Tag Archives: porcelain veneers

Dealing with Teeth Whitening

I developed these opaque white spots on my teeth when I was much younger. My dentist insists my teeth are completely healthy. I mentioned to him that the appearance really bothers me, but he is more of the philosophy if it isn’t broke don’t mess with it. When I brought it up a few more times he said if it bothers me that much I could get some whitening strips. I’m looking for something a little faster and professional. There is a dentist in my area who does Zoom Whitening. Is it okay to go to a different dentist just for some cosmetic work or is that considered bad form?


Dear Meagan,

A woman getting a porcelain veneer placed on her teeth

So, there are a few different types of dentists. Yours sounds like he holds to the engineering mindset These are dentists who got into the field because they like to fix things. They haven’t invested any time in learning the cosmetic side of their field. This is very obvious from the advice he gave you.

While you are correct that Zoom Whitening is the most effective and quick way to get your teeth whitened, it will not work for your particular issue.

Any type of teeth whitening, professional or not, will whiten your teeth uniformly. This means there will still be color differences in your teeth with white spots.

The Solution to White Spots

Depending on the area affected, you have a couple of choices. If it is a tiny area of white spots, you could have dental bonding done to get your teeth uniform in color.

If it is a large area, you would be better served getting porcelain veneers placed. These will cover the entire tooth and are the top of the line in smile makeover options.

Who Should Do Your Cosmetic Work?

It is fairly common for patients to go to an expert cosmetic dentist and then return to their dentist for the bread and butter type of dental work.

The two particular procedures I mentioned above will require an expert cosmetic dentist. Look at Dr. Delaune’s bio to get an idea of what to look for in the best cosmetic dentists. They will have the skills to give you a stunning smile you will be thrilled to share.

How Can Zoom Whitening Help?

If you would like a whiter smile, you can still use Zoom Whitening to do that and then have the dentist treat the white spots.. It’s important to do any teeth whitening before the other work is done. Both dental bonding and porcelain veneers can be matched to any tooth color. However, once they’re made, their color is permanent. Get your teeth the color you want before having your veneers placed.

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

matching teeth to eyeballs?

I wanted to know if it is possible to use teeth whitening to match my teeth to my eyeballs?


Dear Luke,

custom-fitted teeth whitening trays

I want to give you points for the most unique question I have received. There are two factors in answering this question.

First, a lot of the answers will depend on one how white your eyeballs are. While teeth can be bleached exceptionally white, there are limits to its whitening ability.

The second factor is that teeth whitening results vary quite a bit. This is why when someone is getting a complete smile makeover we have them bleach their teeth first. You get much more accurate results when you are matching porcelain veneers to a color, than when you are using teeth whitening.

If it is just a color you are going for, then you can attempt to do it with teeth whitening and see if it gives you the color you want. It is the least expensive way to give yourself a mini makeover.

However, if there was more you wanted to change about your teeth, such as their shape or size, in addition to the color, then the way to go is with porcelain veneers.

As I mentioned above, they can be made to any color you desire. But that isn’t all. A great cosmetic dentist can lengthen and widen your teeth, completely changing the character of your smile. Depending on how the dentist shapes your teeth, he can change the appearance of your smile to look youthful, sporty, authoritative…whatever you want.

However, it does require some expertise and will be more expensive. Unlike teeth whitening, which any dentist can do equally well, to do truly beautiful smile makeovers takes advanced technical and artistic ability.

This is only developed after extensive post-doctoral training. Doing smile makeovers isn’t taught in dental school. In your place, I’d look for an AACD accredited dentist. They are in the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the country. Any smile they create for you will be absolutely stunning.

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

fixing this dental bonding

I had dental bonding done by my dentist in the previous state I lived in. It was getting old and picking up stains so my new dentist tried to spruce it up with teeth whitening. That seemed to just make it darker. Is there some way to whiten this bonding?


Dear Kathy,

Photo of teeth whitening trays in a blue case.
Teeth whitening trays

Unfortunately, teeth whitening will not work on your dental bonding. It isn’t just bonding. It won’t work on any dental work. The reason your dental bonding looks darker is the teeth whitening did work on your natural teeth while your bonding stayed the same color.

There is not a way to whiten old bonding. Instead, you’re going to need to have it re-done. I don’t think your current dentist will be the one to do it. He or she didn’t understand how teeth whitening works, which is the bare basics of cosmetic dentistry. Dental bonding takes an expert level of cosmetic skill to get right.

In your place, I’d look for a dentist recommended on the mynewsmile.com website. They pre-screen dentists who wish to be listed for both their technical training and their artistic skill.

One thing you might want to consider is upgrading to porcelain veneers. Your bonding will have to be re-done every few years, When porcelain veneers are well cared for, they can last for two decades. Again, you would need to have this done by a cosmetic dentist.

You can stay with your current dentist for all your general work. However, when you go in for cleanings, make sure they know not to use anything like a prophy jet or acidulated fluoride. Both of those will take the glazing right off your cosmetic work. This will ruin them and cause them to pick up stains.

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

Brown Spots on TEeth

Most of my teeth are okay, but there are brown spots on my two front teeth which have bothered me since they came in . I was told this was because of a fever I had as a child. My dentist tried all the over the counter whitening products and even professional whitening. She’s thinking about either sending me to another dentist who has a Zoom light or grinding down until the brown spots are gone. Do you think one of these is a better option than another?


Dear Cora,

I want you to stop letting this dentist work on your front teeth. While it is obvious she is trying to help, she doesn’t have the knowledge for this type of treatment.

Neither at-home whitening or in-office Zoom Whitening will solve your problem. Teeth whitening whitens the teeth evenly. This means your brown spots will just become more obvious.

I certainly don’t think she should experiment by grinding down the brown spots. Does she know how far she’ll have to grind? How will she build the material back up?

Solutions to Brown Spots on Teeth

You have two good solutions to this issue. The first is dental bonding. This uses composite resin which the dentist will hand sculpt onto your teeth to hide the brown spots. This is the least expensive of the two options. However, it doesn’t last as long and will need to be replaced periodically.

Your second option is to have porcelain veneers done. You can do them just on the two front teeth or you can get a complete smile makeover. It’s up to you.

One word of caution. Your current dentist is not qualified to do either of these procedures. I’m going to recommend you pick one of the dentists from your area listed on the mynewsmile.com website. They have the cosmetic training and skill necessary to give you a beautiful result.

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

solving a collapsed bite

I’m trying to find out what to do about my smile. I hate it. You can never see my teeth when my mouth is at rest. Actually, they’re almost impossible to see all the time. Even smiling my hardest you can barely see them. There is also almost constant jaw pain. When I wear a nightguard, it does help things feel more normal, but obviously I can’t wear that all the time. I want a smile I can be proud of. I was thinking of porcelain veneers but wanted to get all my options before deciding.


Dear Margot,

Woman covering her mouth with her hands

You don’t have to spend your life ashamed of your smile. I will say, though, I’m very glad you wrote before seeing a dentist. Too many would make things worse instead of better. It sounds like you’re dealing with a collapsed bite, along with complications from TMJ. Disorder This will take a dentist with advanced post-graduate training in a variety of skills.

Porcelain veneers aren’t the best option for you. You’ll need a procedure that will build up the teeth. This should be done with dental crowns, but it has to be done in a very specific way.

This should start with a provisional restoration. Once that is successful, the permanent restoration should be built from it. However, this isn’t easy. Successful will mean your teeth show under normal circumstances, your jaw doesn’t hurt, your speech is normal, and you love how they look.

You will need a dentist who has advanced training in restorative dentistry, neuromuscular dentistry, as well as cosmetic dentistry. That is a tall order.

See what dentists have advanced TMJ Training in your area, then check to see if they’re listed on the mynewsmile.com website. These dentists have the cosmetic training to create beautiful smiles. Combined, it will cover all the aspects you need.

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

smile makeover disaster

I’m very frustrated and disappointed. I spent a lot of money getting eight porcelain veneers. The first set came back bulky and too yellow so I asked him to send them back. When the next pair came back he said he wanted to bond them on so I could see them in my mouth and they could make adjustments afterward, if necessary. When he bonded them on, they were still not what I wanted, but it turned out they weren’t really able to make adjustments to them. He suggested I give it a few weeks and he was sure I’d love them after I got used to the change. I didn’t. I’ve called several times trying to get a refund but can’t seem to get a call back from him. What do you recommend I do?


Dear Olivia,

porcelain veneer being held up by dental tool

I’m sorry this happened to you. It is unfortunate that doing a smile makeover isn’t taught in dental school. A dentist has to invest time in post-doctoral training to truly learn how to do cosmetic dentistry well. Even then, every dentist has to muddle through their first procedures with porcelain veneers.

Most dentists aren’t proud of their beginning cases, however, those who truly care about the work they do, will re-do it until they are proud of it. It doesn’t sound like your dentist is going to be one of those type of dentists.

He tried, you didn’t like it, so instead of trying until it is right he’s going to ignore you, likely in the hopes you’ll just give up.

What to Do With a Smile Makeover Disaster

In your place, I’d go to a an expert cosmetic dentist and try to get them on your side. If they agree the porcelain veneers aren’t well done, they could help persuade the original dentist to give you a refund.

The one thing you do have going for you is he mislead you about the adjustments. Unfortunately, though, without proof, you won’t have much legal leverage unless the veneers are not structurally sound.

To find a good cosmetic dentist to help you, I suggest you go to the mynewsmile.com website and see who they recommend. They pre-screen cosmetic dentists for their artistic skills and technical training, so anyone on their list will have the expertise to both evaluate your case as well as provide you a beautiful smile makeover the second time around.

I hope this helps.

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

Can I rinse with peroxide to whiten my teeth?

I learned that teeth whitening is mostly a peroxide mixture. Couldn’t I get a faster and similar results by rinsing with peroxide at home? I want to get this done quickly. My dentist is talking about me wearing the peroxide gel for a few weeks. I’m thinking straight peroxide will be better.


Dear Lucy,

You want to get teeth whitening done fast and you can, but it won’t happen with rinsing your teeth with peroxide. You are correct that a teeth whitening gel is made of peroxide. However, it is only effective if it soaks into your teeth.

When your dentist creates a tooth whitening tray for you, he does it so they will have a close custom fit to your natural teeth. With the solution being a gel, it will stay on your teeth better in the tray.

It will need to soak in for a minimum of 15 minutes a day for there to be any whitening effect. I don’t think you’re going to feel comfortable rinsing for 15 minutes a day. Even then, it would take a few weeks.

Getting Your Teeth Whitened Fast

If you really want your teeth whitened fast, look for a dentist who offers Zoom Whitening. This is an in-office procedure that will completely whiten your teeth in just one appointment.

This is a safer option for you than gargling with peroxide every day.

A Smile Makeover

Another option for fast, white teeth is to get a complete smile makeover with porcelain veneers. I would only recommend this if you want to change more than just the color of your teeth.

Porcelain veneers can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth all at the same time. It’s what celebrities use as their go-to for their Hollywood smile.

If all you want is to do whiten your teeth then I would just stick with Zoom. It is much less expensive.

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

whitening tetracycline teeth

I’ve had tetracycline-stained teeth since I was a child. It has always been a source of horrible embarrassment for me. My dentist said teeth whitening wouldn’t do much good for me and not to waste my money. He didn’t have a solution for me either. Is there anything I can do or am I just going to have to learn to live with a smile I’d rather hide?


Dear Betsy,

While one particular brand of teeth whitening has had more success with these stains than others, most make hardly any difference at all. That doesn’t mean all is lost.

As you can see from this smile makeover that Dr. Deluane did on a patient, there is a way to obtain a beautiful smile after tetracycline stains. Here Dr. Delaune used porcelain veneers. This enabled him not only to cover her stains, but to reshape her teeth to add length.

I don’t want you to think you can just run to your family dentist and get porcelain veneers and all will be beautiful and shiny. These are among the most difficult cosmetic dentistry cases to do. It would take a dentist with advanced cosmetic training.

The difficulty comes in needing to make the porcelain veneers opaque enough to cover the dark tetracycline stains, yet translucent enough to have their natural shine.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

I’m going to suggest you go to the mynewsmile.com website. A cosmetic dentist cannot just pay to be listed. They have to prove their cosmetic education as well as provide case samples to show they can get beautiful results.

However, while everyone listed on that site is an expert cosmetic dentist, tetracycline cases are a beast of their own. I’d like you to go one step further and ask to see specific before and after pictures of cases they’ve done dealing with tetracycline. You want to be certain they’re able to get the beautiful results you’re dreaming of. Then, you will have a smile you are delighted to share with the world.

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.

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.