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Being overtreated

July 16, 2013

I had some dental bonding done on two of my front teeth in order to whiten my teeth. It’s been a few years and I’ve moved. The bonding has worn out and started chipping.  My new dentist said I really need to get porcelain crowns to fix the teeth. I know I am not a dentist, but that seems like a real overtreatment.

Alexis M.- New Mexico


Your gut instinct is right. Though, I am a little confused as to why your previous dentist did bonding to whiten your teeth. Why not just do professional teeth whitening?  Is there something specifically wrong with your case? Have you had root canals on those teeth? Are they tetracycline stained?

Whatever you do, don’t do porcelain crowns. In order to fit crowns over your teeth, they will have to be ground down almost to stubs. Why do that to healthy teeth?

IF there is some reason why you can’t just do teeth whitening, it is very possible you can have porcelain veneers placed on the teeth. I recommend you have an expert cosmetic dentist look at your teeth and give their recommendations.

This blog is brought to you by Oklahoma City Dentist Dr. Don Swearingen.

Zoom Whitening and Teeth Whitening

March 23, 2013

Filed under: Teeth Whitening — Tags: , — okcitydentist @ 8:26 pm

Can you tell me the difference between zoom whitening and teeth whitening? Which one is better?

Cassie W.- Dallas, TX


The only difference between the two methods of whitening your teeth is mostly with the time it takes.  Zoom whitening is done in-office. It is completed in one appointment during several cycles. The dentist will use a special light to activate the whitening gel and make it work faster.

Regular teeth whitening is done in the privacy of your own home. You’ll wear special bleaching trays that contain a whitening gel for at least 20 minutes a day.  It will take several weeks up to a few months to get the level of whitening you want.

Both methods will whiten your teeth very effectively.  Zoom whitening costs more than at-home whitening.

This blog is brought to you by Oklahoma City Dentist Dr. Don Swearingen.

Darker teeth

June 12, 2012

Filed under: Teeth Whitening — Tags: , — okcitydentist @ 6:01 am

I have two teeth that are darker than my other teeth. One is a completely fake tooth, the other is a dental crown. I’ve whitened my teeth over and over again, but these two teeth are still darker than the others. What is the problem?

Sandra D. from Minneapolis.


There are three situations in which teeth whitening will not give you the results you are looking for. One is tetracycline stains. These are too deep and too dark. Another is when your teeth are uneven in color. Teeth whiten uniformly, so whitening them will just accentuate the differences. The third is the issue you are facing. Dental work, such as crowns, veneers, bonding, will not whiten.

To get the results you are looking for, you need to whiten all your other teeth to the color level you desire, then replace the fake tooth and porcelain crown to match them.

This blog is brought to you by Oklahoma City Dentist Dr. Don Swearingen.

Fastest Teeth Whitening

February 29, 2012

Filed under: Teeth Whitening — Tags: , — okcitydentist @ 9:55 pm

Are some whitening brands more effective than others? I want to get my teeth whitened very quickly for a special engagement I have in a few weeks.

Brandi- California


I would recommend for you to get Zoom Whitening. It uses a special light that activates a powerful bleaching gel. This enables you to get your teeth whitened in just one appointment. Dentists vary in the amount of time for that appointment, but you can generally have it done between one to two hours. At the end of your appointment, you’ll have dazzlingly white teeth.

This blog is brought to you by Oklahoma City Dentist Dr. Don Swearingen.

Whitening and Bonding

February 14, 2012

Filed under: Teeth Whitening — Tags: , , — okcitydentist @ 7:27 pm

I have a large dip in the middle of my front tooth. My dentist is about to fix it with dental bonding. I’m so excited about my new smile, that now I think I want to get my teeth whitened as well. Should I wait until he fixes my front tooth, or should I do the bonding first? Also, will whitening strips damage the bonding?

Casey W.- Austin, TX


If you want to whiten your teeth, I would definitely do the teeth whitening before you get the bonding done. The  bonding will not whiten, but the teeth around the bonding would, making it look weird. Get your teeth whitened to the color you’ll be happy with, and then your dentist can match the tooth bonding to the new color.

I wouldn’t bother with the over-the-counter whitestrips. First, they will only cover your front six teeth. You’ll want to whiten all of your teeth, or it will not look that great.  Second, the whitening you can buy at the store is pretty weak, and would only be temporary. The kind of whitening you can get with your dentist is considerably stronger and does more than remove tooth stains. It whitens your teeth from the inside out, and is permanent.

This blog is brought to you by Oklahoma City Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Swearingen.