Tag Archives: Metairie cosmetic dentist

Lumineers are leaving my smile in the dark!

I had a Lumineers smile makeover about eight years ago. Back then, I had quite a bit of money and was able to afford to have sixteen teeth done. There’s no way I could afford that now. The problems started almost immediately after having them put on. My original dentist was in Hawaii, but I moved to Texas about a month later and the veneers started falling off. I found a dentist here and he re-bonded two of them. It took months for my dentist in Hawaii to finally give me a small refund so I could at least put it toward having the work done here. They also started to look like they didn’t fit right – and they were starting to darken. It really made me hesitant to show my smile. It been a year and all of them are still in place, but now my front teeth are also getting darker and it appears to be underneath the veneers. If I have to get these replaced, I have no idea how I am going to pay for it. Is there anything I can do? — Tana

From what you are describing, your veneers are leaking. Aside from the color changing, the more urgent problem is the risk of decay. Where there’s stain leaking in, there’s usually bacteria, too.

It sounds like neither one of these dentists really knew what they were doing. The veneers were not bonded correctly in the first place, and unfortunately, there are not very many dentists who truly know how to re-bond them. The old bonding needs to be sandblasted off so that there is nothing left on the tooth and then the inside of the porcelain would need to be etched with hydrofluoric acid (not many dentists even have this in their office). After being primed and bonded onto your tooth, the veneer should last for many years without leaking or falling off.

If your veneers can be taken off without breaking, there’s a chance they could be cleaned, prepped and re-bonded. It’s hard to tell without visit a cosmetic dentist to have them looked at. The other problem will be matching the color to your other teeth. This is where it’s important to find a cosmetic dentist. If you cut corners now, you may be paying even more down the road. 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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

I’m afraid my hygienist will ruin my porcelain veneers!

I’ve got eight veneers on my front teeth. I have a regular cleaning coming up and I am worried about the tools the hygienist uses. Could my veneers become loose or even break during the cleaning? — Sara

Porcelain veneers are very strong, so a hygienist won’t pull them off or break them; however, with that said, she could chip them or dull the surface if she’s not careful. If your hygienist doesn’t know how clean veneers safely, you may want to go to a cosmetic dentist. If that’s simply not an option, you’ll need to be very specific with your hygienist about what she can and can’t do. Here’s some quick tips:

  1. Don’t let them use Dentsply’s Prophy Jet or some other brands of power polishers. The mixture of sodium bicarbonate and water on your teeth will get them super clean very quickly. While your porcelain veneers will look amazing when she’s done, this process completely removes the glaze and your veneers will be susceptible to staining almost immediately. This is the worst thing a hygienist can do to your porcelain veneers.
  2. An ultrasonic scaler can also damage veneers on the margins, causing little chips on the edges that will attract stain and plaque. Heavy duty manual scalers will do the same thing, so if your hygienist needs to use one, be sure she doesn’t scrape hard right on the margins.
  3. Ask your hygienist to only use fine or ultra-fine polishing pastes, preferably with an aluminum oxide grit–no pumice.
  4. If you hygienist suggests a fluoride treatment, make sure she uses a neutral fluoride gel, rather than an acidulated fluoride that will etch the surface and remove the glaze.

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.

Can I fix my tooth gap with orthodontic bands?

I’m trying to find an affordable and fairly quick way to fix the gap between my front teeth. Braces will take too long and I’m not in at a point in my life where I want make the time commitment. Another option my dentist recommended was porcelain veneers, but they cost an outrageous amount of money and there’s no way I can afford them. I recently read about something called orthodontic bands and I think they might be a great option for me. They fit my budget and it’s not a long-term thing because I would just wear some rubber bands around the teeth I want to move. Why hasn’t my dentist offered this? I’m afraid if I ask him, thinking he’ll brush it off because he wants more money. Are these bands a viable alternative to fix my gap? — Sharna

Dear Sharna,
There are several things to think about when it comes to these type of orthodontic bands. First and foremost, the companies that are marketing these products don’t have FDA approval. Second, it’s really not the best way to move teeth and could cause more damage than good.

Braces are designed to move your teeth in a slow, gentle and consistent manner until they are aligned perfectly. That means there will be no strange looking gaps. They do use bands, but they are metal and fit around the teeth or rubber bands are also used. Porcelain veneers don’t change the position of the teeth, but rather bond directly to the front of them to change the look.

The orthodontic bands you are asking about wrap around teeth and essentially pull them together. It can actually loosen the teeth in the process, align them incorrectly or even damage them. The gap between the two teeth wrapped in the band will look smaller, but it will increase the gap on either side. There’s also no long-term way to keep the teeth in their new position (like retainers after braces) so eventually the teeth will just move back. You should think twice about these orthodontic bands. While they may fit your budget, spending less now will likely mean spending more later to fix an even more serious issue.

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.

Why does my lip stick to my Lumineers?

I’m so in love with my new Lumineers smile! It looks better than I ever imagined, but there’s one little problem I am noticing since I got them: when I talk, my upper lip tends to dry out and stick to my front teeth. It’s kind of annoying, but I don’t know what to do other than try and get used to it. Is this normal? — Ashley

Lumineers are a great option for many people and it sounds like you are very happy with the appearance of your new smile. It’s unfortunate about this lip issue. While you think it’s just a little annoying right now, you’ll likely find that if it continues, it will become more distracting and even embarrassing. Kudos to you for trying to live with it, because most people would probably be very irritated and back at their dentist to complain in no time.

When traditional porcelain veneers are placed, it requires shaving down the front of the tooth slightly to accommodate the veneers. Lumineers are called “no-prep” which means your dentist can bond them directly to the teeth, which often results in a bulky or thick feeling.

That is probably what you are experiencing. Your teeth are now thicker and your lip is getting stuck and drying out. Since the Lumineers are bonded in place, your dentist could try and shave them down a bit and polish them, but it’s pretty risky if he gets too aggressive and accidentally shaves right through the veneer. Your only other options are to have the Lumineers re-done, or as you stated before, try to get used to them and just live with it.

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.