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My Dentist Told Me Not to Use Lumineers to Fix My Gap

October 28, 2017

kid with missing toothI saw an advertisement on television for Lumineers. The commercial said it could fix tooth gaps. I’ve had a gap and never realized it could be fixed without braces. So on my next appointment, I told my dentist I wanted Lumineers to fix my gap. He said that was a waste of money and wants to do dental bonding instead. Shouldn’t I decide what to do with my teeth?

Marc G.


Can a 17 Year Old Go to an Emergency Dentist Themselves?

June 8, 2016

I’m 17 years old and have been doing parkour. My mom hates it when I do it, because “I’m a girl” and she doesn’t like me doing things she thinks is dangerous. Well, I fell and chipped a tooth. She’s out of town for a week.  I’d like to get this fixed without her knowing. She’s good friends with our family dentist so if I go to him she’s sure to find out. I know what needs to be done.  I just need some dental bonding to fix the chip. Can I go to an emergency dentist without a parent?

Aimee L. – Detroit


For most states, including Michigan, that is 18 when it comes to medical care. It’s great that you’re wanting to take responsibility for your actions. It’s also impressive you know what will treat the chipped tooth.

However, there are a couple of things you ought to be aware of. First, though most dentists are honest, a less than ethical dentist might be tempted to take advantage by overtreating (and overcharging) a teen trying to do something on the hush-hush. You’re not wanting to go to your family dentist, so you’d just have to take your chances with whatever emergency dentist you get.

Second, I’m guessing your mom has some kind of insurance for you. If you do it without her knowledge, you won’t be able to use that insurance, which means more money coming out of your pocket.

One other thing to consider. While it seems like the problem is cosmetic. The dentist will likely want to do x-rays to make sure there isn’t any underlying damage.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Don Swearingen.


How Do I Whiten My Lumineers?

April 29, 2016

I paid quite a large sum for Lumineers and they’re stained in just a few years. He never warned me that the composite bonding would stain so quickly. I can’t afford new ones. I thought he said they’d last for years. I know  that regular teeth whitening won’t work on veneers, but is their some special technique to whiten them?

Carly T. – Delaware


Unfortunately nothing whitens cosmetic work, no matter what kind it is.  I’m a little concerned about what is going on in your particular case though.  You said you received Lumineers. Any type of porcelain veneer should last you for many years, some even your lifetime. They should not be picking up stains in just a few years.

I’m wondering if you didn’t get veneers, but maybe composite bonding as you mentioned that as well. Those will only last a few years and will need to be replaced.

Ask your dentist to be clear about which procedure you received. If it is Lumineers, something at your last check up damaged the glazing. Possibly they used something like a prophy jet on it, which would damage the Lumineers.

You may want to have another dentist look at them and give you a second opinion as to which procedure you actually received. If there was some incompetence or deception, the other dentist can help you in trying to get a refund.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Don Swearingen.

Discolored fillings

June 29, 2013

Filed under: Dental Fillings — Tags: , , , — okcitydentist @ 10:31 pm

I have some older fillings on my front teeth that are embarrassing to me. They are darker than the rest of my teeth. Brushing doesn’t help them. My dentist suggested I get Lumineers. I thought it would be less expensive to whiten them. What do you think?

Sandy M.- Baton Rouge, LA


I’m going to suggest something completely different. Teeth whitening will not work on your fillings, or any other kind of dental work for that matter, so there is no point wasting your money. In fact, it would only serve to make the difference between your teeth and your filling more obvious.

Lumineers would cover your fillings, but I think that is over fixing the problem. There is another solution. I suggest you re-do the fillings using dental bonding materials.  The bonding material comes in every possible shade. Your dentist will be able to match your fillings to your teeth exactly.

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

Bad tooth bonding

May 21, 2013

I had a small chip on my tooth and decided to get if repaired with dental bonding. I am really frustrated with the results. Not only is the color off, but you can really tell where the “new” part of the tooth is. What do I do?

Sam S.- Washington D.C.


First, I would give your dentist another chance to get the tooth bonding correct. It isn’t always easy to match the tooth color correctly, but you have the right to expect it.  In fact, the second appointment should be free of charge. Getting the color right is a basic expectation with this service.

If after the second treatment, you are still unhappy with the results, then I would be comfortable telling you to seek a different dentist for treatment.

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

Snap-on smile

November 5, 2012

Filed under: Snap-on Smile — Tags: , , — okcitydentist @ 3:51 pm

I have a small gap between my teeth, but can’t afford to close it. Will snap on smile make it look straight?

Destiny B.- Lansing, MI


You have two options for an affordable way to deal with your small gap.  One is Snap-on Smile. It will fit right over your teeth, effectively covering the gap. Almost any dentist can do it. It will not be the gorgeous smile of say porcelain veneers, but they will look decent until you can afford a different treatment.

A second option, depending on how small the gap is, would be to have dental bonding done. It would close your gap, and you wouldn’t have to wear anything over your teeth.

I hope this helps. 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.