Is my daughter too young for porcelain veneers?

My 16 year old daughter hates her teeth. Mainly just the ones in front, but she literally hides from the camera. They are yellow and kind of crooked. One is also longer than the other. To a 16 year old, this is torture! She has heard of porcelain veneers and is willing to help pay for them. All of her permanent teeth are in properly. Do you think she is too young for porcelain veneers?

– Sandra in Florida

Sandra,

Porcelain veneers are beautiful when they are done by a highly skilled cosmetic dentist. And there is not any kind of age requirement for having this kind of work done. That said, you need to be aware that there is a higher risk for a 16 year old. This is because the jaw hasn’t completely matured so they could end up needing to be replaced sooner than normal. For example, if your daughter hits a growth spurt, it may be as soon as a few years from now that they will need to be replaced.

As we get older, our bones and gums develop. This means that the edge of the veneers may become exposed and they may not look as beautiful. So to answer your question, it’s not an issue if your 16 year old daughter is old enough, it really is a case by case basis. It also depends on her overall dental health whether of not she is a candidate. It would be wise to consult with an expert cosmetic dentist. This will come down to her personal choice and yours since she is still considered a minor, but an expert cosmetic dentist should give you an honest assessment.

Good luck! We all know how sensitive teenagers are at that age.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

 

Holistic dentist that is recommending my tooth be extracted.

My tooth has been bothering me on and off for six month or so. When I went into the dentist, he suggested a root canal be done on the tooth. But I try to take a holistic approach to my life so I decided to meet with a holistic dentist to see what he would recommend. Well, the holistic dentist said he wants to pull it. So I don’t want to lose my tooth, but I feel torn about my naturalistic lifestyle. I don’t want to leave the infection in my body either. Any advice?

– Willow in California

Willow,

It is not uncommon for a general (traditional) dentist and a holistic dentist to have differing recommendations. In fact, even with two general dentists, you could very well end up with different opinions to treat your tooth based on a particular dentist’s treatment philosophy and training.

But in your situation, you have the general dentist basing his recommendation on the concepts that are currently being taught in dental school. So when the pulp of the tooth is infected, the majority of the dental community will recommend disinfecting the tooth with a root canal treatment. This will take care of the infection and hopefully prevent it from reoccurring. But it is possible for the root canal to fail and the infection to resurface. If this happens, it will likely mean that the root canal is redone and another round of antibiotics given.

Now if you examine the mindset of a holistic dentist, you are dealing with the opinion that the infection is never entirely treated. This is mainly due to the fact that the pulp (or inside of the tooth) has many shoots that the bacteria can spread in. Think of the roots and nerves kind of like a spidery lightening strike. That is one of the reasons why root canal sometimes fail. Also, the holistic dentist is looking at your entire well being and your total health. So he is concerned with infection spreading into other areas of your body and negatively affecting your general health.

You may be able to find a dentist that comes in the middle somewhere. For example, by sterilizing the entire tooth and the canal the agent can take care of the infection. This would mean in some cases leaving the sterilizing agent in the canal for over a month so it gets into these little root shoots. This isn’t the most common approach and also a bit controversial. It has not been widely accepted.

It may be worth doing some more research and also finding another opinion from a dentist. You want to make sure you are very comfortable with your treatment decision while still honoring your holistic commitment. Just remember, pulling a tooth is permanent. Most dentists will do whatever they can to save your natural tooth.

You can do a tooth extraction down the road too if the tooth continues having problems, or you run into failed root canals.

Good luck to you!

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.