Tag Archives: dental bonding

when porcelain veneers are an overtreatment

I talked to my dentist about getting my teeth whiter. I was thinking of teeth whitening, but he suggested I get porcelain veneers. He said then he could whiten my teeth and close a small gap I have at the same time. While I like the idea of not having my tooth gap any longer, the price he quoted me is pretty high. Could I whiten my teeth and then get the porcelain veneers later when I have the money?


Dear Macey,

custom-fitted teeth whitening trays

I am not comfortable with your dentist’s recommendation. To me, if you just want your teeth whitened, porcelain veneers are a massive (and expensive) overtreatment.

Porcelain veneers are a procedure for patients looking for a total smile makeover. It is the go-to procedures for celebrities looking for that perfect smile. They can simultaneously change the shape, size, and color of your teeth.

Yes, they can close your tooth gap, and you could get your teeth whitening done and then later get porcelain veneers, but you could close your tooth gap at a much lower cost with dental bonding. In fact, that’s what I’m going to suggest you do.

I want you to get your teeth whitened. Then, after a couple of weeks when the color has had time to settle, see a cosmetic dentist to close the gap in your front teeth.

Because this procedure is done free-hand, it really needs to be done by a skilled cosmetic dentist.

I’m going to suggest you look on mynewsmile.com to see their list of recommended cosmetic dentists in your area. They prescreen each dentist who wishes to be listed for both technical skill as well as artistry. Any one of their listed dentists will provide you will stunning results.

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

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 mynewsmile.com 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.

whitening teeth with white spots

I have one tooth which has had two white spots on it my entire life, or at least for as long as I can remember. I like the white parts and want to get all my teeth to look that way. My dentist is suggesting I get Zoom Whitening but my sister says that won’t work that the spots will still be whiter than the rest. Who’s right?


Dear Brianne,

Patient using Zoom Whitening light
Zoom Whitening Light

Your sister is correct. It worries me that you’re getting better advice from your sister than you are your dentist. He is supposed to be the professional.

Teeth whitening whitens teeth uniformly. This means that all the natural tooth structure will whiten, including the white spots. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a solution.

You can go ahead with the Zoom Whitening. This will get your teeth as white as possible in just one appointment. You’ll still have those two spots, but they can be fixed with either dental bonding or a porcelain veneer. Dental bonding costs less, but will have to be replaced a little more often.

Either procedure will require an expert cosmetic dentist. In your place, I’d look on the mynewsmile.com website. They pre-screen cosmetic dentists who want to be listed on their site for both their technical skill and artistry. Anyone on the list will do a beautiful job for you.

White Spots on Teeth

Sometimes there are white spots on teeth which are just the pigment. This seems to be your case because you’ve had it for as long as you can remember.

Other times, however, white spots are more serious. Usually, these are signs of decalcification and an early sign of decay. We see them most often with teenagers who’ve recently had their braces removed. These metal wires and brackets are hard to clean around. This is one of the reasons some parents prefer Invisalign for their teenagers.

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

why didn’t zoom whitening help?

My daughter had braces. When they were removed, there was an uneven color on her teeth. Some of the teeth had white spots. We talked to our dentist about it and he suggested we use Zoom Whitening. We did. Although her teeth are whiter they are still quite uneven. What went wrong?


Dear Natasha,

Patient using Zoom Whitening light
Whitening your teeth in one appointment is easy with Zoom

The biggest thing which went wrong is your dentist doesn’t know anything about cosmetic dentistry. while Zoom Whitening is an extraordinarily effective treatment for whitening stained teeth, it is not the correct treatment for uneven teeth.

When it comes to white spots, any type of teeth whitening procedure will actually make the situation worse.

Dealing with White Spots After Braces

When a patient has white spots after braces, it is usually caused by decalcification. Cleaning your teeth with braces on is very challenging. It takes a lot of effort to get in all the nooks and crannies. That’s one reason many dentists are recommending Invisalign for orthodontics whenever possible. It makes it much easier to clean your teeth.

Tooth Mousse is a product designed for this type of situation. It helps to remineralize the decalcified spots.

Another option is to have dental bonding placed in order to cover the uneven spots on your teeth. Don’t go to your family dentist for this. It requires a great cosmetic dentist to do this well.

How to Find a Great Cosmetic Dentist

I’m going to suggest you go to the mynewsmile.com website. They pre-screen cosmetic dentists for both technical skill and artistry. Anyone listed on their site will give your daughter a beautiful smile.

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

lumineers for white spots

I just finished my braces and my teeth have white spots on them. It’s pretty embarrassing and my friends have pointed it out to me, so I know it is noticeable. Getting braces was pretty expensive. I want to cover the white spots, but I don’t want to ask my mom about it if it is going to be way too expensive for her. She’s a single mom and works super hard but we don’t have a lot of money.


Dear Becky,

Advertisement with Lumineers including a woman smiling and a single veneer being held by a tool
Lumineers are just one brand of porcelain veneers

First, I just want to tell you how proud I am of how you are handling this. You aren’t running to your mom demanding anything. Instead, you are doing research to see if this is even a possibility.

You should know up front, that Lumineers are just one brand of porcelain veneers. Many of the best cosmetic dentists actually prefer to use a different brand, so don’t be surprised if you go to a dentist and they suggest another type.

As far as the cost, that often depends on the quality, skill, and philisopy of the dentist you’re going to, but I would expect it to cost between $800 to $1,600 per tooth.

This may be out of the budget of your mother if finances are a struggle. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful smile though.

White Spots After Braces

When your braces are removed and there are white spots, it is a sign that food and bacteria became caught around your braces while you were wearing them. The white spots are the pre-cursors to decay, so you’ll want to see your dentist fairly soon to shore up and weak spots before they become full blown cavities.

Repairing the white spots cosmetically can be done with dental bonding. A dentist could hand sculpt the composite bonding onto your teeth and it will cover the white spots perfectly.

In your place, instead of suggesting a procedure to your mother, I would just let her know what’s going on and ask if the two of you can talk to the dentist about affordable solutions.

Best of luck to you!

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans 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 mynewsmile.com 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.

Tired of Re-doing my Composite Bonding

I’ve had composite bonding for about six years and I’ve already had to re-do it twice. I do need to do something. I have a tooth gap and three different front teeth are chipped. I’m just tired of replacing them. What are my other options? My dentist suggested crowns, but my teeth are healthy so I’m not too keen on that idea. Are those the only two options?

Helen C. – North Dakota


Yes, there is a much better option than either dental bonding or dental crowns. But, it’s generally used for total smile makeovers. Porcelain veneers can change anything you want to about your smile. It can change their shape, size, and color of your teeth. While bonding only lasts a few years, veneers last for many. With proper care, well over a decade. It’s the same procedure that celebrities use to remake their smiles.

I wouldn’t pressure your dentist to do the procedure though. If he didn’t mention it, it’s likely because he isn’t comfortable doing it. If you press him, he may do it to please you and it wouldn’t turn out nearly as well as you’d hope.

That doesn’t mean you’ll have to switch dentists to get this repaired the way you want. I’d just recommend going to an experienced cosmetic dentist for your porcelain veneers and your family dentist for everything else. Just make sure when your dentist does your check up, the hygienist doesn’t use anything like a prophy jet or other ultra-sonic cleaner on the veneers. That will take off the glazing.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Duane Delaune.

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 long will bonding done by the emergency dentist last?

I slipped and fell on the ice last weekend. Unfortunately, my face broke my fall. I wound up with a black eye and a serious chunk of one of my front teeth missing. I went to the emergency dentist to have it checked out. He took x-rays and told me the tooth looked like it was ok structurally. Then, he patched it up and told me to follow up with my regular dental office to have it permanently fixed and checked on again later. I don’t want to waste time and money on another appointment if it isn’t necessary and it looks like he used the same stuff that’s usually used in fillings. Do I really need to go back or can I just let this one be? The patch job by the emergency dentist looks just fine to me.  — Don

Dear Don,
Glad to hear you’re mostly ok after the fall. As for the tooth, the emergency dentist probably did use the same composite material that’s normally used in fillings. If that’s the case, it could last years, perhaps even decades.

With that said, there’s probably more to this than simple bonding. First of all, the tooth was traumatized. Sometimes when a tooth is injured by blunt force, it doesn’t give off any symptoms right away. However, the blood flow to the tooth could have been cut off and that wouldn’t show up on x-rays. If this is the case, the tooth could be dead or dying, and it will eventually need a root canal. Unfortunately, the first sign this has happened is often pain or an abscess, though sometimes the person notices discoloration as well. Anytime you see an emergency dentist, he’ll refer you back to your regular office for a follow-up. In cases with trauma, having the dentist check out the tooth again later could save you a lot of pain and trouble.

As for your comment about having the tooth permanently fixed, could he have mentioned to you that the tooth needed a crown? If the chip was severe, the bonding won’t be adequate and the tooth will need all-around protection. Your best bet is to follow the advice of the emergency dentist and schedule a visit with your regular office to get it checked out. If you’re still wary, you can always call the office that did the work and clarify why he wanted you to follow up.

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.

Getting rid of white spots…Zoom whitening didn’t work!

I just recently got my braces off. I love how straight my teeth are, but I have very noticeable white spots on some of my teeth. When I asked my dentist about how to get rid of them, he suggested Zoom whitening. I did the Zoom, but for some reason it didn’t work. What went wrong? — Aliya

This is one of the problems that happens when general dentists try to do cosmetic dentistry. Unfortunately, in your case, your dentist doesn’t really know the right thing to do. While Zoom whitening is a very effective treatment, when teeth are uneven in color like you are describing, it simply doesn’t work and neither will at-home systems. As you might be noticing, the spots are probably getting worse rather than better.

The good news is that there are treatments available to help. For the most part, white spots are caused by calcification around the braces due to oral hygiene issues. There is a product called Tooth Mousse that was developed specifically to help re-mineralize these spots. Microabrasion is also an option, but it tends to result in more of a “creamy” look, rather than white.

Direct dental bonding is probably your best option because the softened and de-calcified enamel (which is actually the early stages of tooth decay) is removed and replaced with composite that can be matched to your exact tooth color.

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.