Tag Archives: dental bonding

I Can’t Afford The Repair for my Chipped Tooth

`I chipped a front left tooth. My dentist suggested two Lumineers to ensure they match but they cost so much money. I would literally have to take out a loan. I’m hoping there may be another cheaper solution and my dentist was just trying to give me the Porsche type of solution.

Jenna

Dear Jenna,

Your dentist certainly suggested the most expensive treatment, but I wouldn’t exactly call it the Porsche. Lumineers is a brand of porcelain veneers that are often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. I’m afraid your dentist likely falls into this category for a couple of reasons. The first is the treatment he is suggesting for this repair. The second is the fact that he needs to do two veneers to get them to match. A skilled cosmetic dentist can match a single tooth with a single veneer.

The one good thing working in his favor is he didn’t suggest a dental crown as a solution, which would require healthy tooth structure to be ground down. I have actually seen some suggest this.

The Best Solution for a Chipped Tooth

If you have a chipped tooth, the standard solution is dental bonding. However, I wouldn’t try to force or pressure your dentist into doing this. Tooth bonding is an advanced cosmetic procedure that has to be done freehand.

My suggestion is you find a dentist who already has cosmetic expertise to do this repair for you. The best cosmetic dentists are AACD accredited.

This doesn’t mean you have to switch dentists permanently. You can just go to the cosmetic dentist for the bonding and stay with your dentist for everything else.

Teeth Whitening and Dental Bonding

Dental bonding can blend in perfectly with the remainder of your teeth when done well. However, once it is bonded on, no changes can be made. If you are considering getting your teeth whitened in the near future, it will save you money to do it before your bonding is done.

If you wait and do it after, your natural tooth structure will whiten, but the bonding will stay the same color. To get it to match, you will need to replace the bonding.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Dentist Destroyed My Smile

I have some abrasion lesions that my dentist decided to help me repair after much begging. Now I think I may have made a mistake. I had a beautiful smile with the exception of the lesions– emphasis on had.

We did dental bonding on the teeth at the gumline and nothing matches. The color my dentist put on there is way too dark and opaque compared to the rest of my teeth. My friends that have seen it have all been quietly polite, but I have noticed the double takes. Is it safe to remove this and have it done by someone else?

Candace

Dear Candace,

I’m sorry you are in this position. This is just one example of why I always tell people who write to not pressure their dentist into a procedure, even a procedure like this one, which should be within their skill set.

Image of a tooth with abrasion lesions

The image directly above is for the benefit of those who may not know what abrasion lesions are. A dentist can simply remove the dental bonding that was done and put new bonding on. I don’t think your dentist is going to be able to do this.

Though technically, with this procedure, any dentist should be able to do it, in most cases of real cosmetic dentistry work, like a smile makeover, you’d need a dentist who has invested in a lot of post-doctral training. As you are going to need another dentist to fix this anyway, I suggest you get the best cosmetic dentist you can. This way you won’t have to worry about another disaster. AACD accredited dentists are in the top 1% of their field. I’d start there.

If you don’t have one in a reasonably close proximity to you, my next stop would be mynewsmile.com. A retired accredited dentist pre-screens every practicioner who wants to be listed. They can’t just pay to get on. Instead, they have to prove their technical knowledge and skill as well as show their artistry. Anyone listed on that site will do a phenomenal job for you.

A Word about Your Dental Bonding

We used to think the reason for abrasion lesions was brushing too aggressively. The latest research, however, seems to indicate it is more the result of someone who clenches their teeth a lot. Clenching makes the teeth flex somewhat at the gumline, this in turn weakens the tooth there and leads to the abrasions.

Because of the flexing, I’m going to recommend you ask your dentist to use a softer, flexible composite bonding material. Otherwise, with a hard material, it could lead to your bonding popping out.

You may also consider having your dentist offer you a custom nightguard. This will help protect your teeth from clenching and grinding, though the night when you are least likely to notice it.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba .

Finding a Cosmetic Dentist on YELP!

Dentists in my state are opened back up so it is finally time for me to get my smile makeover. I’ve been doing some research and think I’ll save money by getting dental bonding done instead of porcelain veneers, esspecially since I am planning on getting six teeth done. I’m having a bit of trouble deciding between three cosmetic detnists. All of them are rated high on YELP! is there anything in particular I can ask that will set one of them apart from the other two?

Misty.

Dear Misty,

Pretty brunette with a beautiful smile
Can a beautiful smile be guaranteed?

It is fantastic that you’re doing research before you invest your money. There are a couple of things I want to address that should help you tremendously.

First, is your method of finding a great cosmetic dentist may land you in some trouble. YELP! is a very useful resource, but this is one area where their algorithm isn’t helpful. They don’t seem to distinguish between the types of services a dentist is being rated for.

For instance, a dentist may get a lot of 5-star ratings but it has more to do with their chairside manner than their cosmetic skills. I did an experiment in a large city, by doing a YELP search of my own. Two dentists who were rated in the top 3 cosmetic dentists, don’t even do cosmetic work.

Because cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty, it can make it difficult for patients to know who has the skills and training and who hasn’t. Smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school. Any dentist who is interested in developing that aspect of their practice have to invest a significant amount of time in post-doctoral training.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) realized the conundrum facing patients looking for someone to do their smile makeover. That is just one of the reasons they began an accreditation program. For a dentist to become accredited, they have to pass stringent exams and provide visual evidence of specific cases they did themselves in order to demonstrate their artistry. You will find that AACD accredited dentists are the best cosmetic dentists in the country.

Porcelain Veneers verses Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is best done on small surfaces, such as a chipped or gapped tooth. This is because it is done completely freehand and is quiet time-consuming.

For this reason, you won’t find many good cosmetic dentists willing to do a complete smile makeover with them. If they did, it would end up actually costing you more, simply because of how much time in the chair it would require as compared to porcelain veneers, which are made out of tiny wafers of porcelain constructed in lab.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Cure for Fluorosis

I used to catch my daughter in the bathroom sucking down whole tubes of toothpaste. We eventually had to lock them up and then supervise her while brushing. Now she has white spots on her teeth and they look a bit splotchy. I did some reading and I bet it is something called fluorosis. Is there anything I can do to help with this? I’m sure as she gets older it will bother her. I was thinking of teeth whitening. What are your thoughts?

Dennie

Dear Dennie,

white spots on teeth

It looks like you are trying hard to stay on top of your daughter’s oral health as well as her cosmetic appearance. You are right that it could be fluorosis. Teeth whitening, while it sounds like a good idea, will actually not help. It will whiten the surface of the teeth evenly. This means the uneven color will still be there only more evident.

You have a couple of options in the treatment of white spots. In some cases, using a treatment called Icon can work. That would be my first try because it doesn’t require any detailed cosmetic work.

If that doesn’t remove the spots, your other options are cosmetic. She’s too young for porcelain veneers. That will be an option after her teeth are fully developed. I would go with dental bonding. This uses a composite resin the dentist will hand sculpt onto her teeth and cover the white spots. However, this isn’t the type of procedure your average dentist can do. You will need an expert cosmetic dentist.

Finding a Great Cosmetic Dentist

Many people do not realize that cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty. Any general dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist regardless of the amount of training they have put into developing their cosmetic skills. This is not something dentists learn in dental school. They have to invest time and training post-doctorally.

The best cosmetic dentists have reached accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. They are among the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the country. However, it is not always easy to find one near you. If you run into that problem, an equally good option is to go to mynewsmile.com. They pre-screen cosmetic dentists for their training and artistic ability. They can also do a fine job for your daughter. Most of them are accredited or almost accredited (a process that takes years).

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Root Canal or Dental Bonding

I went to an endodontist for what I thought was a dental emergency. My tooth is darker. He said the tooth is still viable and likely doesn’t have to a root canal treatment. In that case, I think I could just get dental bonding done to make it look better. My endodontist said I’d have to get several teeth bonded for it to match. I’m not sure I want to do that if I will need a root canal in the near future. What do you think?

Trisha

Dear Trisha,

Illustration of an abscessed tooth

If he’s telling you the tooth is viable and saying you don’t “have to” have a root canal treatment, then you don’t have a tooth infection and don’t require a root canal. You either need one or you don’t. Saying you don’t have to have one is misleading. My guess is you have a cracked tooth. Doing a root canal treatment won’t help that.

If you want to treat the color, dental bonding or a porcelain veneer can do that. As to your dentist’s suggestion that you’d have to have several teeth done in order for them to match, that is only true if you go to an inexperienced cosmetic dentist. An expert cosmetic dentist can match a single tooth.

Finding that Expert Cosmetic Dentist

Very few dentists are skilled in cosmetic dentistry. The best have reached accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. To reach that level, they have to pass stringent exams as well provide visual evidence of their artistry in a large number of cases they’ve completed.

If I needed cosmetic work done on a visible tooth, I would go to an AACD accredited dentist. You are assured a beautiful result.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Dentist wants to CROWN a Chipped Tooth!

I fell on some ice and chipped my tooth. I wanted to repair it but my dentist said the best repair would be a crown. I know he’s not big on cosmetic dentistry, but I was hoping for something that wouldn’t grind the whole tooth. Aren’t there┬ásome cosmetic options?

May

Dear May,

before and after a chipped tooth is repaired

I’m sure your dentist is a decent general dentist and is giving you the best service he can provide for you. Unfortunately, he not the best dentist for you in this particular situation. Yes, there are cosmetic solutions to this which are much simpler. The ideal one is much more affordable than a crown too.

However, I don’t recommend you force his hand on this. If he isn’t familiar and experienced in cosmetic dentistry you will not like the results you get. Many people use one dentist for their general dental work and one for their cosmetic work.

Fixing a Chipped Tooth

The standard repair for a chipped tooth is to have dental bonding done on it. This uses a composite resin that the dentist will sculpt onto the tooth freehand. It does require an artistic cosmetic dentist. As you don’t have one, I’m going to tell you how to find the best cosmetic dentist in your area.

I mean if you’re going to do a cosmetic procedure, you may as well go to the person who can not only do it well, they do an awesome job. My suggestion is you get an AACD accredited dentist. These dentists have gone through stringent oral and written exams as well as demonstrated their artistic ability on a large number of cases.

Any of them could not only fix your chipped tooth, but they could also give you a stunning smile makeover with porcelain veneers.

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

Can Children Get Porcelain Veneers?

My son is almost nine and he fell and chipped his front tooth. It’s a permanent tooth so I want to repair it in a way that will both last and look natural. I had porcelain veneers done several years ago because of stained and chipped teeth and love them. Can children have veneers done? I think he’d only need one.

Carla T.

Dear Carla,

A chipped tooth
Can Porcelain Veneers Fixed Chipped Teeth?

It’s fantastic that you’re looking out for your son’s smile. I especially like that you’re thinking through a permanent solution for him. While porcelain veneers can repair chipped teeth, I don’t recommend them in children.

Their jaws are in almost constant development throughout their childhood. That keeps the way their bite relates to its surroundings in flux as well, making it nearly impossible to keep on without changing it often. While technically do-able, it’s an expensive way to repair his chipped tooth, especially when there are better options.

Repairing a Chipped Tooth Without Porcelain Veneers

There are three basic options for repairing a chipped tooth. I’ll list them from most expensive to most affordable. You can click on each link to learn more.

You’ll have the same problem with porcelain crowns that we discussed above regarding porcelain veneers. However, this also will require grinding down a great deal of healthy tooth structure. Rarely do I suggest that.

Additionally, your son has experienced tooth trauma. You need to schedule an emergency appointment with your dentist so he can check for nerve damage and can take steps to deal with that, if necessary.

Dental bonding is the standard treatment for chipped teeth and it is a lot more affordable. While it will have to be updated every once in a while, it will hold up much better on a growing jaw because of its design.

Because dental bonding is done freehand, you will want to make sure you have an artistic cosmetic dentist to do the procedure.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Dentist Fleecing Me Over Tooth Gap

I told my dentist I was finally ready to close my tooth gap. My dentist has been after me to do it all year. But, I assumed we’d do braces to close it. That’s one of the things which took me so long. I wasn’t too excited about that idea. But, I’ve finally decided that I’d rather have some temporary embarrassment instead of permanent embarrassment. But, when I told him, he suggested something called Lumineers. He explained it to me and it seems like a huge overtreatment and expense for a tooth gap. Should I just go to an orthodontist or is this the new standard?

Kelly A.

Dear Kelly,

A woman putting in her Invisalign aligners in two stacked images

I am glad you wrote before going through with this. It sounds to me like your dentist is an inexperienced cosmetic dentist trying to gain some. He’s using your tooth gap as an excuse to practice. Lumineers are a brand of porcelain veneers often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place.

Even if he weren’t trying to gain experience, porcelain veneers are not the standard treatment for a tooth gap, unless the patient wanted a total smile makeover. Now, if you wanted to completely change your smile then that would be fine. But, that’s not what you’re after. You simply want to close your gap. I have great news for you in that regard. There are two fantastic options for you to close that gap which not only are much less expensive than Lumineers, but you won’t have to wear any metal braces.

Invisalign for a Tooth Gap

There’s a new kid on the block when it comes to orthodontics these days. Invisalign uses clear aligners to straighten your teeth. They’re much more comfortable than traditional braces and often work in half the time.

This will allow you to straighten your teeth without anyone knowing. There are no restrictions on what food you can eat. Plus, because they’re removable, you’ll brush and floss normally without the challenges that come from a mouth full of metal wires and brackets.

Dental Bonding for a Tooth Gap

Depending on the size of the gap you’re talking about, a good cosmetic dentist (not necessarily your family dentist) can close the gap using a composite resin. He or she can shape it to blend in perfectly with your natural tooth structure. This is also a great solution for minor chips on your teeth.

The only thing to be aware of with bonding is that once it’s on the color can’t be changed, so if you plan on ever whitening your teeth do it before the bonding is done.

I’d do either of those two procedures before Lumineers.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Will an Emergency Dentist Charge the Cause of the Accident?

I was at a stag party. We were at a pub when one of the group got a little too drunk. He started trouble which ended up causing a fight. The result of which was my front tooth lost a piece and is now loose. I’m assuming I need an emergency dentist, but I’m broke. Will the dentist charge the fee to the moron who started all this?

Casey C.

Dear Casey,

A chipped tooth in need of an emergency dentist
Tooth trauma requires an emergency dental visit

I’m very sorry this happened to you. It’s hard when you’re trying to be responsible and the people around you cause problems. You’re right that this needs an emergency dentist. Your loose tooth needs to be splinted to stabilize it. There are several ways a dentist can do this. What method he or she uses will depend on what other issues your tooth is facing.

He’ll also want to examine it for trauma to the nerves or pulp. Internal damage could mean a root canal treatment and possible crown.

Once the tooth is secure, if there’s no other damage you can fix the broken piece with dental bonding. You don’t have to have the piece that broke. A skilled cosmetic dentist can sculpt a composite resin onto your tooth which will look just like your natural tooth structure and blend in perfectly.

Who Pays for Emergency Dental Care?

Unless the person responsible comes and agrees to pay for treatment, the dentist can’t bill him. He can only bill the person receiving the services or their legal guardian without prior approval. However, you can ask for a detailed bill of the damage and send the bill to the offender. If he has integrity he may just pay. If he doesn’t, you may have to take him to small claims court.

Just be aware, many dentists are willing to work with patients financially, especially those in emergency situations. Just talk to the dentist ahead of time. If he’s not willing to work with you, try Care Credit, though most dentists offer that in-office. It’s a medical credit card that has low and even no-interest payments.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

My Porcelain Veneer is Crooked

I’m not sure if you can help me but I’ll try anyway. I had bonding done on a front tooth that was chipped. That chip wasn’t that big. It kind of worn out after quite a few years. My new dentist said it can’t be replaced and I’ll need to have a dental crown placed. I wasn’t keen on that. Like I said, it’s just a small chip. Instead, we compromised on a porcelain veneer, but when he put it on it was crooked. Now he says because it’s bonded there’s nothing I can do about it. Is he right? I can’t go around with a crooked front tooth.

Denise H.

Dear Denise,

A single porcelain veneer being held up by a dental instrument

I’m concerned about the quality or honesty of the dentist you’re going to. First, there was no reason why he couldn’t have re-bonded your tooth. I have no idea why he told you that unless there’s something else going on that you haven’t mentioned. This is one reason I am questioning his honesty.

I’m thrilled you decided not to get a dental crown for the tooth. That would have been a massive overtreatment, costing you healthy tooth structure. I understand why you compromised on a porcelain veneer, which is a little better. However, it’s obvious your dentist didn’t have the skill or it would not have been improperly bonded. At the very least, without replacing it, he should have offered you a refund. it’s unbelievable to me he’s expecting you to go about with a crooked veneer.

In fact, it’s unethical. This doesn’t meet the minimum standards of treatment. At some point, because of how it’s placed, it will break off.

Who Should Do Your Porcelain Veneer?

You’re in a bind now. Here’s what I’d recommend. Go to a good cosmetic dentist and have them give a second opinion. I’m pretty sure they would tell your dentist it’s unsatisfactory. A dentist will sometimes listen to a peer where they wouldn’t listen to a patient. They’ll give you a refund so as to not look bad.

Then, you can go to another dentist to have it replaced. Finding an expert cosmetic dentist is a matter of knowing what resources to find. First, look for a dentist accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).

If you live in an area where there isn’t one within a reasonable drive, your next step is to look on the mynewsmile.com website. They recommend highly qualified and artistic cosmetic dentists by area. You’ll be safe getting a dentist who can give you a great veneer. In fact, they’ll give you a gorgeous smile.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.