Whitening and Veneers

Hi again,

I wrote you back in January about my discolored front tooth. I’ve decided to go with the porcelain veneers. But, as I’ve been thinking about it, I think I want to get the rest of my teeth whitened. Should I do the veneer first or the whitening first?

Nancy G. -Alabama


Under normal circumstances you would always do the teeth whitening process before adding anything like porcelain veneers or dental bonding. The reason for that is you want your dentist to match your new cosmetic work to the brighter white color you’ll obtain with whitening. Otherwise your teeth will be mismatched.

I remember your case. You had a discolored tooth from a root canal and were worried about whitening weakening your tooth. Remember to find a dentist that knows how to bleach the crown of the tooth and leave your root untouched.

This blog is sponsored by Boston Emergency Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Can you do cosmetic work on a 6 year old?

My six year old has brown spots on her teeth. I want to get some cosmetic work done on her, but wondered if you can do cosmetic work on young children. What do you think?

Jennifer R.- Maumelle, AR


Sometimes children get brown spots on their teeth from a fever while the teeth are developing. Are the spots on her permanent teeth, or her baby teeth? The fever will only have affected the teeth that were developing at the time. If they’re her baby teeth, her adult teeth may be unaffected and you can just let the baby teeth come out naturally without doing anything.

If they’re her adult teeth, you can do dental bonding on the spots, to repair it, but I would wait until she is a little older, maybe eight or nine years old. She needs to be able to sit still in the chair while the dentist shapes and tints the bonding work.  At that age, if the spots bother her, or if the children are making fun of her, then go ahead and have the bonding done. But, if it doesn’t bother her, you can wait until she is even older.

If you do decide to get work done, just do bonding–a conservative treatment. I wouldn’t recommend anything like porcelain veneers. Even with adult teeth, the teeth are still erupting in young people. As it erupts further, the neck of the tooth will start to show above the veneer.

Be careful not to just go to your family dentist to have her cosmetic treatment done. You want someone who is highly qualified and can make her teeth look beautiful and natural. See if there is a dentist in your area who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).

This blog is brought to you by Boston Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.