Tag Archives: teeth whitening

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?

Cora

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.

type 1 diabetes & dental implants

If I have type 1 diabetes, is it still possible for me to get dental implants or am I not a candidate?

Ben

Dear Ben,

dental implant diagram

With diabetes, you can still get dental implants as long as your diabetes is under control. While it is not a contraindicator, it is a risk factor. A significant one, in fact.

One thing I highly suggest is you research your implant dentist very carefully. You need someone who has had significant post-doctoral training in dental implants. For instance, Dr. Delaune received the following training in dental implants.

  • Implantology training from the Zimmer Institute and Russo Seminars
  • Advanced dental implant training at the Medical University of South Carolina

You’ll want them to do all the diagnostic work possible and keep a close eye on everything throughout the process. Diabetics often have trouble healing so make sure they do extra checks on you during the healing process.

While some dentists will do the implant surgery themselves, others refer you out to an oral surgeon. Don’t make the mistake of seeing an oral surgeon before the dentist. You’ll want the dentist to have close communication with and surgeon to make sure they only place the implants where the dentist wants them.

If you’re going to have a mixture of your own teeth and dental implants, you’ll be more happy with your smile if you whiten your teeth beforehand.

Your dentist will place porcelain crowns on top of the implants. When he or she does that, the crowns can be matched to your natural teeth. However, once that color is made, it is permanent. You’ll want to make sure your teeth are the color you’ll want your implant crowns for a long time.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans 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.

Lucy

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.

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?

Laurie

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.

Crown hurts

I don’t know what’s going on. My crown hurts whenever I bite. It feels like the crown is bigger than the teeth next to it. I’m thinking bigger like taller. Could this be why it’s hurting. My dentist said it’s just a matter of me getting used to it but it has been about two months and it still hurts. Will I get used to it or is something else going on?

Kevin

Dear Kevin,

A woman holding her jaw from TMJ pain

When a crown is done properly, you shouldn’t even notice it is there. Your dentist saying, “You’ll get used to it.” is generally dental speak for “I’m not sure how to fix this.”

Normally, a basic step would be for a dentist to check that the crown isn’t seated to high. To do that, they’d have you bite on registration paper. This leaves marks where the crown hits prematurely. They will grind down those places.

I’m going on the assumption your dentist has already done this. If he hasn’t, you should definitely get a new dentist. If he has done this, there is something more challenging wrong and it’s out of his depth so he’s just saying you’ll “get used to it”.

This Can Lead to TMJ Disorder

If you don’t get this resolved, there is a possibility you will develop TMJ disorder.

I don’t think I’m confident your current dentist can fix this. Because of that, I’d like you to see a dentist who has experience with TMJ. They can properly place your crown so that you don’t have to worry about developing TMJ.

Making the Most of a Bad Situation

I’m a big believer in finding the good in a tough situation. If it turns out your crown was made improperly for your bite in a way which can be fixed, two good things can result.

First, you’ll be able to get a refund from your first dentist which will help you pay to get it done right. Second, this is a chance to improve your smile.

The color your crown is made is permanent. If you’re going to have it redone, I’d suggest getting your teeth whitened, so your second crown can be made to match a much lighter color to match your new, more youthful looking smile.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans 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?

Brianne

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.

dental implant perforated my sinus cavity

I’m a little concerned about some things. I was several months into my “healing period” from my dental implant being placed when the dentist removed it. He said it wasn’t integrating with the bone and the implant perforated my sinus by a few millimeters. He gave me flonase and instructions not to blow my nose, etc. Then we’ll try again after a while. Is this okay or will the same thing happen again?

Miranda

Dear Miranda,

dental implant diagram

I’m a little concerned by some things I’m hearing. While it may seem a matter of semantics, the dental implant didn’t perforate your sinus cavity, your dentist did. Plus, he did it by several millimeters which by dental standards is quite a bit.

When your dentist was doing the diagnostics for this procedure, did he take any three-dimentional x-rays, such as a CT scan? This is a necessary step to prevent sinus perforation.

Additionally, the implant didn’t integrate with the bone. This is a nother cause of concern. Yes, it should have been removed, but before you go forward, I’d like to know what your current dentist will do to prevent this from happening again before moving forward.

When a Dental Implant Fails

In order to move forward, you are going to need to make sure the sinus cavity is properly healed. After that, you’ll need some bone grafting done. Without that, there is not enough bone there to inegrate with your implant.

I’d like you to get a second opinion on this situation to see what another implant dentist says.

From there, you can either go with the other dentist to replace this or you can get assurances from the second dentist with specifics as to how he’ll take steps to prevent another perforation.

If he was planning on replacing the implant without any bone grafting, I suggest you find another dentist completely. Make sure the new dentist has specific training in dental implants. Dental school isn’t enough. It needs to be post-doctoral work.

Cosmetic Consideration with Dental Implants

Whatever color the implant crown is made will be permanent. If you are happy with the color of your smile, then you are good to go. However, if you have contemplated whitening your teeth, you’ll want to get the teeth whitening done before having the porcelain crown made.

This will save you money while allowing your smile to match from the beginning. The other option is to whiten your teeth later, but then you will have to redo the crown to match the newer, white color of your teeth.

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.

considering dental implants

I need to replace three teeth. I’ve been considering dental implants but wanted to know what things I should consider ahead of time about them. Any input?

Laurie

Dear Laurie,

Abutment and crown being placed on dental implants
Dental implant parts and placements

While dental implants are the top of the line replacement there are some things to consider. First, are you committed to the long haul?

The journey starts with the surgery to place the dental implants. From there, is a healing period. This is to allow the bone to integrate with your implants, keeping them secure. Once that’s completed, your dentist can place the dental crowns. That process takes a while.

You also want to be committed to a lifetime of good oral health. You don’t want to invest all that time and money on something if you’re not willing to take care of it. It would be like buying your dream house, but never bothering to clean or care for it until it sits there, nothing but a shambled ruin.

A third consideration is your long term smile goals. If you want a white smile, it’s important you have any teeth whitening done before you get the dental implants. While a skilled cosmetic dentist can match your implant crowns to the color of your teeth, the color is permanent. If you want them white, you’ll need to make sure you do that before the crowns are created.

All that being said, the most important consideration is the dentist.

Finding an Implant Dentist

Dental implants are an advanced procedure. Too much can go wrong if you have an inexperienced dentist. It’s something which requires extensive post-doctoral training.

Never hesitate to ask a dentist about their implant training. if they name their dental school, that’s not enough. If they seem offended, they don’t have enough. No dentist with skill minds those type of questions.

Instead, they want patients to feel confident and secure going into any procedure. You can take a look at just some of Dr. Delaune’s credentials to get an idea of the type of dentist you’ll want to do your implants.

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

Regular Versus Zoom Whitening

I want to get my teeth whitened. I was going to my dentist to get those trays but everyone is saying Zoom is better. Should I do that instead? I’m so confused. I tend to be a people pleaser so I feel bad when someone tells me to do something and I pick something else.

Patsy

Dear Patsy,

Patient using Zoom Whitening light

Don’t feel bad about going a different direction if that is what’s better for you. I wouldn’t say that Zoom Whitening is better; just that it is faster. With Zoom, your teeth are whitened quickly in just one appointment.

It uses a special light (pictured above) which activates the whitening gel allowing the process to move faster. Your teeth will get as white as possible in that one appointment.

With at-home whitening, your dentist will use the trays to custom fit them to your teeth, then provide you with professional strength whitening gel. It will get your teeth just as white, it just takes longer and works more gradually.

This is ideal for people who want to control the level of whitening. Or people who don’t want to suddenly show up with super white teeth. Instead, it will happen gradually and won’t be a sudden change which makes it obvious you’ve had your teeth whitened.

So, one is not better than the other, just different ways of accomplishing the same goal— getting your teeth as white as you want them.

When You Want to Change More than Their Color

Some people are thrilled with just getting their teeth whitened. They already have fantastic teeth which just picked up stains as they got older.

Others, however, have several things they wish they could change about their teeth. If that happens to be you, porcelain veneers may be a better option for you. They give you a total smile makeover. The veneers can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth all in one go.

They are more pricey than teeth whitening, so only do it if you want to completely remake your smile.

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