Tag Archives: discolored teeth

Why won’t my dentist fix my teeth?

I have teeth that need some work. Some are just discolored. Others are chipped, and some have decay.  All my dentist wants to do is remove the teeth and repalce them with partial dentures. I told him if I did replace them I’d want something more permanent, not something removable. He said my teeth can only have partials. I keep hearing about all these advances in dentistry, like dental implants. How do you get those. Also, isn’t there a way to save my teeth?

Dana P. – Montana

Dana,

The sad truth is, just like with any other field of study, dentists vary in their abilities as well. Sometimes skill is the only factor, sometimes it’s laziness.

Some dentists are passionate about saving teeth. Others are fine just removing them.

Your chipped and discolored teeth can easily be repaired with dental bonding and whitening.

Your decayed teeth may still be able to be saved as well, but if not there are better treatments than partial dentures. You’re right that dental implants would be a much better treatment.

However, it sounds to me like your dentist doesn’t know how to do theses procedures. My suggestion would be to get a second opinion from a different dentist to get the kind of care you want.

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

Help me convince my mother her dentist is a terrible cosmetic dentist

I love my mom. She is probably the most genuine, kind-hearted woman on the face of the earth. Unfortunately, that makes her kind of a target.  Her dentist, who by all accounts is a great family dentist is trying to talk her into a very expensive cosmetic procedure–Lumineers. He says they’re so easy any dentist can place them. Her teeth are discolored, mostly due to age and her front tooth is chipped.  Will you tell my mother what she needs for this is a cosmetic dentist? Please?!

Laquishia S. – Birginia

Laquishia,

There’s nothing more valuable in the world than a kind-hearted mother.  Their tenderness makes life more joyful.  You’re right that your mother needs a cosmetic dentist. What you may not realize, though, is there isn’t a recognized specialy in cosmetic dentistry. Therefore any general (family) dentist can alos be a cosmetic dentist. All they have to do is learn the procedures. So, how do you find the best dentist for the best mom?

Before your mother starts kindly telling you, “I told you so,” I am apt to say her current family dentist doesn’t qualify—for a couple of reasons.

1. Lumineers. His boast that lumineers are so easy to place that anyone can do it has me very nervous as to what kind of smile she’d have ended up with.  He’s right about one thing, getting certified to place lumineers is easily done. They simpley pass a written exam that is designed to see if they get the concepts. So, in that case, her dentist is right. Any dentist can pass that test.

They’re marketed to family dentists who want to cash in on the surge of interest in cosmetic procedures. They are ultra thin. The benefit to dentists is that little tooth prep is required because of that (though I will say it should be).  Without it, though, they can look bulky.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the hard part about Lumineers (or any other brand of porcelain veneers).  The hard part is the artistry. That takes years of study and practical training.

2. The choice of procedure.  Yes, Lumineers can fix chipped and discolored teeth, but it is a very expensive way to do so. If that is all that bothers your mom about her smile, than teeth whitening followed by dental bonding to repair the chips is a MUCH less expensive route to go.

However, if there were other thing that have always bugged or nagged at her about her smile, then porcelain veneers are a great tool to get a complete smile makeover. In fact, she can get a drop dead gorgeous smile.

In that case, it is a matter of finding that best cosmetic dentist in your area.  Ideally, you want a dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). They are the top, most artistic cosmetic dentists in the world.  You want accredited…not just a member.  Membership can be attained by any dentist. Accreditation requires serious skill and artistry.

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