said you’re too old for braces. As an adult, I wouldn’t want metal wires and brackets on my teeth either. Fortunately, you don’t have to.

Now we have what is the equivalent of invisible braces, called Invisalign. These use clear aligners instead of wires and brackets. These will straighten your teeth without anyone even knowing. They are invisible, even at a conversational distance.

Invisalign has an added benefit. The aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. Now, not only can you have straight teeth, but you can whiten them simultaneously. This is a two for one mini smile makeover. You’ll have a brand new smile you’ll be proud to share.

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

Cerec crown is too big

I had a dental crown that was about five years old. It broke and I needed to replace it. I decided to get a CEREC crown to speed up the procedure and get a crown as quickly as possible. I’ve had crowns before. But, this one has been a problem. It feels huge in my mouth. So big that it was hurting and causing problems with my speech and gums. It’s also causing me to bite my tongue at night in my sleep. I went back to my dentist and she tried filing it down but I’m still having problems. I though the CEREC crown would fit better.

Kathy

Dear Kathy,

Block of porcelain for CEREC crowns

It seems to me as if you’ve had two dud dentists recently. Dental crowns shouldn’t break. Normally, with a CEREC crown, a tooth is scanned before it is prepared for the crown. Then they use the shape of the tooth in the software to design the crown.

Without that, the dentist can use the software to form the crown, but it sounds like your dentist doesn’t know how to do that yet. I wouldn’t ask her to fix it with her CEREC machine.

Instead, I would ask her to give you a traditional crown which is done at a lab. It will take a little longer, but you need a well-fitted crown. CEREC is capable of doing that. In fact, the software can design a precise crown. Your problem is the dentist.

Do not settle for a crown where you are biting any part of your mouth. This can lead to tumors. A crown should not be noticeable at all.

Turning this Into a Benefit

If you’re going to have to have the crown re-done, I would look at it as an opportunity to improve your smile. This isn’t at all necessary but could be something beneficial.

One of the first things people notice about us is our smile. A great and inexpensive way to make your smile look years younger is with teeth whitening.

Now I don’t know where this crown is, but if it is at all in a visible part of your smile you should consider whitening your teeth before having the permanent crown made so it can be made to match.

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

Invisalign or porcelain veneers

I wanted to get Lumineers. I have a tooth which is a little crooked. Not enough for full orthodontic treatment. That’s why I was hoping to do Lumineers because I was told they could just go on top of my teeth. My dentist said I could do them, but would need Invisalign first for the crooked tooth. Are both really necessary? That’s more money than I was planning.

Katie

Dear Katie,

Invisalign aligner

Please bear in mind that I haven’t seen your case, but in general you would either do Invisalign or Lumineers, not both. There would be some exceptions in severe orthodontic cases. Based on what you’d mentioned, I don’t think that is your situation.

Let’s go over what you can do with each treatment and you will have an idea of which will most help you meet your smile goals.

Invisalign

These use clear aligners to straighten your teeth. No one will know you are wearing them, even at a conversational distance. That is why some people call them invisible braces.

They are more comfortable than traditional metal wire and bracket braces and usually work in half the time.

The aligners have the additional benefit of being able to double as teeth whitening trays. This allows you to straighten and whiten your teeth simultaneously.

If all you feel your teeth need are a straighter look and whiter color, this method will save you thousands of dollars.

Lumineers

The first thing you should know is that Lumineers are simply one brand of porcelain veneers. Most expert cosmetic dentists prefer other brands. This is mostly because this brand is owned by the DenMat company, which requires dentists to use their labs. This lab is not known for skilled results.

Porcelain veneers, when done by a skilled cosmetic dentist can completely remake your smile. They can change the shape of your teeth, the size of your teeth, and the color of your teeth all at the same time. It is the go-to for celebrities trying to get that perfect Hollywood smile.

While it won’t straighten your teeth, it can make your teeth look straight.

Even without the need to make your crooked tooth look straight, doing a smile makeover is an advanced procedure. Your particular case requires a little more expertise.

If you want to go that route. I’d go to aacd.com and search for an accredited cosmetic dentist in your area. Dentists who’ve reached accreditation are the top cosmetic dentists in the country.

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

family dentist versus cosmetic dentist

I had composite bonding done on a chipped tooth. The dentist who did them retired. My new dentist said they couldn’t replace the bonding and suggested a dental crown. He said because it was a front tooth the only way to get it to match was to do two crowns. I trusted. him. Now I have two crowns on healthy teeth and, while the match each other, they’re grayer than the rest of my teeth and look fake. What do I do?

Cameron

Dear Cameron,

a before and after picture of dental bonding for a chipped tooth.

The biggest problem you have here is you’ve got a family dentist who doesn’t understand cosmetic dentistry. You needed composite bonding repaired. He didn’t know how to do that. Instead of telling you that, he says it can’t be done and you need crowns. Why crowns? Because those are what he’s familiar with.

A second issue is the fact that he said you needed two crowns in order to get them to match. A skilled cosmetic dentist can match a single crown to a front tooth.

In your place, I’d suggest you do one of two things. First, tell your dentist you need these crowns re-done. But, only allow him to do it on some conditions.

  • He’ll need to use a temporary try in paste so you can see the crowns in your mouth to make sure they’ll match and you are pleased with them.
  • If you’re not thrilled with them, he needs to be willing to re-do them until you are happy with them.

If he doesn’t agree to that, then my second suggestion is you ask for a refund. He told you the teeth would match and they don’t. He also lied to you about the possibility of just getting the dental bonding repaired. You have the right to a refund.

Once you secure that, it is time to find a good cosmetic dentist to do this properly.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

I’m going to suggest you look for an AACD accredited dentist. You can look them up for your area at aacd.com. These are in the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the country. There aren’t many of them, so it may be hard to find one depending on where you live.

If that’s the case, there is a second resource. Look on mynewsmile.com . They screen cosmetic dentists for both their technical knowledge and training, as well as their artistic ability. Any of their recommended dentists can provide you with two gorgeous crowns

You may want to consider whitening your teeth if you are going to get the crowns replaced, this will essentially give you a bit of a smile makeover.

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

Fixing long teeth

My two front teeth are insanely long. They also stick out a bit from the rest of my teeth. I feel like a beaver and hate all of my pictures. I’m trying to find a cosmetic solution but can’t find one. Do you think the only solution is for me to have my front teeth removed and have dental implants placed? I’m desperate.

Lucy

Dear Lucy,

Invisalign aligner
Invisalign can straighten teeth without anyone knowing.

Please don’t remove your front teeth!! There are always solutions. I am going to make a suggestion, but want to preface it with the precaution that I haven’t examined you. This is a solution based on my understanding of your description.

Your front teeth can be trimmed by an expert cosmetic dentist using diamond burrs and diamond strips. They can be filed down on the sides to narrow them and on the biting surfaces to make them smaller.

Once they’re a size you’re pleased with, Invisalign can be used to align them properly. An added benefit of Invisalign is the aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. This lets you get a mini smile makeover.

Depending on how much structure has to be removed, you may need porcelain veneers to cover any exposed dentin.

You Need an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

None of my suggestions matter, though. You need to see an expert cosmetic dentist and let them tell you what is the best solution. They’ll give you a smile you’ll be proud to share.

The best cosmetic dentists in the country are accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. These are the top cosmetic dentists in the country.

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

porcelain veneers during pregnancy

I’ve been saving up for a smile makeover. I just reached the amount I needed and I found out I was pregnant. Am I able to move forward wtih the porcelain veneers or do I need to wait until after the baby is born?

Melinda

Dear Melinda,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

Congratulations on your new little one! While there are so many things you’ll have to protect your new child from, porcelain veneers won’t be one of them.

There are some cosmetic procedures which are not recommended during pregnancy, such as teeth whitening. This is because, especially during the first trimester, when the baby is most vulnerable you don’t want them ingesting any unsafe chemicals.

Fortunately, porcelain veneers do not have anything which could endanger your baby. The only chemical used would be lidocaine which has already been proven safe in pregnancy.

It is up to you at this point. Some women struggle with intense nausea during their first trimester. That may make having your mouth messed with a challenge. Because of that, you may want to wait and see how your body reacts to this new baby first. If you seem to be fine, you can move forward. If not, there is no harm in waiting.

Who Should Do Your Porcelain Veneers?

You don’t want just anyone doing your smile makeover, though. This is a once in a lifetime procedure and you’ll want it done right. Because there isn’t a recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry, there is no real way to know if the dentist doing your procedure has had enough additional training to do the job well.

In your place, I’d look for a dentist who has attained accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists are the top cosmetic dentists in the country.

They’ve passed stringent oral and written exams to prove their technical knowledge. Additionally, they had to provide visual evidence on a large number of cases they’ve done to show they are also artistic.

Any one of them can give you a stunning smile.

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

porcelain veneers & invisalign?

I’m hoping you can help me make a decision. I want to whiten my teeth and I have two crooked front teeth. I was thinking I could fix both getting porcelain veneers. I spoke to my dentist about it and he said that would be fine, but he’d like me to straighten the front teeth first. I was hoping not to have to do orthodontics because they’re so unattractive and take forever. Is it really necessary?

Kathryn

Dear Kathryn,

Invisalign aligner
You can now straighten your teeth invisibly

First, please understand that I haven’t seen your teeth and can only go by your description. Unless there is something your dentist hasn’t explained to you, I’m puzzled why you would need both as well.

Generally, a patient will either do porcelain veneers or orthodontics, not both. There could be an exception if you have either a serious bite problem or overly crowded teeth. In those unusual cases, it would be helpful to have orthodontics first. Other than that, you can just have porcelain veneers placed and it will make your front teeth appear to be straight.

If you are in that position, then I have some helpful news for you. You can completely straighten your teeth without anyone knowing. Invisalign uses clear aligners. You can see an image of one of the aligners above. When you are wearing them, they are completely invisible, even at a conversational distance.

The best part is they have the benefit of being able to whiten your teeth simultaneously. The aligners used to straighten your teeth can also double as teeth whitening trays.

Invisalign or Porcelain Veneers

If you have the choice and all you want to do is whiten and straighten your teeth, you would save a lot of money using Invisalign. However, if there are other things about your smile you want to change, such as the shape or length, then porcelain veneers are the way to go.

These are the go-to for a complete smile makeover. One word of caution. They require technical expertise as well as an artistic eye. Not every dentist can do a smile makeover with porcelain veneers. There are countless cosmetic dentistry horror stories to back this up.

If you decide to go that route, you will want a dentist who has been accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists are the top cosmetic dentists in the country.

If you go the Invisalign/teeth whitening route, just about any family dentist can do it.

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

problems with my porcelain veneers

I need some advice about my porcelain veneers. Things haven’t gone well for me with this. My dentist did ceramic veneers. The first time they came in they were way too white for the adjacent visible teeth (and even for my personal taste). II told him I wanted them to match the other teeth (which we determined was an A2) asked him to redo them and he did. When they came back the second time he bonded them on without me getting to look at them. When I did see them, they were again too white. I’m assuming I’m stuck with that color now and am hoping to get the teeth next to them to match so I don’t feel foolish. My other problem is one of them broke in half horizontally. My dentist is replacing it and said he would do so for 3 years. Should I be worried they won’t last longer than that? I did pay a pretty penny. Would I have been better off getting porcelain veneers? Are they stronger?

Mandy

Dear Mandy,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

Let’s start with the longevity and breaking of your porcelain veneers. These are tiny wafers, whether made of porcelain or ceramic. You could easily crush them in your fingers. Their strength comes from the bonding procedure, which your dentist obviously hasn’t mastered.

If you’d approved of the porcelain veneers before he bonded them, then yes, you’d be stuck with that color. The easiest solution to get the adjacent teeth to match is teeth whitening. Fortunately, only your natural tooth structure will whiten. It will have no real effect on your porcelain veneers.

That being said, I don’t think you have to accept the color you’ve been given. He bonded them on without your permission. Informed consent is the cornerstone of any practice–medical or dental. Without that, he committed malpractice. You have the right to a refund.

Getting Your Porcelain Veneers Done Right

When you have this case redone, I want you to have an expert cosmetic dentist do it. This way you will get a smile you’re not just satisfied with but proud of.

A true cosmetic dentist would never place a smile unless you are thrilled with it. Most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

Look on the website of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (aacd.com). They have a link to find a cosmetic dentist. When you do the search, make sure you place a check mark on accredited. You want an accredited cosmetic dentist. These are the ones who can give you the right smile.

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

Porcelain veneers with an overbite

I want to get a smile makeover. I asked my dentist about porcelain veneers and he said because my top teeth cover my bottom teeth I’m not a good candidate. Instead, he suggested I have crowns placed on my six front teeth. My teeth have some dark stains because of tetracycline too. Does this mean after the crowns are done, I’d whiten the bottom teeth to match?

Lisa

Dear Lisa,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

I want to caution you not to do dental crowns for your smile makeover. I think I know what is going on here. It sounds like your dentist isn’t as comfortable with designing and placing porcelain veneers than he is with dental crowns.

He doesn’t want to tell you this and cause you to think less of him as a practitioner, so instead he suggests the procedure he feels he does better.

Blaming your bite is creative but not valid. Even thinking about it logically, porcelain veneers would be a better fit for your bite. Porcelain crowns surround your entire tooth, but porcelain veneers only are bonded to the front. They would actually be less intrusive.

On top of all of that, with dental crowns, your teeth have to be ground down to nubs. Because of that, you can never have anything but crowns on those teeth for the remainder of your life.

There is another hint to me that your dentist isn’t an advanced cosmetic dentist. He’s suggesting six teeth be treated. Unless you have a narrow smile, that won’t be enough. Most people show between eight to twelve teeth when they smile.

Finding an Advanced Cosmetic Dentist

Your particular case is particularly challenging and requires a top-notch cosmetic dentist. Tetracycline stains are quite tricky to get right. You need the teeth to have the look of natural translucency, but at the same time still be opaque enough to cover the deep stains.

Only the top 2% of dentists can do this well. In your place, I’d look for a dentist who has been accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. They have both the technical skill and artistry to give you a stunning smile, even with tetracycline stains.

Regarding the teeth whitening you mentioned. Yes, you would whiten the remaining teeth which don’t get veneered. However, you want to do the teeth whitening first. When you get them to the level of whitening you want, it will be time to get your porcelain veneers. The KöR  Teeth Whitening System has been the most effective in whitening tetracycline stains.

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

pain with Invisalign

I know that braces cause pain because all my friends complained about it when I was growing up. I’m old enough to know I don’t want a mouth full of metal while I straighten my teeth. It would just seem unprofessional. However, I want to know what I’m signing up for. Does Invisalign have pain the way traditional braces do?

Laurie

Dear Laurie,

Invisalign aligner

It’s always wise to go into any treatment with a good idea of the pros and cons. The pros of Invisalign are obvious.

  • They work in half the time as traditional braces
  • You can eat and drink whatever you want
  • You can brush and floss much more easily
  • You can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing
  • You don’t have to worry about cuts and abrasions from metal wires and brackets.

There is one point in which Invisalign aligners can ache a bit. You switch aligners every two weeks. For the day or two when you first put in your new set of aligners, they will feel snug and ache a bit.

This is because the aligners are sculpted to the next alignment your teeth should be in by the time the two-week time period is up. After those first few days, your teeth will be in that new position and the aligners will feel loose.

Usually, just some over-the-counter pain reliever is enough to keep the pain at bay.

An Unexpected Benefit with Invisalign

One extra treat you can get out of Invisalign is inexpensive teeth whitening. The aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. So, all you will need to purchase from your dentist is the whitening gel that you can place in your aligners for a period of time each day.

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