Do I Need a Cosmetic Dentist for White Fillings?

My family has been seeing the same dentist for three generations. I feel bad even saying this but I’m thinking of switching. He just seems so set in his ways. My children are beginning to need a filling or two, though right now we’re just keeping an eye on the teeth. I told him if we did get a filling, I’d like it to be those white fillings everyone gets these days. He insists they’re not as good as the old ones and says he doesn’t place them. I’m thinking of switching dentists to get them. I keep thinking my dentist is going to retire anyway so this might be the ideal time to switch. Would I need to switch to a cosmetic dentist in order to get the white fillings?

Olivia M.

Dear Olivia,

Silver amalgam fillings in teeth Composite White Fillings

What’s obvious to most people is the difference in the appearance of the white fillings compared to their amalgam counterparts. However, there are many other benefits as well. Despite what your dentist said, the old fillings are NOT better for your teeth. In fact, it’s the opposite. However, I’m glad you’re not trying to “force his hand” to placing them. The procedure is completely different and it’s rather obvious he hasn’t bothered to learn the new bonding procedures necessary to place composite fillings.

You wouldn’t necessarily have to switch to a cosmetic dentist to have white fillings placed. Many dentists place them these days. All you’ll need to look for is a mercury-free dentist. These dentists will only place white fillings.

When You Need a Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic Dentistry isn’t actually a specialty. It just means a general dentist who offers cosmetic procedures. As with any other artistic skill, their results vary from dentist to dentist. The only time that would matter significantly is if you were looking for a total smile makeover, such as with porcelain veneers. If that’s something you’re considering, then choose your dentist wisely.

In your place, I’d look for a dentist who has been recommended by the mynewsmile.com website. They only recommend skilled, artistic dentists on their site. A dentist cannot purchase their way on as a means of drawing in clients. Instead, they have to demonstrate their technical knowledge and skill. It’s worth some time to invest before choosing.

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Help! Dentist Won’t Let Me Gift My Wife Invisalign

I want to get my wife Invisalign for Christmas but her dentist won’t let me. You’d think he’d want the business. Can I buy them directly from the company?

Bruce A.

Dear Bruce,

Patient putting in her Invisalign aligner

I’m not sure of your dentist’s exact reasoning behind the refusal so I can only take a guess. If your wife is otherwise a good candidate for Invisalign (which she may not be), it may be that he doesn’t want to “sell” it to you until he knows what her exact price will be. There are several factors which determine the final cost. The biggest factor is regarding how complicated her particular case is.

Maybe hers is easy and only needs a few sets of aligners. Or, maybe she needs a significant amount of work which could triple the number of aligners. Your dentist would have no way of gauging that without her coming in.

Purchasing Invisalign Ahead of Time

Here’s what I’d recommend in your case. First, you cannot purchase it directly from Invisalign. This treatment only can be done effectively under the care of a dentist. The company sells directly to the dentists who in turn treat you.

Instead, I’d talk to your dentist about a gift certificate for the “minimum” it could cost. Then after you’ve surprised your wife for Christmas, you can redeem it and pay any remaining cost. He shouldn’t have a problem with that.

I will let you know that many patients who get Invisalign also get teeth whitening. Combining the two is like an inexpensive mini smile makeover. Your wife will likely be thrilled to bits with that package.

I wish you guys a fantastic Christmas.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.