Will dentist fix my cracked veneer?

I grind my teeth at night, but I was happy to find out that I could still be a candidate for porcelain veneers. I just got them done a couple months ago and I have been wearing a night guard. Last night, I was so exhausted that I feel asleep and didn’t get the night guard put in. I woke up because I noticed something in my mouth – it was a piece of one of my veneers that broke off! Do you think my dentist will replace it for free since I’ve had the veneers for such a short time? — Josh

Josh,
This is a tough one. While I’m sure you didn’t intend to fall asleep without your night guard, things happen and whether or not your dentist will fix it is completely up to him. If he prescribed the night guard and told you to be sure to always wear it, he really has no obligation to you.

Maybe he’ll offer to replace it this time if you cover the laboratory charge. You can be sure that it will be full price if it happens again. However, it’s best to have him look at it because there’s also a chance that he could repair it. If it split cleanly into two pieces that fit back together, he could re-bonded it to your tooth and the crack will be nearly invisible.

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.

Is my 16-year-old daughter a candidate for implants?

We have a unique situation with my daughter. Although she is old enough that she should have all of her adult teeth,  a couple didn’t come in and she still has the baby teeth. Our dentist doesn’t seem to be worried about it and says that her baby teeth could last the rest of her life. She is devastated. The teeth obviously look smaller, and while it didn’t bother her when she was younger, some of the kids at school are now noticing and making her feel very self-conscience.

She’s sixteen and has a great smile, but these teeth make her feel uncomfortable. I have been thinking about implants to replace those teeth, but when I asked the dentist, he pretty much blew the idea off without even considering how this is affecting her. It’s not like she’s just going to one day look in the mirror and decide they look ok. Will implants work? If not, what other options are there? — Judy

Judy,
While the baby teeth could last a lifetime, it’s understandable how your daughter feels about how they look. The teenage years are hard enough as it is, and it’s no fun to have your peers poke fun at something you have no control over. There are cosmetic options that can help, but at her age she’s really too young for implants. It’s best to hold off until she’s at least twenty and even then, she’ll need to have a dentist evaluate whether or not her jaw is done growing and changing.

Have you checked into a cosmetic dentist who does porcelain veneers? Veneers would cover the top and sides of the tooth, and build it up to make it look like an adult-sized tooth. There are a couple different options as far as the materials they are made of, but a cosmetic dentist will be able to recommend what’s best. As she continues to grow, her face shape will change, too. More than likely, she will need to have the veneers redone or at least adjusted every couple of years.

She can look into implants later on, but for now, a consultation with a skilled cosmetic dentist to find out more about veneers would be best. He or she can evaluate your daughter’s situation fully and help you make the right choice.

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.

Does pregnancy make TMJ worse?

I’ve been a TMJ sufferer for many years. After numerous doctors and treatments I felt I had the pain management under control. Now, I am pregnant and I’m having constant TMJ pain. Does pregnancy make TMJ worse? — Amy in Texas

Amy,
Dealing with TMJ is tough, especially during pregnancy. Women with preexisting pain conditions like temporomandibular joint disorder often report experiencing more pain flare-ups during pregnancy. While a specific link between pregnancy and TMJ hasn’t been found there are some possible causes of increased pain during pregnancy. Pregnancy is usually a happy time, however, anyone who has been pregnant knows that pregnancy automatically comes with increased stress — which leads to clenching and grinding of teeth, and that can cause headaches, jaw pain, and tooth damage. In addition, your body drains resources to nourish the baby. A large amount of vitamins and minerals go to the baby’s development, which could make mom deficient. Certain mineral deficiencies such as calcium and magnesium can cause TMJ flare ups. That’s why its even more important to eat right and take your prenatal vitamins. Another reason you may experience extra TMJ pain during pregnancy is the ever changing center of gravity. As your body grows and expands, your body may adapt by changing your posture. Posture changes can definitely be related to increased TMJ pain.

You may find your TMJ pain decreases after the baby is born, or even as your pregnancy progresses and your body adapts. Both ice and heat work well at home. Massages can be useful for temporary and transitory TMJ. If home care doesn’t help alleviate some discomfort, make sure you make an appointment with your 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.

New dentist refuses to fill my cavities with white fillings

I recently moved to a new town and one of the first things I needed to do was find a new dentist because I have a couple of cavities on my back teeth that need filled. A co-worker of mine recommended a dentist, and when I went to see him he told me that he could only do amalgam fillings on those teeth, even though I insisted on white fillings. He claims the cavities are too deep to do white fillings. I don’t want amalgam, so I left the office quite annoyed. Are the fillings really too deep to do white fillings? Now I’m in search of another dentist who takes Denti-Cal insurance that will do the white fillings.  — Leonard

Leonard,
First of all, the reason your dentist is giving as to why he can’t do white fillings is completely ridiculous. White fillings are better than amalgam for deep cavities because the composite material actually strengthen the structure of the tooth, making the tooth less susceptible to breaking – plus, sensitive to hot and cold is greatly reduced.

I think the problem may be with your insurance and your dentist just isn’t telling you. Denti-Cal is the government dental insurance plan in California and it doesn’t provide benefits for white fillings (because they cost more than amalgam). They don’t even allow you to pay the difference. Unfortunately, if you want white fillings, you’re going to have to pay the full amount out of your own pocket.

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.