smile makeover disaster

I’m very frustrated and disappointed. I spent a lot of money getting eight porcelain veneers. The first set came back bulky and too yellow so I asked him to send them back. When the next pair came back he said he wanted to bond them on so I could see them in my mouth and they could make adjustments afterward, if necessary. When he bonded them on, they were still not what I wanted, but it turned out they weren’t really able to make adjustments to them. He suggested I give it a few weeks and he was sure I’d love them after I got used to the change. I didn’t. I’ve called several times trying to get a refund but can’t seem to get a call back from him. What do you recommend I do?


Dear Olivia,

porcelain veneer being held up by dental tool

I’m sorry this happened to you. It is unfortunate that doing a smile makeover isn’t taught in dental school. A dentist has to invest time in post-doctoral training to truly learn how to do cosmetic dentistry well. Even then, every dentist has to muddle through their first procedures with porcelain veneers.

Most dentists aren’t proud of their beginning cases, however, those who truly care about the work they do, will re-do it until they are proud of it. It doesn’t sound like your dentist is going to be one of those type of dentists.

He tried, you didn’t like it, so instead of trying until it is right he’s going to ignore you, likely in the hopes you’ll just give up.

What to Do With a Smile Makeover Disaster

In your place, I’d go to a an expert cosmetic dentist and try to get them on your side. If they agree the porcelain veneers aren’t well done, they could help persuade the original dentist to give you a refund.

The one thing you do have going for you is he mislead you about the adjustments. Unfortunately, though, without proof, you won’t have much legal leverage unless the veneers are not structurally sound.

To find a good cosmetic dentist to help you, I suggest you go to the website and see who they recommend. They pre-screen cosmetic dentists for their artistic skills and technical training, so anyone on their list will have the expertise to both evaluate your case as well as provide you a beautiful smile makeover the second time around.

I hope this helps.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

Can I rinse with peroxide to whiten my teeth?

I learned that teeth whitening is mostly a peroxide mixture. Couldn’t I get a faster and similar results by rinsing with peroxide at home? I want to get this done quickly. My dentist is talking about me wearing the peroxide gel for a few weeks. I’m thinking straight peroxide will be better.


Dear Lucy,

You want to get teeth whitening done fast and you can, but it won’t happen with rinsing your teeth with peroxide. You are correct that a teeth whitening gel is made of peroxide. However, it is only effective if it soaks into your teeth.

When your dentist creates a tooth whitening tray for you, he does it so they will have a close custom fit to your natural teeth. With the solution being a gel, it will stay on your teeth better in the tray.

It will need to soak in for a minimum of 15 minutes a day for there to be any whitening effect. I don’t think you’re going to feel comfortable rinsing for 15 minutes a day. Even then, it would take a few weeks.

Getting Your Teeth Whitened Fast

If you really want your teeth whitened fast, look for a dentist who offers Zoom Whitening. This is an in-office procedure that will completely whiten your teeth in just one appointment.

This is a safer option for you than gargling with peroxide every day.

A Smile Makeover

Another option for fast, white teeth is to get a complete smile makeover with porcelain veneers. I would only recommend this if you want to change more than just the color of your teeth.

Porcelain veneers can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth all at the same time. It’s what celebrities use as their go-to for their Hollywood smile.

If all you want is to do whiten your teeth then I would just stick with Zoom. It is much less expensive.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

maryland bridge before a dental implant

I’m trying to figure out what to do. My daughter has a congenitally missing lateral incisor. We did orthodontics to open the space. Now we’re working on the temporary tooth replacement. Our dentist decided on a Maryland Bridge. We did non-metal wings because I wanted them to be as natural-looking as possible. The problem we’ve had is the bridge has fallen off twice in just a couple of weeks. After the first time, she (our dentist) tried a different bonding cement, but that didn’t make it any stronger. Now she wants to try doing it with metal wings. Here’s the thing. My daughter is 14. She’s going to have to wear these for a few years. I don’t want her to feel self-conscious. I have two questions:
1. Will these stay on better? 2. Will the metal be a better choice?


Dear Karyn,

I’m a little concerned about some things I’m hearing here. First, I would not consider a Maryland Bridge a temporary replacement. This requires tooth preparation, which means you’re reducing tooth structure. If you’re doing that, you might as well stick with a dental bridge and not get a dental implant.

Another thing is the bonding issue. It doesn’t sound like your dentist understands bonding principles. She placed the bridge with a cement and it fell off. Then, she gets (I’m assuming) a stronger cement and it still falls off. Her next thought is to switch to metal wings.

Maryland Bridge Preparation

That’s not likely to work out any better for her. The non-metal (zirconia) wings are usually easier to bond than the metal ones. My guess is the problem is with her tooth preparation. If you look at this image on the left. You can see that a groove should be cut into the tooth to support the wings. Without this, she’s likely to have trouble no matter what type of bonding she uses.

While she could go back and make the correct grooves, I am going to recommend a completely different direction. While you can go ahead with the bridge, once she gets her dental implant, you’re going to need another procedure to have these grooves filled in. Why do that when you can instead get a temporary tooth which will not require any modification to her adjacent teeth?

I’m not trying to discourage you from your future plans of getting her a dental implant. It is the best tooth replacement around. It will be a great solution for her when her jaw is fully developed.

I am trying to discourage you from the dental bridge. Instead, I’m going to recommend something else.

Removable Partial Flipper

A removable partial flipper will be perfect for her situation. When well cared for it can last long enough for her to get her dental implant. Even if something happens, it is significantly less expensive than any other tooth-replacement option. You could replace several of them for the cost of a single Maryland Bridge.

They can be made to look beautiful too, so your daughter won’t look self-conscious.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

whitening tetracycline teeth

I’ve had tetracycline-stained teeth since I was a child. It has always been a source of horrible embarrassment for me. My dentist said teeth whitening wouldn’t do much good for me and not to waste my money. He didn’t have a solution for me either. Is there anything I can do or am I just going to have to learn to live with a smile I’d rather hide?


Dear Betsy,

While one particular brand of teeth whitening has had more success with these stains than others, most make hardly any difference at all. That doesn’t mean all is lost.

As you can see from this smile makeover that Dr. Deluane did on a patient, there is a way to obtain a beautiful smile after tetracycline stains. Here Dr. Delaune used porcelain veneers. This enabled him not only to cover her stains, but to reshape her teeth to add length.

I don’t want you to think you can just run to your family dentist and get porcelain veneers and all will be beautiful and shiny. These are among the most difficult cosmetic dentistry cases to do. It would take a dentist with advanced cosmetic training.

The difficulty comes in needing to make the porcelain veneers opaque enough to cover the dark tetracycline stains, yet translucent enough to have their natural shine.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

I’m going to suggest you go to the website. A cosmetic dentist cannot just pay to be listed. They have to prove their cosmetic education as well as provide case samples to show they can get beautiful results.

However, while everyone listed on that site is an expert cosmetic dentist, tetracycline cases are a beast of their own. I’d like you to go one step further and ask to see specific before and after pictures of cases they’ve done dealing with tetracycline. You want to be certain they’re able to get the beautiful results you’re dreaming of. Then, you will have a smile you are delighted to share with the world.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.