Will ER treat my dental pain?

I had a couple of infected teeth pulled yesterday. I chose to do it on a Friday, thinking I would have the weekend to recover. I can’t believe the amount of pain I’m in! I’m concerned there is something else wrong because the swelling seems to be getting worse rather than better. My dentist has an emergency number and when I called, the recording said he would return my call within a few hours. The pain is so bad I don’t think I can wait. Can I just go to the emergency room? — Dave

Dave,
In no uncertain terms, severe dental pain can be some of the worst pain to deal with. If you think you need help immediately, you can rest assured that most emergency rooms are capable of providing care for dental emergencies – unless it is a broken or chipped tooth. The dentist or oral surgeon on call should be able to provide relief for dental infections and/or swelling by prescribing an antibiotic, or in the worst case-scenario, surgical intervention if needed. You will, however, need to follow up with your dentist as soon as possible.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Will Lumineers work for tetracycline stains?

My husband has tetracycline stains on his teeth. We’ve looked into porcelain veneers, but they are so expensive. We saw a commercial for Lumineers and they are cheaper, will they work? — Sandy

Sandy,
For tetracycline stains, Lumineers would not be the best choice, and here’s why:

  1. Tetracycline stains are very difficult to cover. The veneer needs to wrap around the tooth or else the result will be a “halo” effect because the teeth will look whiter in the middle and gray around the edges. That requires tooth preparation and Lumineers are considered “no-prep.”
  2. Lumineers are not thick enough to adequately cover dark tetracycline stains. You’ll either have teeth that look a very faded shade of gray or they will be a pasty, opaque white that will not look like natural teeth at all.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Can I reshape my teeth after braces?

I am getting my braces off in a month or two. My teeth have straightened significantly, but I can still see that my front top teeth are not as straight as I would like, plus the edges look jagged. I’m thinking about getting them reshaped, but I don’t know if my orthodontist or my regular dentist should do it?  — Amanda

Dear Amanda,
The procedure you are referring to (in dental terms) is called cosmetic contouring. Whether or not you choose to have your orthodontist or your dentist do it, you need to first find out if either one of them have enough training. It is a cosmetic procedure that requires adequate skill.

Definitely wait until you have your braces off because your teeth will continue to shift in these last couple of months. It would also be a good idea to ask your orthodontist or dentist if they think cosmetic contouring will work for your specific situation. Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate. Most importantly, you need to find out how much experience either one of them has and whether or not they are completely comfortable performing the contouring. If you have any doubts as to whether or not they can give you the results you desire, it would be best to seek out a skilled cosmetic dentist.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Do affordable at-home whitening systems work?

I loved how white my teeth were after having an office whitening treatment a few years back. The dentist used a blue light method, but it was so expensive. I want to keep that bright-white smile, but can’t afford that cost year after year. Is there something cheaper I could use and would give me almost same results? — Miranda

Dear Miranda,
While those in-office treatments are the best for giving you a fast and beautifully, white smile, today’s dental technology offers a lot of other ways to whiten your teeth.

Have you checked into the teeth whitening trays your dentist can make? You’ll get similar results to the in-office treatment, but it will just take a little longer. The good news is that these trays can be used at home and are very affordable because you pay for them once (unless you mouth changes or they damaged or broken). The only expense you have after that is whitening gel for touching up or boosting your color.

There are also some dentist who will offer patients free bleaching trays and gel as an incentive to come in for regular cleanings. They will continue to give additional gel as needed provided you continue to follow-up with them for your routine visits.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.