Tag Archives: Lousiana Cosmetic Dentist

porcelain veneers & invisalign?

I’m hoping you can help me make a decision. I want to whiten my teeth and I have two crooked front teeth. I was thinking I could fix both getting porcelain veneers. I spoke to my dentist about it and he said that would be fine, but he’d like me to straighten the front teeth first. I was hoping not to have to do orthodontics because they’re so unattractive and take forever. Is it really necessary?


Dear Kathryn,

Invisalign aligner
You can now straighten your teeth invisibly

First, please understand that I haven’t seen your teeth and can only go by your description. Unless there is something your dentist hasn’t explained to you, I’m puzzled why you would need both as well.

Generally, a patient will either do porcelain veneers or orthodontics, not both. There could be an exception if you have either a serious bite problem or overly crowded teeth. In those unusual cases, it would be helpful to have orthodontics first. Other than that, you can just have porcelain veneers placed and it will make your front teeth appear to be straight.

If you are in that position, then I have some helpful news for you. You can completely straighten your teeth without anyone knowing. Invisalign uses clear aligners. You can see an image of one of the aligners above. When you are wearing them, they are completely invisible, even at a conversational distance.

The best part is they have the benefit of being able to whiten your teeth simultaneously. The aligners used to straighten your teeth can also double as teeth whitening trays.

Invisalign or Porcelain Veneers

If you have the choice and all you want to do is whiten and straighten your teeth, you would save a lot of money using Invisalign. However, if there are other things about your smile you want to change, such as the shape or length, then porcelain veneers are the way to go.

These are the go-to for a complete smile makeover. One word of caution. They require technical expertise as well as an artistic eye. Not every dentist can do a smile makeover with porcelain veneers. There are countless cosmetic dentistry horror stories to back this up.

If you decide to go that route, you will want a dentist who has been accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists are the top cosmetic dentists in the country.

If you go the Invisalign/teeth whitening route, just about any family dentist can do it.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Should I Have Gone to a Cosmetic Dentist for a Root Canal?

Both my sister and I received root canals within the last year. My dentist put a crown on mine, which meant filing down the tooth to a nub. It’s not that attractive either. It’s toward the back so isn’t completely visible but it still bothers me. My sister sees a cosmetic dentist. When he did her root canal, he put a porcelain veneer on hers. It looks so much nicer than mine and she hardly had any of her tooth structure removed. Did I make a mistake not going to a cosmetic dentist?


Dear Betty,

Porcelain crown on left and porcelain veneer on right

You should know there isn’t a recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry, which means every cosmetic dentist is just a general dentist who prefers to also do cosmetic work. However, before we get into choosing a dentist to do cosmetic work, let’s talk about a root canal restoration.

Whether or not you get a dental crown or a porcelain veneer restoration depends on a few things. First, the location. If it’s a back tooth, a crown is more important. After a root canal, a tooth becomes more brittle. The crown will protect it from the biting forces which affect your back teeth.

If it’s on the front teeth, you may have a choice. Most of the time crowns are done because there was so much decay on the tooth there is not enough structure left for anything but a crown. However, if the tooth needed treatment because of trauma and is still fully intact, then you could get a porcelain veneer. This is more effective because of the type of forces your front teeth undergo.

However, you’re talking about getting a porcelain veneer on a single front tooth. This requires a cosmetic dentist with superior aesthetic skills.

When You Need a Skilled Cosmetic Dentist

Most of the skills required to do a beautiful smile makeover are not taught in dental school. The dentist has to invest post-doctoral time in learning the skills required. However, there is an aspect that can’t be taught— an artistic eye.

Like any art form, there are different skill levels. So, how do you find the right dentist? The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry realized the quandary patients found themselves in. To remedy that, they began an accreditation program.

To become accredited, dentists have to pass stringent oral and written exams. Additionally, they have to provide evidence of a list of cases they’ve done showing they can give beautiful results. Any AACD accredited dentist can give you a gorgeous smile makeover. They can also match a single porcelain veneer to the rest of your teeth.

If you’re ever in the need or porcelain veneers, make sure you go to aacd.com and find an accredited dentist in your area.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Can Invisalign Straighten My Gums?

I’ve never been happy with my smile. My front teeth are a little crooked and my gums are uneven. I was thinking of getting Invisalign but wondered if it would work for my gums too. I’m a little embarrassed to ask my dentist in case it’s a stupid question.


Dear Bethany,

A woman placing in her Invisalign aligners

When it comes to the health of your gums and teeth, there are no stupid questions so never be afraid to ask your dentist anything. He should be happy to answer. If he’s not, you need a different dentist. Invisalign is a great option for straightening teeth without anyone else knowing. They’re invisible even at a conversational distance. If you’re a good candidate then it will do a great job with your crooked front teeth. What it won’t do is straighten your gums. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t be straightened.

For that, your dentist can do a couple of things. If you’re referring to unevenness from one tooth to the next, then he’d do what’s called a gingivectomy. That simply means he’d remove some tissue from the gums that stand out more. It’s a simple procedure.

If the shape of your gums doesn’t look quite right or they’re bulky, then your dentist will perform a gingivoplasty. That’s just a big word for reshaping. This is also a simple procedure. Both are done in-office in one visit. I’d recommend taking care of the gums first and then getting your Invisalign done.

An Alternative to Invisalign

If there’s more than just the crookedness of the front teeth which bother you, there’s another option. Porcelain veneers can give you a complete smile makeover. Veneers can change everything about your smile—the shape, the size, the color, even the character.

Unlike Invisalign, which can be done by just about any dentist, a complete smile makeover will require an expert cosmetic dentist. Otherwise, you could end up with very disappointing results. Look on aacd.com to find an accredited dentist in your area.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Are my teeth the cause of my dating problems?

My husband left a few years ago and I’m finally ready to start dating. The only problem is, I’ve got no takers. Do you think my tooth gap could be turning off potential dates?

Stephanie L. – Minnesotta


I couldn’t give you a guarantee that your tooth gap is the source behind your dating woes, however, our smile is one of the first things people notice about us, so it is a possibility.

If that is the case, you have a few options. If the gap isn’t too big, you could close it up with dental bonding or porcelain veneers. However, if it is something you’d like to have permanently repaired, then I suggest you look into Invisalign.

This will allow you to straighten your teeth, without anyone even noticing. They have no metal wires or brackets. They really are invisible.

Give it a try and good luck with the dating!

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Don’t want to wait on veneers

I have been dying to get my porcelain veneers done, but my dentist wants me to get my teeth whitening done first. He thinks they won’t match my teeth otherwise.  Shouldn’t he know what they’ll look like white so I can at least get started on my veneers? I’m really anxious to get this smile makeover going.

Aamod- San Francisco, CA


I can tell you’re excited about getting a smile makever. It’s understandable that you’re ready to get the ball rolling. However, with as much money as you’ll have invested in it, as well as your emotional investment, you’ll want it to be the best smile possible.

In this case, you really want to make sure you’ve completed your teeth whitening in order to do the best possible porcelain veneers.  There is no way for your dentist to predict the exact shade of whitening   that your teeth will end up.  However, once your whitening is done, your dentist wil be able to match your porcelain veneers to the new shade.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.