Tag Archives: best New Orleans cosmetic dentist

Is my dentist trying to talk me out of replacing amalgam fillings?

I recently made an appointment to have amalgam fillings removed from two back teeth and replaced with composite. My dentist kind of “warned” me that there might be some staining on my teeth from the silver fillings and to not expect my teeth to look completely white. Maybe I’m crazy, but it just really felt as if he was trying to talk me out of doing it altogether. Will these teeth be stained from the old fillings and if so, is there a way to remove the staining? Also, the fillings are pretty large – probably about 70% of my tooth. Will the white fillings be better than amalgam as far as strength and durability? — Steve

It’s no secret that taking out old amalgam fillings and replacing them with white composite fillings will definitely look better. Your teeth might be slightly discolored from the amalgam fillings, but since it is on the back teeth, it shouldn’t be very noticeable at all.

With that said, it does sound very much like your dentist is in a round-about way trying to talk you out of the composite fillings. It’s probably because he is simply not comfortable doing them, but doesn’t want to come right out and say it. There’s a big difference in how composite fillings are placed in back teeth compared to amalgam and when it’s not done correctly there can be all sorts of problems and even damage to the teeth. If your dentist seems reluctant, don’t push the issue and instead, find another dentist who is trained in that area.

Another red flag to consider is the size of the fillings. If they are as big as you say, your dentist really should have done crowns. However, if you stick with fillings, composite will  definitely be stronger and more durable because they bond to the tooth where as amalgam fillings just sit in the tooth, making it’s easier for the tooth to break or fracture.

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 share my leftover Zoom gel with my friend?

It’s been almost a year since I had Zoom whitening done and I love the results! My dentist sent a tray and gel home with me for maintenance and touch-ups, but I haven’t had to use it. My friend wants to try Zoom, and since mine is just sitting around not getting used, I thought why not give the syringes and kit to her? I’m thinking that should be plenty for her to get good results, and there shouldn’t be any problem with her using it, right? — Trixie

I’m sure you were always taught you that it’s good to share, but when it comes to your Zoom take-home whitening kit, think again. Here’s why:

  1. The gel could be expired. Most whitening gels are good for about a year, and if you’ve had it that long, who knows how long your dentist had it before prescribing it to you. It also depends on how and where you stored it (in the fridge vs. a warm place, like your bathroom).  A good indication is it’s color —  if cloudy or white, it’s definitely no good. And even if it’s still clear, there’s no guarantee it will be effective because of age.
  2. Your friend’s current dental state. If she hasn’t see a dentist recently for a cleaning, it can affect the whitening results. Also, any fillings or crowns will not respond to whitening — so if she has dental work on any teeth that show when she smiles, she will definitely be disappointed.
  3. Your trays will not fit anyone else. Your dentist took impressions of your teeth to make a tray just for you. Even if your friend thinks yours sort of fit her mouth, ill-fitting trays cause unevenness and splotching and the gel can ooze onto her gums and cause irritation.

It’s always fun to share with friends, but stick to clothes or your best-kept secrets. If you want to be a good friend, encourage her to visit her dentist and have a custom kit made just for her to ensure she’s smiling in the end.

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.

Tongue tied over my Lumineers!

I got Lumineers done about a month ago, thinking they would really make my smile pop for a convention that I’ll be giving a presentation at in a couple of weeks. I noticed right away that they felt really thick. My tongue keeps catching on them and it sounds like I have a lisp. I went back in and asked the dentist to make some adjustments. He did smooth them out some, but he said that it would take a few weeks to get used to talking with the Lumineers on. I went in again last week and we went through the same process… slight adjustments and him telling me I’d get used to them. I’m really worried now because the convention is coming up soon and I still can’t speak properly. Will I adapt or is there something more I should ask my dentist to do? — Matt


Lumineers are tricky to get right. They’re often referred to as a “no-prep veneer,” which means no tooth structure is removed when they’re placed.  They’re incredibly thin, so the amount of bulk they add onto the surface of the tooth is minimal. Traditional porcelain veneers are much thicker, so the front of the tooth has to be shaved down some to make it sit flush.

To be blunt, not all dentists have the skill to do a veneer without removing some of the tooth, no matter how thin that veneer is. Moreover, not every patient is a good candidate for the no-prep variety. A skilled cosmetic dentist can examine your teeth and give you the best option, which may or may not be the no-prep variety. If you’re still having trouble a month after having it done, it sounds like your dentist lacked the skills to identify whether or not you were a good candidate or to place them properly.

You can go back and have him adjust them some more and it should help, but there will always be some added bulk due to the nature of Lumineers. If he can’t adjust them well enough that you can talk properly, visit another dentist who is skilled at cosmetic work. It’s possible that someone else can recountour them so that they work out better for you, but there’s also a possibility that you’ll have to have them redone.

In the meantime, practice talking as much as possible. Read aloud, sing in the car, or do whatever you have to do. The more you talk, the more your tongue will learn to adapt, so your speech sounds natural. You may still be able to overcome this problem on your own.

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.

How can I be sure I get an amazing Lumineers smile?

I’ve been looking into Lumineers. How do I know that the dentist I choose is certified or has expertise with them? If I’m going to be spending so much money to fix my teeth, whoever I choose had better be able to give me amazing results. Any advice on how to find a Lumineers expert? — Trina


If you’re looking for a Lumineers expert, don’t rely on their website for recommendations. Unfortunately, dentists you’ll find on the website most likely haven’t done a lot of cases and have basically paid money to the company to be listed. Here’s the thing about Lumineers: they are just another brand of porcelain veneers. It’s pretty easy for dentists to get “certified” simply by paying the fee and taking a short training course. There’s no follow-up or testing, and that means no guarantee that a “certified” dentist will do quality work.

Any expert  cosmetic dentist will be able to do Lumineers or other brands of porcelain veneers. In fact, there are other ultra-thin brands and many dentists prefer them over Lumineers because the results are better. So, change your search strategy and start by looking for a cosmetic dentist in your area – one that does beautiful, artistic work. Be careful because anyone can claim to be a cosmetic dentist. Take time to research and interview each dentist you’re considering. Ask to see before and after photos of patients he or she has doe similar work on – that is the only way to truly see the quality of their work.

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.

Tetracycline stains are nothing but trouble

I have some serious tetracycline stains on my front teeth and finally decided to do something about it. My dentist said that crowns would be best, but after having eight done (and re-done twice), I’m pretty much convinced he has no idea what he is doing. He replaced the first set because they looked yellow and their shape just didn’t look right. The second set was better, but the color was still off and they were too opaque. This last time he went back to the lab and had them blend in some translucent color in hopes they would look more natural. Unfortunately, when I got home and looked in the mirror, all I could see was gray streaks and spots. I’m thinking I should have just left my teeth the way they were. I have no idea what to now…any advice? — Kim

As you’ve probably discovered, tetracycline stains are some of the hardest to mask and most dentists are clueless when it comes to treating them. And unfortunately, it sounds like your dentist falls into that category. In fact, he probably had no experience with tetracycline stains (and neither did his lab) and the result was a complete disaster.

What your dentist should have recommended was porcelain veneers. Rather than grinding down your teeth, all that is required with veneers is shaving a little bit off the front of each tooth. And while porcelain veneers are the standard, there’s a fine balance that needs to be achieved to block out the stain and still get a natural look. If not done correctly, one of two things can happen: 1) the teeth will look gray from the stain showing through or 2) your smile will look like a porcelain sink.

Your first step in trying to get this corrected is to find a skilled cosmetic dentist in your area who can take a look. Then, you should pursue getting a full refund from your dentist and start completely over. Just be sure you find a cosmetic dentist who has experience with tetracycline stains to assure the best results 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.

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.

Does the blue light in Zoom whitening do anything?

I recently had Zoom Whitening done and my dental office made a big deal about preparing me for the blue light. I’m thrilled with the results and my teeth have never been brighter, but I was talking with my boyfriend after the procedure and he laughed it off. He said that the blue light is just a gimmick, and that it doesn’t do anything. Does the blue light used in Zoom Whitening actually have a purpose, and if so, what does it do?  — Shyla

Dear Shyla,
The blue light associated with Zoom Whitening and other systems is highly-debated, and it’s possible your boyfriend stumbled upon some of the less-credible information on the net. The blue lights are LED lights, and each system projects the light at a slightly different intensity. There are basic home systems that like to include a single LED for the sake of show. It kind of resembles the blue light that people are familiar with, and have seen on makeover shows. Sometimes those lights work as a timer, and can boost consumer satisfaction, simply because the individual feels like it’s doing something. On the other hand, professional-strength systems include very powerful lights, that can actually be dangerous if proper precautions aren’t taken. Although similar lights are used in some medical treatments, and have even been shown to impact mood in people who suffer from SAD, lengthy exposure to professional-grade systems can actually burn the skin, just like a sunburn. Therefore, Zoom Whitening offices will take great care to block out your gum tissue, and will give you sunblock and eye protection, too.

Even though the light is cool, it’s very intense, and it triggers a reaction in the Zoom Whitening gel, so that it works even quicker. Studies that have compared Zoom Whitening results with and without the blue light generally find there’s a remarkable difference between the final shades. Other systems don’t fare as well in these sorts of trials, and that has a lot to do with the quality of the lights included in the system. The active ingredients in the prescription-strength gel is effective by itself, which is why your office can send you home with the same product, though usually at a lower strength, and you can do touch-ups at home. However, your results with in-office whitening will be quicker and more dramatic, because of the gel’s concentration and the quality of the activating blue light. Hope this helps settle the dispute!

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.

How can I remove stains from my porcelain veneers?

My porcelain veneers aren’t as white as they used to be. I drink a lot of dark soda and coffee and I think it stained them. What can I do to make them white again? — Vanessa

Dear Vanessa,
Porcelain veneers have a glaze that should make them resistant to staining. The only reason they could possibly stain is if the glaze has been compromised – either by abrasives in the air or from a harsh toothpaste you’re using. The glaze could also be affected by your dentist using a pumice paste or an air-powered cleaner.

There’s a couple of things you could try:

  1. Supersmile tooth-whitening toothpaste is great for removing surface stains like coffee or tobacco. It won’t work as well on stains that are embedded in the porcelain.
  2. Laser tooth whitening or tray teeth whitening will bleach the stains.

Ideally, it would be best to find an expert cosmetic dentist to polish your veneers to restore their original shine. It won’t bring back the glaze, but it will remove the current stains and make them more resistant to staining again in the future.

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

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.