Category Archives: Cosmetic Dentistry

Deciding on Placing Veneers on Your Teeth

10 Questions to help you with deciding on placing veneers on your teeth:

If you’ve read the pros and cons of placing veneers, then it’s time to make a decision. Here is a list of questions to better help you with deciding on placing veneers on your front teeth. Please answer each question with either a “yes” or “no“:

  1. Are you dissatisfied with your smile? Particularly the appearance of your front teeth.
  2. Do you feel that your teeth are too yellow? And you haven’t had much success with teeth whitening treatments in the past.
  3. Do you feel that your front teeth are chipped, broken or uneven?
  4. Are there small unsightly gaps between your front teeth that you wish you could close?
  5. Do your front teeth have large fillings, root canals or crowns which make them look mismatched and uneven?
  6. Have you given it considerable consideration and are certain that veneers is what you want?
  7. Are you committed to taking care of your veneers after you receive them? This means brushing, flossing and showing up to your regularly scheduled dental cleaning appointments.
  8. Can you afford spending a few thousand bucks to improve your smile? If not, do you at least have good enough credit to get approved for financing?
  9. Are you over the age of 21?
  10. You don’t find yourself grinding your teeth very heavily at nights? “No” means that you do grind your teeth heavily at night times.

Good candidate for placing veneers

If you answered “yes” to the majority of the listed questions then you are a good candidate for receiving veneers.

Questions 1 through 6: Really wanting veneers

If you want to improve your smile and you’ve tried whitening and fillings but are still unsatisfied, then it might be time to start considering placing veneers on your teeth. Make sure you’ve done your research and given it considerable thought before committing to veneer treatment.

Question 7: Caring for veneers

Getting veneers is half the equation, taking care of them is the other half. If you don’t see yourself taking real good care of your veneers, then you should consider crowns instead. But if you don’t see yourself taking care of them at all, then you probably shouldn’t receive veneers nor crowns. After all, if you don’t care enough to brush and floss your teeth, denture teeth and veneers both look straight and white!

Questions 8: Affording veneers

Obviously, you also have to be able to afford veneer treatment. Financing companies, as opposed to dental insurances, do cover veneer placement. If you have good credit you can get your veneers today and pay them over the next couple of years, if that is what you choose.

Talking about insurances, having dental insurance may come in handy when receiving veneers. But we just got done explaining that dental insurance doesn’t cover cosmetic work? That is true, but there is a way to get certain dental insurances to pay a little bit towards your treatment. Say you have a large broken filling or a root canal treated tooth which requires a crown. You can get the insurance to approve an all-ceramic crown and place a white crown in place of a veneer on teeth which meet this criteria. High quality ceramic crowns match veneers and you can’t tell the difference between the two. This can easily shave off a thousand or two off of your total bill.

Question 9: Being old enough

You should also be old enough to make the right decision. We don’t recommend veneers if you’re very young. Consider options such as braces or simple fillings for the time being. But as you get older and approach middle-age and beyond, veneers starts to become more and more the treatment of choice. Not only are you more likely to be able to afford them at this stage of life, but you are better off addressing multiple issues such as broken teeth, gaps, wear-and-tear, etc. by placing veneers on the front teeth.

Question 10: Heavy teeth grinding

Finally, if you’re a heavy grinder then veneers are not a good option for you. You will most likely break or knock your veneers loose in no time. Consider getting crowns made of sturdy material (such as Bruxzir crowns) over veneers to make sure that they will last you a good while. However if you’re a mild grinder you can probably get away with receiving veneers so long as you commit to wearing a nightguard over nights to protect your teeth and veneers.

NOT a good candidate for placing veneers

If you answered “no” to most of the above questions then you should probably reconsider receiving veneers. If you are too young, grind too much, haven’t given it enough thought, or simply can’t afford veneers then you probably should hold off for the time being. Consider discussing other options such as teeth whitening, braces or fillings with your dentist instead.

Final thoughts on deciding on placing veneers

There’s nothing wrong with fixing worn-down, discolored and aging teeth with veneers to turn back the hands of time on your smile and appearance if that is important to you. Some people get veneers because their industry or lifestyle requires them to look fabulous. But many others go for veneers because their teeth have chipped and worn down over the years and veneers can address these issues. Fixing your front teeth can restore your youthful look and make you appear younger. It can cause your smile to sparkle and shine all over again!

NEXT >> Benefits of veneers

Risks of veneers

Placing Veneers on Your Front Teeth: Risks of Veneers

Complications and risks of veneers

If you are seriously considering placing veneers on your teeth, then you probably want to know about complications and risks of veneers. While veneers are the number one treatment of choice for restoring broken, yellow and older teeth, there are certain problems which may occur. Problems with veneers can occur either during treatment phase or months and years after you’ve received them:

Risks of veneers during treatment

These are the problems you face during the month or two your treatment is continuing.

High costs of veneers

As you probably know, veneers are quite expensive. Especially because you almost always end up needing a few of them. On average veneers prices start at around $1,000 per veneer and can go up to $2,000 or even $3,000 per veneer if you go to a high-end cosmetic dentist. Considering that most people end up needing 6 to 8 veneers, you can figure that placing veneers is a significant investment.

To make matters worse, dental insurances don’t cover veneer placement. Veneers are cosmetic treatment and almost no insurance will pay for them. Basically, they are considered to be an elective treatment and doesn’t fall under medically necessary category. So a big apology to those readers with Aetna, Metlife, etc. seeking to have their insurance pay for veneers!

Keep in mind that saving money on veneers at the cost of going to an inexperienced dentist is not advisable. You want good, quality work when it comes to cosmetic work. This can only happen if you go to an experienced dentist who uses a quality dental laboratory to make his or her veneers. Additionally, you want your dentist to stick around for another 5 to 10 years in case you need repair or do overs!

Buyers remorse

You can’t just go return your veneers like you would with a tangible product, if you end up not liking them. At least not until someone invents a time machine! Make sure that first and foremost veneers is something that you really want. If it’s not worth it or if you can’t quite afford it at the moment, then maybe you should hold off a bit longer.

Once you’ve made the commitment to receive your veneers, then plan your treatment accordingly. Find yourself an experienced and reputable dentist who has performed many cases and has a good name in your community. Choose one experienced in placing veneers and performing cosmetic treatment. Keep in mind that while doctor A may be great at placing dental implants and doctor B may be great at treating your child, neither one is necessarily the right fit for veneer treatment. Focus on finding an experienced cosmetic dentist.

Finally, decide on what you want to look like before getting started. For instance, if you want extremely white teeth to make you look like a movie star, then communicate your wishes to your dentist. Pay close attention to your wax-up and temporary veneers as to a degree they demonstrate the final results you seek. Take your time and be choosy and selective while treatment is still continuing. Don’t forget, once you receive your veneers, you can’t simply undo them any longer. Make sure you set aside a month or two for treatment in case you do run into problems and do overs as this can happen to anyone at anytime.

Risks of veneers after you receive them

These are the risks you will face months or years after receiving your veneer treatment.

Veneer problems: Falling off, Breaking, Cavities, Growing Old

It is possible that one or more of your veneers may end up becoming a problem. Obviously this can be a huge nuisance given that veneers are located right in front of your mouth! Here are some common risks of veneers that may occur after receiving them:

Veneers can fall off, leaving behind chicklet teeth!

Yes, veneer can fall off your tooth. The good news is that this occurs less than 5% of the times. If your veneer falls off but hasn’t broken then there is a chance your dentist may be able to simply re-cement (glue) it back in place. Just make sure not to lose your veneer and go see your dentist as soon as possible!

Veneers can break or chip

Veneers can also chip or break. Unfortunately if this happens, your veneer must be redone completely. Veneers can not be fixed and repaired like fillings can. Once they break, they’re no good and must be redone.

You can develop a cavity around your veneer

If this happens, your veneer must be redone. Dental cavities usually occur where veneer margin ends, particularly on the inside portion of your tooth. This area sits above your gums and is more exposed to oral bacteria, making it more vulnerable to tooth decay. Brush the inside of your veneers really well and go for regular dental cleanings to prevent this from happening.

You may want to replace older veneers

Sometimes there is nothing wrong with your actual veneer, but they start looking old over the years. We all lose surrounding gums and bones as we age, as a result our teeth roots may start to gradually show. Not only are teeth roots sensitive to hot and cold, but they are also much yellower than your veneers are.

Losing gum and bone around teeth can expose your roots and create poor esthetics. If this happens and it’s bothering you, then you might want to replace all of your veneers. But don’t worry yourself too much, root exposure typically takes years, if not decades, to take place. In the mean time, keep brushing, flossing and getting your regular dental cleanings to avoid such problems!

Teeth can break causing you to require new veneer, root canal or dental implants

To place veneers, your dentist must shave down some of tooth structure. About 30% of your tooth structure above the gum lines need to be sacrificed to make enough room for the veneer. Loss of tooth structure undermines your tooth and can lead to long term problems. If your teeth are already broken and fractured this is not a big deal. However, placing veneers on healthy teeth does introduce problems and increases risks of running into problems over time.

Should teeth with veneers on them break, several scenarios may occur. If you’re lucky and there is enough tooth structure left then you can get a new veneer or place a full crown. Other times your tooth breaks into the nerve and now you require a root canal and post in addition to a crown. Not good! However the worse case scenarios is when your tooth breaks at or below your gumlines. You usually end up losing these teeth and will require a dental implant to replace them.

Can I still get veneers without shaving my teeth down?

Some people want to receive veneers but absolutely refuse having their teeth shaven down. Most of the times this is simply not possible. However, there may be one option that might work referred to as Lumineers. Lumineers are basically similar to veneers, but without the need to shave any actual tooth structure.

While at first Lumineers sound like a great option, the problem is that very few people are actually good candidates for them. Lumineers tend to push your teeth out by several millimeters since your tooth is not shaven down. This makes them look big and bulky and in most occasions slightly awkward. Also Lumineers are not sturdy as veneers despite costing nearly as much. They have limited use and only a small number of people qualify for successful placement of Lumineers. If interested, talk to your dentist to determine if veneers or Lumineers is a better treatment choice for you.

NEXT >> Deciding on placing veneers on your front teeth

Benefits of veneers

Deciding on Going to the Dentist for Teeth Whitening

7 Questions to help your decide on going or not going to the dentist for teeth whitening

Deciding on going to the dentist for teeth whitening is a tough decision. Here is a list of question to better help you with deciding on the best way to whiten your teeth. Please answer each question with either a “yes” or “no“:

  1. Do you want your teeth to become as white as possible? Essentially as white as celebrity teeth?
  2. Do you want whiter teeth right away? Like within just a few hours or days?
  3. Have you tried several over-the-counter whitening products but haven’t received satisfactory results so far?
  4. Can you afford to spend a few hundred dollars on teeth whitening?
  5. Do you feel that you need a dental cleaning before whitening your teeth?
  6. Are your teeth very sensitive to hot and cold throughout the entire day?
  7. Do you have existing dental work on your front teeth? Things such as fillings or crowns on teeth which you’re planning to bleach?

Good candidate for going to the dentist for teeth whitening

If you answered “yes” to most of the above questions then you probably should consider going to the dentist.

Questions 1 through 3: Super-white and super-fast results

If you want your teeth to be as white a possible then going to the dentist is still your best solution. Also, if you want white teeth very quickly, then your dentist can give you the best results. There are many reasons dentists can give you better and faster whitening results. They are allowed to use stronger whitening gel products which FDA doesn’t permit for over-the-counter use. Dentists can evenly apply the whitening gel and keep your teeth dry during treatment to reduce contamination. Finally, most dentists also use a light or laser source as an accelerant. What this does is it breaks the bleaching gel more rapidly into its active ingredients for better and quicker results.

Question 4: Costs

Whitening your teeth by your dentist can be significantly more expensive than doing it by yourself. Dentists typically offer in-office whitening treatments or take home bleaching trays, or both. These are both rather expensive options, especially if your dentist is using a reputable and reliable brand.

Expect to spend between $100 to $500+ for a quality whitening treatment at your dentist. Those bargains you see on group discount sites are typically for trays with an inexpensive and less effective whitening gel brand. The more reliable and effective bleaching products cost your dentist a good amount, which means they will be expensive to you as well.

Question 5: Plaque and tartar on your teeth

Whitening treatment for teeth with stains and plaque on them is not going to be very effective. Stains and plaques prevent your teeth from appearing nice and clean. They also interfere with whitening gel products and don’t allow the gel to reach your teeth surfaces.

Question 6: Teeth sensitivity

If you have very sensitive teeth, it’s not a bad idea to go to your dentist for a teeth whitening instead of doing it yourself. There’s two reasons for this:

  • First off, your dentist can give you fluoride treatment to reduce teeth sensitivity. They can apply fluoride to your teeth, prescribe you fluoride supplements or sensitivity toothpaste, or even fabricate you a fluoride tray if needed.
  • The other reason is that your dentist may be able to protect sensitive areas during bleaching treatment. Most generalized sensitivities arise from exposed roots result of aging or brushing too hard. Your dentist can put a blocking agent to cover these exposed root areas. This will reduce post-treatment teeth sensitivity. It’s very hard to control this factor if you’re whitening your teeth by yourself.
Question 7: Existing dental work

If you have existing dental restorations on your front teeth then you really need to see a dentist  if you’re planning on a serious whitening treatment. Dental fillings and crowns don’t react to whitening products the way your teeth do. Some of your existing dental work may have to be redone if you whiten your teeth. It’s always best to see your dentist in advance to make sure there’s no unexpected surprises.

NOT a good candidate for going to the dentist for teeth whitening

If you  answered “no” to most of the above questions then you should consider starting off with over-the-counter whitening products to see how they work before you decide to seek the dentist’s assistance.

Final thought on going to the dentist for teeth whitening or not

Nowadays there are so many wonderful whitening products out there. Using the right combination can give you excellent results and much whiter teeth. If you have the time and patience to research and use over-the-counter whitening products then you should expect great results. Additionally, the results you achieve can easily be sustainable thereafter by repeating your routine.

Using an effective combination of whitening toothpastes, whitening mouthwash and at-home bleaching trays should give you several shades of teeth whitening. Keep in mind that you’ll also have to modify your diet if you want the results to last. Avoid food items that stain and darken your teeth to keep your teeth for a long time. Maintenance will be easy since you can continue to use the combination of whitening products that has worked for you. However, if you’re still not satisfied, then you probably should consider paying your dentist a visit for a little extra assistance!

NEXT >> Pros of in-office dentist whitening

Pros of using over-the-counter teeth whitening products