Invisalign or Porcelain Veneers

I went to my dentist to discuss a potential cosmetic change. I want to whiten and brighten my teeth and I have mildly crooked front tooth. I thought I’d get porcelain veneers, but my dentist is suggesting invisalign first and then porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are so expensive, I was hoping not to have to add any additional expense.  Is it normal to do invisalign and porcelain veneers?

Paige W. – New Mexico

Paige,

Hmmm…this is answer can only be considered in light of the fact that I haven’t actually seen your case.

What I can tell you is that, generally speaking, dentists either do invisalign or porcelain veneers.  My recommendation would be to get a second opinion from an expert cosmetic dentist.

See if there’s anyone in your area (it’s worth a drive too) that is accredited from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. You can also check the mynewsmile.com website. They have recommendation for artistic cosmetic dentists.

You have a few options. First, is porcelain veneers. When done properly, veneers can make crooked teeth appear straight. They’re a good options, especially if you want to change anything else about your teeth, such as their shape.

But, if you are happy with the shape of your teeth and just want to brighten and straighten them, then you might just want invisalign with teeth whitening, instead of porcelain veneers.

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Pain is severe and my dentist insists nothing is wrong

I have severe pain in an upper tooth, but my dentist insists there isn’t anything wrong. The pain is driving me mad. What do I do if my dentist refuses to listen?

Brooke H. – Minnesota

Brooke,

I can’t tell you what is wrong with your tooth without seeing and examining it, but I would recommend you at the very least get a second opinion. If the pain seems unbearable, and it sounds like it does, and your dentist isn’t listening to you, then you may try an emergency dentist.

They can get you out of pain, while at the same time examining your case to give you a second opinion. I’m assuming your dentist did x-rays?  Generally, you can tell if something is wrong with a tooth that way, but it could be he missed something.

Some dentists can be a little insensitive to the feelings of their patients, so don’t feel bad about seeing another one.

It’s possible it’s not dental related. Your sinus cavities are very close to your upper teeth, so it may be a sinus infection that has referred pain in your tooth.

If you get nowhere with the emergency dentist, a GP or an endodontist would be might next stop.

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Could a crown make TMJ worse?

I’ve been diagnosed with TMJ. My dentist suggested a night guard, which I’ve resisted, mostly because the TMJ only bothers me for a short time in the morning.  I recently got a dental crown.  It’s hitting the tooth above it way before my other teeth do, which is uncomfortable. I’ve mentioned it to my dentist and he said he could grind it down or try to adjust it. But, I’ve also having a much more difficult time with my TMJ. The pain has gotten worse. Could that also be from this crown? Should I let my dentist ground it?

Sylvia M. – New Jersey

Sylvia,

I’d like you to take a step back from this dentist and get a second opinion on your crown. Understanding how bites come together properly takes a significant amount of study and training.

Without the bite properly aligned, it could significantly increase your TMJ symptoms. Just grinding it down won’t help and could hurt the crown.

I’d like you to get a second dentist to look at this crown before moving forward.

Also, it will be important to get that night guard, if you truly do have TMJ. It will protect your teeth from nighttime grinding, that you may not even realize you’re doing.

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I can’t chew very well with my dentures

I’m hoping you can give me some denture advice. Ever since I’ve got them, it’s been very hard to chew. Is there anything I can do? My dentist says the dentures are fitting properly.

Scott D. – Georgia

Scott,

Even the best fitting dentures will reduce your chewing efficiency by 50%.  That can be discouraging. Ideally, when you need to replace teeth, you’d get dental implants. However, that is not in the budget for all patients and they’re stuck with dentures.

If you’re in that category, you might consider getting snap-on dentures. That will anchor them and help with your chewing efficiency.

You still won’t feel like you did with natural teeth or you would with dental implants, but it will be a significant improvement.

There will be the added benefit of allowing you to retain some of your jawbone. Obviously , the more implants, the better the stability and the more bone will be retained, but as long as you have a minimum of two, you should see some improvement.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba