Tag Archives: Porcelain Veneers

Looking for a cheap new smile

I have discolored front teeth and two chipped teeth from when I fell. My dentist fixed them several years ago and while they were fixed, the color sticks out as being different from the rest of the teeth. I want to fix the discoloration on both my natural teeth and the bonded teeth. My dentist suggested porcelain veneers which colors the whole tooth, but the price is pretty hefty. Is there a way to get a uniform smile cheaper?

David

Dear David,

before and after dental bonding

I am very glad you wrote. First, your dentist does not need to do either bonding or porcelain veneers on you for your smile makeover. I posted a picture above that shows how dental bonding should blend in naturally when done correctly. If he can’t do dental bonding, he cannot do porcelain veneers well either.

If you want to go cheap, I would not suggest veneers. The good news is that you won’t need them if they only thing you are concerned about is the discoloration. This can easily and affordably be fixed in two steps.

The first step would be to get your teeth whitened. Any dentist can do this, even yours. It is the easiest cosmetic procedure around. Once that is done, the next step will be to get your dental bonding replaced. However, I do not recommend you have your normal dentist do this. He doesn’t have the skills and/or materials to match the bonding to your natural tooth structure. Instead, I want you to go to someone with cosmetic dentistry training. Look at their smile galleries to see what type of results they get. Also, see if they have someone on staff who is AACD accredited. That would be ideal.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Are CEREC Veneers Risky?

I plan on getting CEREC veneers, but I have not exactly used this dentist before. He told me that he generally makes porcelain veneers 1.55 mm. I have done some research and that seems a little thick to me. Should I reconsider? I understand that the dentist who does the veneers could affect the outcome so I’ll tell you ahead of time, his name is [ name withheld ].

Patricia,

Dear Patricia,

porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

I am very glad you wrote. Instead of saying “the dentist could affect the outcome”, I would say the dentist determines the outcome. He or she would be the key to the outcome of your smile makeover.

Doing CEREC veneers is much harder than doing traditional porcelain veneers using a master ceramist. In that case, the skill and training of the dentist becomes even more important. I looked up the dentist you mentioned to me. I started by looking at his website and I saw nothing that indicated any cosmetic training. That was a red flag. But, I went ahead and did some extra work and looked up the institutions that do the type of training he would need. He is listed on none of their alumni lists. Because of that, I am going to recommend you go a different direction.

If you are set on CEREC veneers then I suggest you go to a practice that has an AACD accredited dentist on their staff. Nothing less than that would give you the outcome that I believe you want.

Let’s say you go to a dentist to get a smile makeover and he or she does a terrible job. You will have no recourse. The standard of care is that it the results of the procedure are functional, not attractive. This is not what you are going for when you want a smile makeover. Therefore, you as a patient, as to be proactive and find the dentist who will not only care that you have a beautiful smile, but has the training and skills to provide them for you.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Forman and Thimmesch.

Getting White Teeth Fast

I had read on a dental blog similar to yours that over the counter Crest whitestrips actually works. I’ve been using them, but they seem to take forever. I want really white teeth, but need it faster because I have an event coming up. Is there a product for that?

Misty

Dear Misty,

Zoom Whitening Logo

While it is true that Crest Whitestrips really will whiten your teeth, the whitening gel concentration is pretty weak. That is why it is taking so long. It’s not Crest’s fault. Because they are over-the-counter, there are regulations on the strength they can use in order to protect patients.

If you are looking for something to get your teeth really white really fast, than I will suggest you see a dentist who offers Zoom Whitening. This is a procedure that you will do in-office and your teeth will be white in just one appointment. The gel is highly concentrated. Plus, there is a special light they use to activate the gel and kick the whitening process into gear. You’ll get remarkable results.

Make sure you ask for a take home tray so you can do upkeep and touchups in a year or so. That will save you money in the long run.

Getting a Complete Smile Makeover

single porcelain veneer being placed

Another option you have, if you’ve ever considered a total smile makeover is to get porcelain veneers. These use tiny wafers of porcelain that can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth simultaneosly. It is the go-to for Hollywood to get that celebrity smile they all seem to have.

It is quite an advanced procedure, though. You won’t want to let just any dentist do it. They need training, technical skill, and artistry. We have an AACD accredited dentist on our staff which means he is in the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the country. If you decide you want to go the complete makeover route, find one in your area. If you have to drive to a nearby city or state, it will be worth it.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Fixing My Teeth Without Porcelain Veneers

I have some crooked teeth. All of my teeth are discolored from age. I want to improve my smile. My dentist is very keen on me getting porcelain veneers and even showed me his brag book. I hope it doesn’t sound ugly to say I was not impressed. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, so I am looking for alternatives.

Callie

Dear Callie,

Zoom Whitening

Don’t feel bad about having a high standard for your cosmetic work. These are expensive procedures that affect your appearance. Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you.

If you do not want porcelain veneers, that is okay. There are options. The first thing I would suggest is to deal with the discoloration. Having brighter, whiter teeth can make you look years younger. One quick way to do that is with Zoom Whitening. It can deeply whiten your teeth in just one appointment.

side by side compairison of braces
Braces versus Invisalign

Then, to straighten them, you can either get braces or Invisalign. I recommend Invisalign for several reasons.

  • They are more comfortable
  • They are invisible even at a conversational distance
  • They work faster
  • They make it easy to keep up with your oral hygiene

Both of these procedures together are less expensive than porcelain veneers. While porcelain veneers require extensive post-doctoral training for a dentist to do them well, teeth whitening and Invisalign can be done by just about any dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Could A Dental Flipper Make My Teeth Look Straight

I feel at 42 years old I am too old for braces, but my teeth are crooked and I’m tired of it. I wondered if a dental flipper could make my teeth look straight?

Kelsey

Dear Kelsey,

Invisalign aligner

I think you may be confusing a dental flipper with Snap on Smile. A dental flipper is a temporary means of replacing a missing tooth. It fills in the open gap with a fake tooth.

Snap-on Smile, on the other hand, is a fake smile that will snap over your existing one. However, they are made of acrylic, so will not look as natural looking as porcelain. Plus, because they snap over your teeth they can make your smile look a bit bulky. It’s mostly used for something like a job interview or photoshoot when you need straight teeth fast, but only temporary.

You do have an option for straightening your teeth that does not include braces. These days you can get your teeth straightened using clear aligners. The top brand that provides that is Invisalign. These truly are invisible even at a conversational distance, allowing you to straighten your teeth without anyone even knowing.

If you are looking for an instant straight smile. You can look into porcelain veneers. These are used for complete smile makeovers and can give you a brand new smile in just two appointments. They won’t straighten your teeth per se but can make them look straight.

The only “catch” is that while any dentist who chooses to can provide you with Invisalign, you will need a dentist with expertise in cosmetic dentistry to provide a beautiful smile for you with porcelain veneers. This does take post-doctoral training.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Closing a Tooth Gap

I asked my dentist about how I can close my tooth gap on my front teeth. It has always bothered me. He said we could do it with porcelain veneers. The price was a bit higher than I was expecting. Is that the typical way to solve this problem or do I have other options?

Melanie

Dear Melanie,

Invisalign aligners

You have a few options here. If the only thing you were wanting to change about your teeth is the gap, then I would consider porcelain veneers a major overtreatment. Veneers are designed for people who want a complete smile makeover. They can change anything and everything about your teeth, including the shape, size, and color. It is the procedure people use to get that Hollywood Smile.

That did not sound to me like what you needed. In that case, you have two much more affordable options. Your first is to simply use dental bonding. This uses a composite resin that the dentist will place and sculpt between the two teeth to fill in and close the gap. It does take an expert cosmetic dentist to do this well because it has to be done freehand, so I would not just let any dentist do that.

Another option is Invisalign (pictured above). This is the modern way of straightening teeth. Instead of metal wires and brackets that traditional braces use, this uses clear aligners, allowing you to straighten your teeth without anyone even knowing. It also has a hidden benefit where the aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. This means you can straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time for a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay with the procedure your dentist suggested.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Can Teeth Be Bleached to Match Something Specific?

I want to get my teeth very white. In fact, I have a white sweater I love that I want them to match. Is that possible or am I asking too much?

Carol

Dear Carol,

Zoom Whitening

What an interesting question. I can tell you that we haven’t found an upper bound to how white teeth can get. So, it is possible. That being said, the results of teeth whitening can be a bit unpredictable. Zoom Whitening can get them really white fast, but there is not a definitive ending color result.

My suggestion if you have a very specific color you want, would be to go with porcelain veneers. These are custom designed and the color you want can be made to order.

You do need to go to an office that employs an expert cosmetic dentist, though. We have an AACD accredited dentist who comes to our office. Smile makeovers are his art form of choice.

Whoever you end up with, make sure they use a temporary try-in paste so you can see the veneers in place and determine whether you like them or not. If you’re not thrilled, they should be sent back to the lab to make the changes you request.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Zoom for White Spots

I have had white spots on my two front teeth since childhood. I would like to have a more evenly colored smile. My dentist suggested Lumineers but that is very expensive. I was thinking something closer to Zoom whitening or something. Would that work?

Ada

Dear Ada,

Can Zoom Whitening fix white spots?

I am very glad you wrote. What your dentist suggested is a bit of an overtreatment, unless you were looking for a complete smile makeover. Even then, Lumineers would not be my first choice in the brand of porcelain veneers to use. They’re often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists. If you didn’t suggest a desire for a smile makeover, I worry that your dentist may have been using you for practice.

That being said, while Zoom whitening is a very effective means of whitening your teeth, it will not be the solution you are looking for in this situation. Any type of teeth whitening will whiten all the tooth structure evenly. That means as your teeth get whiter, so will the white spots. This is probably not the look you were going for.

The simplest solution would be to see an expert cosmetic dentist who can do microabrasion and then dental bonding. Or, if you do desire to get a complete smile makeover, you could see that expert cosmetic dentist, but for porcelain veneers instead.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Solution for White Spots

I had braces in my mid-twenties. Yes, that is late, but my parents were quite poor and I needed to wait until I had the money to do it myself. After they were off, I noticed these white spots on my two front teeth. I asked my dentist if there was anything we could do about that and her response was, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” While that might be fine for her to say, they aren’t her teeth. I just spent a small fortune getting my teeth straight, I would like to be proud of them when I smile and not have people staring at my white spots. So, do you think something strong like Zoom Whitening would help? I’d have to go to a different dentist for that because my dentist doesn’t offer teeth whitening, but I’d really like to fix their appearance.

Kelly

Dear Kelly,

Patient under a Zoom Whitening light.

I’m glad you wrote. It sounds like your dentist has what we call an engineering mindset. They got into dentistry because they like to fix things. As a result, they are not as interested in the cosmetic side of things.

I am glad to hear you are willing to go to another dentist to get this fixed because that is what it will require. Unfortunately, Zoom Whitening will not be the solution though. No matter what type of teeth whitening you use, it will whiten your teeth evenly. That means the white spots will get whiter along with the rest of your tooth structure.

You have two possible solutions here. Both of them will require that you see an expert cosmetic dentist. This is important because you want a beautiful result. Check out their smile galleries to see if you like their results.

Your first option is to have dental bonding done. Whatever dentist you go to will need to carefully remove the white spots (which are actually areas of decalcification) and then place composite dental bonding on top.

If your spots are very large, I suggest you have two porcelain veneers placed on your front teeth instead of the bonding. Especially for large areas, this will give a more aesthetic, longer-lasting result.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Invisalign or Porcelain Veneers

I had been saving up to give myself a smile makeover. I’d planned on porcelain veneers. There is not anything major wrong with my smile, but I heard porcelain veneers were the procedure to do for a smile makeover. When I met with my dentist he suggested I do Invisalign first and then get the porcelain veneers. I was under the impression you do one or the other. I don’t have a major orthodontic case, just one crooked tooth. My dentist suggested Lumineers, which I was fine with, but that confused me more because their advertisement said they can make crooked teeth look straight. What am I not understanding?

Olivia

Dear Olivia,

Invisalign aligners
Invisalign Aligners

I can understand your confusion. In general, unless as you said there is a major orthodontic case, the porcelain veneers can make your teeth look straight if the dentist is skilled enough to do it right. I am concerned that your dentist is not and that is why he is suggesting Invisalign first. The fact that he wants to place Lumineers reinforces my fears. That particular brand of porcelain veneers is highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists.

If you decide to go with porcelain veneers, you need to find a different dentist to do it. I would look for a practice that has an AACD Accredited Dentist on staff. That being said, I don’t think you actually need porcelain veneers.

Based on your description, it sounds like you are just wanting to whiten and brighten your teeth and change the appearance of that one crooked tooth. You could do that at a fraction of the cost of any brand of porcelain veneers using Invisalign.

Plus, the aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. This allows you to straighten and whiten your teeth at the same time. Now, if there are other things about your smile you want to change, such as their shape or chips, then, yes, spend the extra money on porcelain veneers (though I do not recommend the Lumineers brand). Just make sure you get them done right with an expert cosmetic dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.