Tag Archives: New Orleans cosmetic dentist

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 mynewsmile.com 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.

teeth darkening under porcelain veneers

I’m really worried something is seriously wrong with my teeth. I had porcelain veneers placed about six years ago. I moved shortly after that. Two of the veneers fell off. A dentist placed them back for a small fee, that after a receiving a letter on an attorney’s letterhead my original dentist finally reimbursed me for. Now it looks like the teeth under the veneers are darker. So much so that the porcelain veneers are no longer white. Even my friends with natural teeth have a whiter color now. What do I do?

Mark

Dear Mark,

A woman getting a porcelain veneer placed on her teeth

I’m afraid neither of your dentists have done you a great service. I’m sure it is obvious to you the first dentist wasn’t a skilled cosmetic dentist by the fact they would just fall off.

The problem you are facing is they weren’t bonded on correctly to begin with and things are getting underneath them, including bacteria. This can lead to serous decay.

It sounds like the second dentist didn’t have enough expertise to recognize the problem or to rebond them on. Truthfully, very few dentists know how to properly re-bond.

Re-Bonding Porcelain Veneers

One of the problems you will run into is very few dentists have the skill and equipment to do this properly. Using sand-blasting equipment, the old bonding material would first need to be completely cleaned off. After that, they’d have to etch the inside surface of the porcelain with hydrofluoric acid. The final step is to prime the porcelain veneer. Only then could it be bonded on again.

Now, if your porcelain veneers can be removed without them breaking, you can likely find an expert cosmetic dentist to do this properly.

Unfortunately, I’m worried the second dentist bonded them on strongly, without fixing the problem. This may mean they’ll break when the dentist tries to get them off.

If that happens, you will have to have them completely re-done. You may be able to get a refund as your porcelain veneers weren’t placed on properly and have put your teeth in danger.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

To find a cosmetic dentist skilled enough to do either of these correctly, I recommend you go to the mynewsmile.com website. They have a link to help readers find a cosmetic dentist.

The biggest benefit to this website’s list is they prescreen every cosmetic dentist who wishes to be listed. They have to prove both their technical knowledge as well as their artistry to ensure that anyone they recommend has the expertise and artistic eye to give patients a stunning smile.

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?

Natasha

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.

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?

Laurie

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.

Deciding between traditional & ultra-thin Veneers

I’m very excited about getting a smile makeover. I don’t want to go into this blind. At the moment, I’m trying to decide between traditional veneers and ultra-thin veneers. The only thing is, i keep reading that some people who get the ultra-thin veneers end up with a bulky smile, while others a beautiful one. I can’t figure out how ultra-thin veneers can create a bulky smile. How do I know which one to choose?

Katherine

Dear Katherine,

porcelain veneer being held up by dental tool

It’s great that you are doing research. I’m a big believer in increasing our knowledge of everything we can. The only thing is you are researching the wrong thing.

The reason some cases of ultra thin veneers look wonderful and others don’t is the various skills of cosmetic dentists. An expert cosmetic dentist can make a beautiful smile out of both traditional and ultra-thin porcelain veneers. However, a so-so cosmetic dentist will make a lot of artistic errors.

You asked how ultra-thin veneers can look bulky. I can answer that. There is a particular brand of ultra-thin veneers which is highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place because no tooth prep is required. While it may not be required, it is sometimes necessary. Not every smile does well without any tooth preparation and ends up with that bulky look you read about.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

If the key to a gorgeous smile makeover is the artistic and technical quality of the dentist, how does a patient go about finding the right one?

I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials that Staples did with an “easy button”. Here’s the easy button to finding a quality cosmetic dentist. Go to mynewsmile.com. They have a link for finding a dentist. You input your zip code and how far you’re willing to travel. They provide a list of dentists for you.

Every dentist on their list has been pre-screened for both their technical knowledge as well as their artistic ability. They cannot just pay to get on the list. Anyone listed can give you beautiful results.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans 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?

Candace

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 mynewsmile.com. 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.

Dentist Stained My Lumineers

I am so angry, but don’t know if I can do anything about it. Before getting my “smile makeover” my dentist and I discussed what I wanted it to look like. One thing I specifically said was how white I wanted them. Despite my instructions, he put a stain on my Lumineers. When I asked him about it he said, “I want smiles I do to look natural.” When I let him know I wasn’t thrilled, he said, “Well it’s certainly prettier than your natural smile.” I’m furious. Can anything be done?

Stephanie

Dear Stephanie,

Advertisement with Lumineers including a woman smiling and a single veneer being held by a tool

I understand your anger and have heard these type of stories so often it makes me sad. It’s so hard to get patients the information they truly need before getting their smile makeovers done. Here’s the thing, the only thing which guarantees a great result in your smile makeover is the dentist you choose. Too many patients think their family dentist is qualified.

I don’t blame the patients. They’re supposed to trust their medical and dental providers. However, doing proper smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school. In order to be a great cosmetic dentist, your dentist would have had to invest in post-doctoral training at a reputable institute which trains in cosmetic dentistry.

It’s not a recognized specialty so it’s completely up to the dentist how much time and money they invest in this type of training. At the same time, there are companies (like the Lumineers company) which heavily markets their products to dentists as being “easy” to place because they’re not required to do tooth prep. While they may be easy to place, that doesn’t make them any easier to get a beautiful result.

Evidence Your Dentist Isn’t a Skilled Cosmetic Dentist

In dental school, dentists are taught that they know better than the patient and should tell them what to do. However, cosmetic dentistry is different. Notice your dentist said, “I want smiles I do to look natural.” What he’s not realizing is cosmetic dentistry is about what you want, not what he wants.

Additionally, he thinks a stain is what makes a smile look natural. But, patients who come for cosmetic work aren’t looking for a “natural” smile. They’re looking for a gorgeous smile.

Finally, he didn’t do a try in. Based on what you described, he didn’t let you see them before he permanently bonded on your porcelain veneers. Any cosmetic dentist worth his salt will use a temporary try-in paste to make sure the patient is satisfied before bonding them.

What to Do About Your Lumineers

You have a reason to get a refund. You gave your dentist specific instructions about the color. He ignored them. That means he didn’t have your permission to place those porcelain veneers. Tell him, either you get a refund or you’ll go to the dental board about him not following your instructions and then bonding them on without giving you an option.

Then, once you get your money back, go see an expert cosmetic dentist to have them redone. My suggestion to find the right dentist is to go to the mynewsmile.com website and use their “Find a Cosmetic Dentist” link. They only recommend expert cosmetic dentists who can create gorgeous smiles and know how to follow a patient’s instructions. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

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

Bleeding Gums with Porcelain Veneers

I got porcelain veneers and am sort of happy with them. However, a few weeks after I received them my gums started bleeding. I don’t know if it’s related to the porcelain veneers or not, but it seems a coincidence they happened about the same time. Then, I just went in for my checkup and they said I’ve developed gum disease. I’m seriously puzzled. I’ve always had very healthy teeth and gums. Is there something I’m doing wrong? I don’t think I’ve changed my habits. Any ideas? I saw on your website that you do porcelain veneers. I’m hoping you’ve encountered this before.

Elaine

Dear Elaine,

A woman getting a porcelain veneer placed on her teeth

Bear in mind I haven’t examined your particular case, so I’m going on intuition. If none of your habits have changed, then my suspicion is you have what’s known as bulky margins. This means your dentist didn’t get your porcelain veneers flush against your teeth and gums.

What this does is cause there to be a little shelf on the top of the porcelain veneers which traps food and bacteria. This will lead to gum disease, which in turn will cause your gums to bleed as it progresses.

Here’s what I recommend to you. I want you to ask your dentist to look at the veneers and check them for bulky margins. If he realizes his error, he should repair it free of charge. If he doesn’t see the problem, it’s okay for you to get a second opinion. However, I want you to see an expert cosmetic dentist for your second opinion. I’ll show you how to find one in a moment.

If it turns out there are bulky margins, then ask your dentist for a refund. This way you can get them re-done properly by a dentist who knows what he or she is doing.

Finding an expert cosmetic dentist

Doing great smile makeovers isn’t something taught in dental school. A dentist interested in cosmetic dentistry will have to invest the time in to learning the skills and developing the necessary artistry after they’ve already received their doctorate. In fact, they should never stop learning.

It’s hard for patients to know which dentists have the skill and artistry they need to give them a gorgeous smile and which don’t. It’s obvious to me your dentist didn’t have what it took. Not just because you’re having gum problems, but also because you were only “sort of” happy with them.

When a smile is done well, a patient will be thrilled. A true cosmetic dentist won’t be satisfied unless the patient is. They often have a beautiful smile guarantee.

To find this type of dentist, I’d go to the mynewsmile.com website. They have a “find a cosmetic dentist” link. You’ll input your zip code and how far you’re willing to travel and they’ll provide a list of dentists which have been vetted for knowledge, skill, and artistry.

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

Zoom Whitening While on Cipro

I’m on a 14-day course of Cipro for a UTI. I’m scheduled for Zoom whitening in a few days, but I’m still on the medicine. Both the doctor and the pharmacist were adamant that I stay out of the sun. My husband mentioned it might be a bad idea for me to go through with the Zoom until after my Cipro is done. I called the office and they said I’d be fine, but they didn’t leave me very confident so I asked them to check with the dentist. They said he was with a patient but a hygienist said we could just double up on sunscreen. Now I’m even less sure. What do you think I should do?

Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

Zoom Logo

Your dental hygienist is wrong and your husband is right. I’m sure he’s going to love hearing that. When we’re talking about Cipro the reaction can be much more serious than a sunburn. Some patients have a strong reaction after just a moment in the direct sunlight, such as hives and blisters which will cause you complete agony.

You must have a very strong infection. Most prescriptions are 10-day but yours is 14-day. So, whatever you do, don’t stop taking your medicine in order to get your teeth whitened. It will cause the infection to come right back.

You Can Still Get Zoom Whitening

Patient using Zoom Whitening light
The light will cause you problems

The Zoom Whitening light is very strong. It will cause you problems even if they “double up” on your sunscreen. What I recommend is you reschedule your appointment for 3 days after your last dose. Technically, it should be out of your system within 24 hours of your last dose. But, you’re on a stronger dose.

Then, when you can be sure it’s clear you are good to go.

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

When a Tooth is Knocked Out

I was at the playground and saw a boy who was hit in the mouth and lost a tooth as a result. His mother just tossed it because it was a baby tooth, but it got me to wondering. What would I do if it was an adult tooth?

Melissa

Dear Melissa,

a hockey player with a knocked out tooth

Whenever a tooth is knocked out, it’s a dental emergency whether it’s a baby tooth or an adult tooth. Even though the baby tooth doesn’t need to be saved the dentist needs to check the pulp of their tooth to make sure no damage was done which will affect the adult tooth underneath.

With an adult tooth, it’s even more serious. You have about 30 minutes to try and save the tooth. Call your dentist right away and let them know what happened. They’ll be available and ready as soon as you get there.

If you don’t have a dentist, you can do an internet search for an emergency dentist. These are general dentists who will see non-established patients in cases like yours. Again, let them know you’re trying to save a tooth so they’ll be prepared. Time is of the essence.

You’ll only want to handle the tooth by the crown (the part which is visible when you smile). Try never to touch the root. Additionally, you’ll want to keep it moist. If you can, put it in a glass of milk. If that’s not available, you can just place it between your gums and your cheek.

If Your Tooth Can’t be Saved

There are times when a tooth can be saved. In that case, you’ll have options for your replacement. Ideally, you’d want a dental implant. That’s almost like having a natural tooth. However, if it’s a teenager or child you’re talking about an implant isn’t possible. Their jaw has to be finished growing.

After a dental implant, the next best option is a dental bridge. This suspends a false tooth between two crowns. There are other options as well if neither of those work for you such as a removable partial denture or a dental flipper. A flipper is only meant to be temporary though, while you are waiting for a better replacement.

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