Tag Archives: Smile Makeover

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?


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.


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.

My New Teeth Keep Popping Off

For our anniversary, my husband told me I could get a smile makeover. I’ve dreamt of one for several years. My teeth are chipped here and there, stained, and I have a few that are shorter than the others because of teeth grinding.

My dentist ground my natural teeth down to tiny yellow nubs and gave me temporary veneers. Then, my permanent ones came in. All totaled I have eight veneers. They look okay. Certainly at least whiter than my old teeth. The big problem I am facing is they keep popping off.

While she always puts them back on for me, I am living in constant fear of being humiliated in public. This week, two fell off while I was eating bread at a restaurant with a friend. I spent the entire rest of the day crying from the shame. It is always the veneers that have a slant on the back that seem to come off.

My dentist is blaming it on my teeth grinding, but I wear a nightguard for that, which I was told would protect both my natural teeth and my veneers. What do I do now? We’re a military family and about to get transferred to another base in the states. I’m afraid no dentist will want to deal with my freakish nub mouth. What do I do? I thought this would be a wonderful experience and it has turned out to be a nightmare.


Dear Angie,

This is a cosmetic denistry horror story for the books. I am so sorry that this was your experience. I believe this dentist has committed malpractice. First, I’ll tell you why and then we’ll go over what you can do about it.

The first thing you should know is that she did not give you porcelain veneers. What she provided was dental crowns and called them porcelain veneers. This is unethical. Here is how I know this.

Image of teeth prepared for porcelain veneers
Tooth preparation for porcelain veneers

When your teeth are prepared for porcelain veneers only a small layer on the front of the teeth is removed. Directly above I posted an image showing what this type of tooth preparation looks like. This is not what you described.

Image of tooth preparation for dental crowns
Tooth preparation for dental crowns.

Instead, I think your teeth look more like what you see in this picture– little nubs. This means she gave you porcelain crowns. Unfortunately, once that tooth structure is gone, there is no way to get it back. This weakens your teeth and makes them more susceptible to breaking later down the road.

Second, she hasn’t been able to bond your dental crowns on properly. While there are a number of dentists who would not know how to properly bond porcelain veneers, every dentist has been taught how to place and bond a dental crown. The fact that she can’t keep yours in shows a serious lack of basic skills. It also violates the basic standard of care.

Your dentist is legally liable for the damage done to your teeth. I don’t want you to just ask for a refund. Instead, I believe she needs to pay to have this repaired properly. I want you to find an expert cosmetic dentist in your new area and have them repair your smile makeover. When y ou get to your new base. Look up on mynewsmile.com to see which cosmetic dentists they recommend in your area.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists 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?


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.

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?


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.

Porcelain Veneers Staining Around Edges

I had porcelain veneers done about one year ago. I’m almost 3/4 of the way through paying these off and they have started picking up stains around the edges. While I am a smoker, I was told these would be very stain resistant. Is something defective in them? Should I schedule an appointment with the dentist?


Dear Laurie,

If the staining is just at the edges, then it is likely an issue at the margins. There are a couple of things which could be causing this. First, it could be there is a gap between the porcelain veneers and the teeth. This can be a problem to fix and a rather difficult one.

However, it will be urgent to fix it because, in this case, the staining means there is debris and bacteria being caught between your teeth and the porcelain veneers. This will lead to decay. A gap in the margins is an error on the part of the dentist and as such he or she should take responsibility for fixing this.

A second possibility is it is the composite bonding that is picking up stains. This is normal and easy to fix. Your dentist polished these up when you first got your veneers and I would consider it a normal part of their maintenance. In this case, you should expect to pay it but it will not be very much at all.

It does require special strips to do so. Don’t go to your family dentist, but rather the dentist who did your smile makeover to begin with. They will have the means and knowledge to polish these up.

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

Brightening My Smile After Quarantine

My state is beginning to open up again and that includes our dentists. Now that I get to be in public I want to brighten up my smile. What recommendations do you have?


Dear Melanie,

I have two suggestions for you, depending on your budget and what your ultimate goal is in regard to your smile.

Brightening Your Smile With Teeth Whitening

Woman placing teeth whitening trays on her teeth
At-home teeth whitening with custom fit trays.

This is probably the least expensive way to brighten your smile. Just by whitening your teeth, you can take years off your appearance. Most dental offices will offer at-home whitening which allows you to whiten at home at your convenience. This also has the benefit of just going to the level of whiteness you want on your teeth.

Additionally, if you’re in a hurry and just want them to get as white as they can, some offices office an in-office solution with Zoom Whitening. This will allow you to you whiten your teeth in just one appointment.

Getting a Total Smile Makeover

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth
Porcelain Veneers

If you are looking to get that Hollywood type of smile, then the go-to procedure for a full-mouth reconstruction is to have porcelain veneers placed. While any dentist can do teeth whitening, it does take someone with some expertise and post-doctoral training in cosmetic work to make this work well.

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

How white can I get my teeth?

I am trying to figure out how white I can get my teeth. Ideally, I’d like them to match my eyeballs. Is that possible?


Dear Miranda,

I love it when I get questions that surprise me. This is one I’ve never encountered. Whether or not your teeth can match your eyeballs really depends upon how white your eyeballs are. There are limits to what teeth whitening can do. Though, you certainly can get them very white.

In general, when a patient is striving to match a certain color, we suggest they have porcelain veneers done. These can be more specifically designed to match certain colors. In addition to color, they can change the shape and size of your teeth as well. It is the go-to procedure that celebrities use to get their Hollywood smiles.

Even when patients do get porcelain veneers we always have them whiten their teeth first, this way if they have a smile that is ten teeth wide but only get six porcelain veneers, the adjacent teeth will blend in with the veneered teeth and not look out of place.

Who Should Do Your Cosmetic Work?

Here’s what I recommend. Start with the teeth whitening. That may be all you need. If you get the level of whitening you want, job done. Any dentist can do teeth whitening, even your family dentist.

If it doesn’t get to the color you want, then you’ll have to decide if you want to get a total smile makeover with porcelain veneers. This does require some rather specific training.

Unfortunately, cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty. That makes it hard for patients. Doing smile makeovers isn’t taught in dental school. The dentist has to seek post-doctoral training. The best cosmetic dentists are AACD accredited.

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

I swallowed a porcelain veneer

I’ve spent quite a bit of money getting a full-mouth smile makeover with porcelain veneers. I feel it has been a disaster since they were placed. First, while all of them seem bulky, one side of my mouth is significantly bulkier than the other which makes it look like two different smiles in my mouth. Second, you can see my natural teeth at the edges of the porcelain veneers. Third, they keep coming off, which forces me to rush to the dentist’s office to get them placed back on. Finally, yesterday, one came off while I was eating and I think I swallowed it. Can this be fixed?


Dear Megan,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

What a disaster. It seems to me like your dentist doesn’t understand even the most basic of cosmetic work, bonding the materials. If your dentist had bonded your porcelain veneers on correctly, you would never have to go back and have it re-bonded on, let alone swallow one.

Based on all the issues you’ve mentioned with your smile makeover, my guess is they never let you get a good look at your new smile before they permanently bonded them on? Given that you were paying to have a beautiful smile, they should have allowed you to give the okay to the porcelain veneers before bonding them.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a recognized specialty in cosmetic dental care, which makes it extremely difficult for patients to know who can create a beautiful smile and who cannot. The dentist you went to obviously can’t. There are too many errors in your smile makeover to go over all of them, but two, in particular, entitle you to a refund, which will allow you to get this redone properly by a qualified dentist.

Mistakes Your Dentist Made with Your Porcelain Veneers

The standard for cosmetic work, sadly, is determined on whether or not your smile is functional. Fortunately, (if you can call it that) yours isn’t.

First , you have the bonding issue. If the porcelain veneers haven’t been staying on, the smile makeover isn’t functional.

Second, the margins. You said you can see your teeth from “underneath” at the edges. This means your dentist didn’t get the veneers flush against your teeth, nor did he go as far as he should have.

This creates a little shelf, where food and other types of bacteria can get trapped, leading to decay. So, he put the health of your teeth at risk with the poor way he did your case.

Tell him you want a refund.

Getting a Beautiful Smile ‘Makeover

Once you’ve secured your refund, it is time to get back on the horse. I would have an AACD accredited dentist be the one to do your smile makeover.

In order to become accredited, they had to pass stringent exams in order to show they have the technical knowledge about their field. Secondly, they also have to provide a large number of pictures, both before and after, which show what type of beautiful results they get.

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

Three Different Color Teeth with Porcelain veneers

I had four porcelain veneers placed on my front teeth. Unfortunately, the two in the very front are turning gray. This has left me with three different colored teeth. First, there are my natural yellow teeth, which still show on either side of my porcelain veneers. Then, there are the white veneers next to them, and the two front teeth which have turned gray. I feel this whole endeavor has been a disaster. What can be going on and what can fix it?


Dear Marla,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

The main problem you are facing with your smile makeover is the inexperience of your dentist. First, the porcelain veneers on your front teeth are defective. This can happen to a new cosmetic dentist. However, an even more basic error was made.

If you are only getting four porcelain veneers and your teeth are yellow, your teeth need to be whitened before your veneers are placed. Your dentist didn’t even know enough to do that.

As for the grey veneers, there are two possibilities I can think of immediately. I couldn’t tell you which without a photo, but I can describe it to give you an idea of what to look for.

If they are uniformly grey, then it’s likely the glaze has been removed somehow. This destroys your porcelain veneers because the glaze is what protects them from picking up stains.

If the gray is uneven, you may have what is known as microleakage. This means the bonding isn’t done correctly and you’ve got things getting between the porcelain veneers and your teeth. This will not only give them a splotchy look, but it will lead to decay.

Fixing a Porcelain Veneer Disaster

Because your family dentist is in over their head, I don’t think they’re going to be able to fix this. You need to ask for a refund and have this case redone by an expert cosmetic dentist. They’ll likely first suggest you whiten your teeth. Then they’ll do the case from scratch.

My suggestion is look to see if there is a dentist who is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in a reasonable distance from you. AACD accredited dentists are the top cosmetic dentists in the country. They will provide you with a stunning smile you will be proud of.

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