Category Archives: Cosmetic Dentist

dental bonding disaster

I have two front teeth that overlap one another and the adjacent teeth are set further back than they should be. My dentist suggested dental bonding, which he said he’s done to close gapped teeth. He ground down the overlapping teeth and filled in the teeth which were set back. He made them yellow to match my other teeth but I was hoping to get them a little whiter as I planned to whiten my other teeth. The teeth he ground down feel sharp and uncomfortable and I’m just not happy with these results. What do you recommend?


Dear Laurie,

a dental bonding case done by Dr. Delaune with before and after pictures

The above picture is a dental bonding case done by Dr. Delaune, you can see more cases on his smile gallery. This is to show you that dental bonding can create beautiful results.

What it boils down to is your dentist was in over his head. While he may have closed a few gaps, the type of dental bonding your case required was much more advanced. My guess is only about 2% of cosmetic dentists can do it correctly.

I don’t know if your dentist will be willing to give you a refund so you can get this done correctly elsewhere, but you can ask.

Regarding the color of your teeth. Your dentist should have warned you if you were going to whiten them, you’d need to do it before having the bonding done. Teeth whitening only works on natural tooth structure.

Once your teeth are whitened, then a skilled cosmetic dentist will match the bonding to your new color.

Finding a Skilled Cosmetic Dentist

Smile makeovers and advanced dental bonding cases, such as yours, aren’t taught in dental school. Because of that, you want a dentist who has invested in post-doctoral training in cosmetic dental work.

In addition to technical knowledge, you want a dentist who has an artistic eye. This is especially true with dental bonding because it has to be done free-hand.

One useful resource is the website. They have a search link for patients looking for advanced cosmetic dentists. No one can just pay to be listed. Each dentist is screened for both technical training and artistry, Any dentist they list will do a beautiful job for you.

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

another dental tourism disaster story

Woman covering her mouth
If you want a beautiful smile, don’t leave the country.

It is sad to hear heartbreaking stories from patients who traveled out of the country in order to get what they thought was an affordable smile makeover only to have their teeth and even their bite destroyed with absolutely zero recourse.

One such story was on the My New Smile Blog. A woman had traveled to Costa Rica thinking she’d be saving a large amount of money. Instead, she was left with a disastrous smile makeover and severe damage to her bite which has her in so much pain she can barely eat.

The price tag to fix this will be over $30,000. Money she doesn’t have. When she hired an attorney in Costa Rica and had other Costa Rican dentists to tesitify that her bite was destroyed by this dentist, the only place where she could get legal recourse there told her she was the felon because it is illegal there to complain publicly about a dentist until he’s been convicted.

She ended up having to flee the country without any recourse. While the dentist in questions website looked professional, there were red flags. Unfortunately, only a dentist would have recognized those.

Avoiding Cosmetic Dental Horror Stories

Truthfully, it is safer, as well as more affordable, in the long run to save up your money and go to a reputable cosmetic dentist here in the United States.

That doesn’t mean any U.S. cosmetic dentist will do. You’ll want one with both expertise and artistry who has invested time and training AFTER dental school in doing smile makeovers. Make sure you check out the porcelain veneers they’ve done on their patients as well.

It’s hard for patients to know who is qualified and who isn’t, especially since there isn’t a recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry.

If you want a great smile makeover. Go to the website and click on their link for finding a cosmetic dentist. They have prescreened dentists who wish to be listed for both their technical skill and artistry. Any of the recommended dentists on their site can give you a stunning smile makeover.

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

dentist said no to porcelain veneers

I had dental bonding done on my front four teeth. The bonding has since worn out. I decided I wanted to upgrade a bit and get porcelain veneers. My dentist said I’m not a candidate for that because of the bonding. Instead, he wants to do crowns. I’m not crazy about that option. Do you have a recommendation?


Dear Laurie,

A woman getting a porcelain veneer placed on her teeth

My first recommendation is you see another dentist. Under no circumstances should you let your dentist put dental crowns on your front teeth. This will grind them down to nubs. If this were necessary that would be one thing, but it is completely unnecessary.

You can have porcelain veneers placed after dental bonding. The only reason your dentist is saying you can’t is likely because he doesn’t know how to place them.

In dental school, we’re taught to always be confident with patients. Without that confidence, patients will grow anxious. So, instead of saying, “i’m not comfortable doing porcelain veneers” or “I haven’t done many porcelain veneers”, which could make you (understandably) uncomfortable, he says you’re not a candidate and avoids the issue altogether by suggesting a procedure he does know.

Find a Great Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic dentistry isn’t taught in dental school. A dentist has to make an effort to invest in cosmetic training after they graduate.

Even if you needed crowns, I would suggest a different dentist. To get a beautiful smile, you need an expert cosmetic dentist. Otherwise, the results would be disappointing.

In your case, I’d go to the website. They have a “Find a Cosmetic Dentist” link. You’ll input your zipcode and how far you are willing to travel to see a cosmetic dentist.

The key to this site is they have pre-screened each dentist who wants to be listed. They can’t just pay to get on the site. Instead, they have to show their technical knowledge and skill, as well as demonstrate their artistry in their work.

Anyone they recommend can give you a beautiful smile.

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

Do I Need to Replace Every Crown for them to Match?

I’m kind of hoping you give me the answer I want, but am willing to follow your advice regardless. I had crowns on eight teeth on my top arch for a smile makeover. One of them became loose. I went back to my dentist. He said there is decay on the edge and the crown needs to be replaced. However, he wants me to replace all of them so they’ll match. I want my teeth to match but don’t have a ton of money. Is that really necessary?


Dear Candace,

A porcelain crown being placed over the prepared tooth

I think the biggest problem here is your dentist isn’t a cosmetic dentist. Was there a particular reason he gave you a makeover with dental crowns instead of with porcelain veneers? Veneers are the standard treatment for a smile makeover because it doesn’t require your teeth to be ground down the way crowns do.

While there’s nothing you can do about that now, and those teeth will always require crowns now that the tooth structure is gone, you don’t have to replace all of them in order to get them to match. Though, to get a good result you will have to use a different dentist for this procedure.

Your Crown Replacement Options

You basically have two choices here: replace them all at once or replace them one at a time. The benefit to doing them all at once isn’t for them to match. A great cosmetic dentist can match a single tooth. It’s more to save you time. You’d replace them all and be done.

If you do them one at a time, it means a new trip to the dentist every time one goes bad. That could get annoying. The benefit to that is you’re only having to fork out money a little at a time instead of all at once.

Either decision will still require you to find a skilled cosmetic dentist if you want an attractive result.

Finding a Cosmetic Dentist

I’m going to suggest you go to They have a “find a cosmetic dentist” link. You simply input your zip code and the distance you’re willing to travel. They’ll provide a list of qualified cosmetic dentists for you. The best part about this is they’ve carefully screened every single one of them for both technical knowledge as well as artistic ability in their work. No matter which dentist on their list you choose, they can give you a gorgeous smile.

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

It’s hard to be king when your crown keeps falling off!

My husband had to get s couple of crowns earlier this year and it’s been a pain. He’s back in the dental office about every other week because the crowns keep falling off. So far, the dentist just keeps re-cementing them, but this last time he said there was nothing else he could do. Really? This is not acceptable. We’ve looked into implants, but will he have the same problem with those crowns? Could it be something with the glue they are using to bond them? — Myra

You’re right… the dentist’s answer that there is nothing more he can do is unacceptable. Crowns should not fall off – once they are cemented (and it’s done correctly) they stay on.

The issue here is probably more about how the tooth was prepped. When a tooth is tapered too much, a crown has difficulty staying put. Without seeing them, it’s hard to say whether or not you need new crowns or if there is a possibility that a skilled cosmetic dentist might be able to get them bonded correctly. Cosmetic dentists have all sorts of experience with high-tech bonding techniques that bond metal, porcelain, teeth and other materials. Don’t put up with crowns that keep falling off — get a second opinion, preferably from an experience cosmetic dentist in your area. Good luck!

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.

Are veneers the only option to replace my bonding?

When I was younger, I took tetracycline and it stained my teeth. Back then, they did bonding to cover the stains and for the most part it has held up pretty well. It’s just been in the last few years that they have started to look bad again and I’ve been considering what to do about it. At my last dental appointment, I brought it up to my dentist and asked him what my options are. He insists that I can only do veneers – which are completely out of the question because there is no way I can afford them. I asked if we could do bonding again or if teeth whitening would work and he shot both of them down. Is there really nothing else that can be done? Will I have to just have dingy, stained teeth until I can save up enough money for veneers? — Marilee

Dear Marilee,
Do you know if your dentist does much cosmetic dentistry? Based on what he is telling, it doesn’t sound like he does. There’s no doubt that veneers would be the best way to give you a great looking smile, but there are other options.

Unless he’s examined you and determined that there are structural issues with your teeth, there shouldn’t be any reason why the bonding couldn’t be redone. If he’s pushing the veneers, your teeth are probably fine. As for whitening, tetracycline stains are highly resistant to even the strongest professional grade gels and it could take months of treatment to get where you want to be.

Here’s what you need to do: find a good cosmetic dentist and get a second opinion. He or she might be able to polish some of the stains out. If you do try whitening, you need to realize that it could take a long time to see any results, so you’ll have to be persistent and patient. The bonding won’t actually change color, so it will need to be replaced. A good cosmetic dentist can tell you whether or not the bonding can be removed before you start the whitening and then replaced after you’ve gotten the results you want.

This will be a lengthy process – probably several months at least. If you don’t think you can endure that long, you better start tucking away those extra dollars so you can eventually get 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.

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.

Should I still be in pain two weeks after cosmetic procedure?

A month or so ago, I went to Mexico to have a cosmetic dental procedure done and now I’m afraid I made a big mistake. I had several lower crowns done and also veneers on my front upper teeth. I am in so much pain and it’s been a couple of weeks since I had it done. My jaw hurts and one tooth is almost painful to the touch and I can’t even chew soft foods. When I asked the dentist about it, he told me to take ibuprofen to help with the pain and that it’s normal after having so much work done at one time. As for the crown that I can’t even chew on, he said something about it having high contact or possibly needing a root canal. Is it bad that it doesn’t even touch my top teeth when I bite together? Is this much pain normal so long after my procedure and should I just keep taking the ibuprofen until it goes away (I’m currently taking 800mg every 4-6 hours).

You are right to be concerned. Taking those amounts of ibuprofen for such an extended period of time is not good for you, and it sounds like it’s not really helping – it’s only masking something that is not right. They amount of pain you are experiencing is not normal after getting crowns or porcelain veneers. Tenderness or soreness for a couple of days should be expected and your bite and teeth should align.

If you are back in the United States, go find a reputable cosmetic dentist in your area – or at the very lease, a competent general dentist. Even if you have to drive an hour or two, it will be worth getting a second opinion to determine what’s wrong before the situation gets worse. Try to back off or stop taking the ibuprofen and if you do need a root canal, don’t go back to the dentist in Mexico – there are only about a handful of good cosmetic dentist in the entire country. Even in the United States, only about 1 of 50 dentists is skilled in the art of cosmetic dentistry, but you should be able to find a reputable doctor near you.

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.

Porcelain veneer doesn’t match my teeth

I am wearing a temporary veneer while I wait for the permanent one. When I went for the session to get the veneer to match my own teeth, my dentist pulled out a lot of different shades and held them against my teeth but none of them were a real match. She said that she would use the closest one and send instructions for it to be changed to match my teeth. Well the temporary veneer is too dark. It makes it looks as if I have a bad tooth. It looks worse than my real teeth. I am worried about this. I mentioned to my dentist that it’s too dark and she said that when the permanent veneer comes in we will work with it. What does that mean? Is it too late to do anything about it? – Lori

Lori – Make an appointment with your dentist to discuss your concern. Even if the permanent porcelain veneer arrives and doesn’t match your teeth, don’t allow it to be bonded to your tooth. Once the veneer is bonded it cannot be changed.

You can insist on a veneer that matches your natural teeth. If your dentist is unable to provide you with a match, you should seriously consider finding an experienced cosmetic dentist. He or she will work with a master ceramist to produce a beautiful veneer that looks natural and matches your natural teeth.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

Can a cosmetic dentist change the length of my teeth?

My teeth look too small. I’ve been self-conscious about it for years. I have put off doing anything about it because of concerns about the cost, but I really want them to look adult sized. Is there anything a cosmetic dentist can do to make them look longer? – Rebekkah S.

Rebekkah  – One option for giving your teeth a longer appearance is porcelain veneers. The veneers are bonded to the front of your teeth. They will be made to match the color of your natural teeth. You will be able to choose the shape and color of your teeth.  This is work that you definitely want done by an experienced cosmetic dentist. Check the dentist’s credentials and training in cosmetic dentist to confirm that he or she truly has artistic talent and can give you natural-looking results. You can also look on the dentist’s website for a smile gallery, or have a consultation with the dentist and ask to see pictures of his or her work.

If you have excess gum tissue that is making your teeth look too small, gum contouring or a gum lift can be performed to reveal more of your tooth structure.

Consult with a few cosmetic dentists to discuss your goals for your smile and find out your treatment options. You can also discuss payment options, including financing or payment plans that may help make the treatment affordable for you.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Find out why so many patients think he is the best dentist in New Orleans.