Am I taking a chance ordering a snap-on smile online?

I’m looking for a way to save money on a snap-on smile and I found an online company who can do this. It’s also good because I really hate the dentist and would rather not have to spend any time in the dental chair. How hard could it be to get impressions taken of my teeth at home? I researched and found an online company that can help me with the impressions, but I’m a little concerned about their credibility after reading a lot of negative reviews from customers who paid money for orders and never got them. I am wondering if there are any other online companies out there that do this? — Sam

Sam,
WOW… it seems like you can order just about anything online these days. You can definitely find a lot of great deals on all sorts of products, but I’m not sure you want to take a chance with something as important as your smile.

First of all, impressions can’t and shouldn’t be done by the average person. In order to get a good, quality product, there has to be some training. Even if you found a dental assistant who could help you, he or she might not even be able to get the quality you need. And if you did get the impressions done, how would you get the actual snap-on smile ordered? Dental labs can only receive orders from licensed dentists – it’s the law – so there would have to be some sort of dishonesty on someone’s part in order to get that part of the process done. Then there’s all the details like shade, bite, and facial bulk that come into play when the snap-on smile is being made. Do you know how to figure all that out? Probably not.

Furthermore, a Snap-on Smile has to be fit once it comes back from the lab. There will be slight adjustments that need to be made and you won’t have the proper tools or skills to do it correctly, which could end up ruining it all together. Considering all these factors, do you still think it’s a good idea to try and order online?

If it’s price that is your main concern, you should be able to find a dentist in your area that can do a basic snap-on smile for a fairly reasonable cost. Be up-front about your budget and see if they will work with you and possibly charge you a few hundred over lab costs. You just need to be aware that you will get what you pay for, so don’t go into this expecting more than the basics.

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.

My dentures are ruining my life!

I feel like I made a horrible mistake and I’m afraid there’s no remedy for it. I tried to find affordable dental implants and I came up short. Most of my teeth were shot, and the dentist told me all of my remaining upper teeth had to go. I really wanted to go with dental implants to replace them all, or at least the ones that show when I smile, but I wound up getting a denture to save on costs.

I knew I wouldn’t be overly-thrilled with the aesthetics, but I had no idea this thing would ruin my life. It hurts. I can’t eat or talk. I can’t even smile. The dentist says I’ll get used to it. No. I won’t. Now the time has passed and I’m afraid I’m stuck with this thing for life. I really wish I would have gotten another opinion or tried to save my remaining teeth. Any advice? — Laura

Dear Laura,
It’s a shame you went through this ordeal. Try not to beat yourself up about your lost teeth. They may not have been savable, so try to focus on what you can do now to make things right so you can get back to eating, talking, and smiling again.

In some cases, people do adapt to their dentures over time. Equally, your gums may be sore for a while after extractions, and as time passes, that will feel better, too. Adjustments can also be made to dentures at any point if the soreness is being caused by something other than the healing process. Sometimes, just smoothing out a small area can make a world of difference in how they feel. If your dentist didn’t check them and try, he probably should have. Give the office another call and let them know exactly what’s happening. If it really is related to the fit of them, they should be able to help.

Snap on Denture

As far as affordable dental implants go, you may have one more option. You can get something called a “snap-on denture,”  which relies on dental implants to hold the denture in place. This gives you a firmer hold than traditional dentures, but without the expense of a full set of implants. It often only takes two for it to work. Depending on your preferences, you can also have more placed, and have a partial denture designed to fit around them. Either method is less expensive than a full set, and will provide a better hold.

It’s also worth noting that dentures can look beautiful and natural. If you’re not happy with the appearance of your dentures, it may be worth having them remade by someone who specializes in them.

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.

Zoom whitening made my teeth look worse!

I recently got my braces off and have very noticeable white spots on my front teeth. My dentist recommended Zoom whitening, so I tried it. I could tell right away that the spots looked even worse, but he said I just needed to wait a few days for the color to even out. It’s been two weeks and my teeth still look the same. What’s going on? I’m thinking about trying an at-home kit to see if it will work. — Sara

Dear Sara,
Your dentist seems to have steered you in the wrong direction. Did he actually examine your teeth before recommending the Zoom whitening?  It sounds like you probably have decalcification. It’s a common problem in which the minerals in the tooth are stripped away as a result of poor cleaning around braces. These areas of decalcification manifest as white spots and it make the teeth susceptible to decay.

Any dentist who is familiar with this problem or who is skilled in cosmetic dentistry, would know that Zoom Whitening or other whitening systems will make the white spots worse. There’s a chance you can add minerals back to those areas, but there’s no guarantee it will work. Products that might help are Tooth Mousse or MI Paste (have your dentist order them for you or you can purchase them online). They are formulated  to saturate the tooth in minerals, in hopes of reversing the decalcification and staving off any future decay. Some dentists will do Microabrasion on the areas, but the end result could make your teeth look creamy – not white. You could also ask about removing the spots and placing bonding on the teeth. That will keep the areas from decaying — and your teeth will be a uniform color. Your only other alternative would be to look at a more costly cosmetic procedure like porcelain veneers.

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 “DIY” tooth fix while on vacation come back to haunt me?

Wouldn’t you know that while I was on my dream beach vacation, the crown on my front tooth broke and split in half! Since I was out of the country and still had a few days until going home, I panicked. I had no idea how to go about finding a dentist and was afraid it would cost a fortune, so I did the easiest thing I could think of – I bought some super glue for a quick fix and got back to the beach. It totally worked, but now that I’m home and need to see my dentist, I’m afraid I’ve caused a big problem. Will my dentist be able to get it off to replace it? — Leon

Leon,
Let’s face it… nobody wants to look in the mirror at a broken tooth – especially on vacation. But while DIY may be your specialty for home projects, it’s really best to leave any tooth “fixes” to the professionals.

It can be intimidating when you’re away from home to try and find an emergency dentist (even more so when you’re out of the country and you’re dealing with a possible language barrier, not to mention possible insurance hassles). But here’s the deal: an emergency dentist could have temporarily re-attached the crown properly so you could get by a few days until heading home. Try not to worry too much because your dentist will be able to get the crown off. Most bonding agents and cements he uses are stronger than any super glue you could buy. However, there’s no guarantee that it will come off in once piece, so you should be prepared in case you need to have it completely re-done. If you ever find yourself in this predicament again and you can’t get into your dentist right away, check at your local drug store for over-the-counter dental cement. It can be tricky to use and it will be temporary, but it’s a much better choice if you have to do a quick “DIY” fix.

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.