Tag Archives: smile makeovers

Can Porcelain Veneers Cause Bleeding Gums?

I just had porcelain veneers placed about six months ago. I noticed a month or so afterward that my gums would occasionally bleed when I brushed my teeth. I invested in a water pick to make sure I was getting everything I could, but it didn’t help. I had my six-month check up this week and the hygienist said it looks like I’m developing the start of gum disease. Because this started shortly after I got my porcelain veneers, could they be the cause?

Miriam

Dear Miriam,

A dental tool holding up a porcelain veneer

It sounds like you’re doing everything right and taking good care of your smile. While I do suspect the porcelain veneers are involved in what’s going on with your teeth and gums, they are definitely not the reason.

Porcelain veneers do not cause bleeding gums. Poorly placed porcelain veneers can, though. If you went to an inexperienced cosmetic dentist, they may not even realize they’re the cause. This is just business as usual for them.

Do a Porcelain Veneer Check

I want you to find an expert cosmetic dentist in your area. Look on the mynewsmile.com website. A dentist can request to be placed on their list, but they can’t pay to be listed. Instead, they have to pass some stringent requirements. Dr. Hall, who runs the site, verifies their training, their technical skill in cosmetic procedures, as well as their artistry in creating beautiful smiles. If they don’t meet his stringent requirements, they won’t get listed. It’s that simple.

Have one of their recommended dentists check your porcelain veneers. Let them know what is going on but not who did your smile makeover. That’s just a precaution in case they’re friends with your dentist. You don’t want them to feel torn between honesty and protecting their friend’s reputation.

There are two possible causes for what I suspect is happening to you.

  • Excess cement or bonding material

If your dentist didn’t get all the bonding material away from your gums, it could be causing irritation to your gums and that would lead to bleeding.

  • Bulky Margins

In the dental industry, bulky margins simply mean the porcelain veneers aren’t sitting flush against your teeth as they should. Instead, you’ll have a ledge and uneven edges. Things can become trapped on the ledge, which breeds bacteria. That, in turn, will lead to gum disease and decay. This will need to be repaired or you’ll end up needing fillings on the edges of your veneers.

Your dentist should fix either of these issues free of charge. You may need the testimony of the other cosmetic dentist to “convince” him though.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Does it Damage Veneers to Use Whitening Strips?

I have four porcelain veneers. I really love them. They’re as beautiful today as they were when I first got them. The problem I currently have is the adjacent teeth. My visible smile is wider than those four teeth. While the veneers have held their white color, my natural teeth haven’t. I really need to whiten them but I’m afraid of damaging my porcelain veneers. Would it be safe to whiten the nearby teeth?

Amanda S.

Dear Amanda,

Newton Porcelain Veneers

I’m glad you’re so happy with your smile makeover. Don’t feel too bad about your natural teeth not keeping up. Porcelain veneers are more stain resistant than your natural tooth structure. Because of that and the fact that most smiles are wider than four teeth, most expert cosmetic dentists place six veneers at a minimum, but usually eight or ten. That way you don’t have to battle your adjacent teeth having a color difference from your veneered teeth.

Teeth whitening won’t harm your porcelain veneers. Whitening only affects natural tooth structure. You’re going to bump up against two problems, though.

1. It’s very hard to match teeth whitening to other dental work. Usually, you’d do the whitening procedure first until you achieved the level of whiteness you wanted. Then, you would add the porcelain crowns or veneers, depending on your procedure. Whitening after your veneers are placed means you’ll just have to get it as close as you can. It’s kind of a guessing game.

2. The second problem you’re going to face is your teeth will become discolored again. Then, you’ll be faced doing this whole procedure again with another guessing game.

It might be simpler to have veneers placed on the exposed teeth that match your current veneers. That way your color will stay consistent within your smile.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Can I Remove Porcelain Veneers?

I’ve had the same dentist since I was a little girl. I love the guy, but I’m afraid he really messed up my porcelain veneers. I was asked to be a speaker at a major convention and it was my big opportunity to shine and get investors for a project I’ve been working on. I mentioned it to my dentist because I was concerned about my smile and he said that he could get me fixed up with porcelain veneers. I let him do them and I really regret it now. They don’t look like they’re shaped right, for starters. They also don’t feel right. I keep catching my tongue on them when I talk and it has affected my speech. Lastly, the coloring is off. It looks like I have pieces of gum stuck to my front four teeth. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but I really want to get them taken off and go back to my normal teeth. What’s the best way to approach this with my dentist?

Sincerely,

Lucia – California

Unfortunately, you can’t just remove porcelain veneers. Some of your tooth material was likely shaved. Without the porcelain veneers for cover, that leaves you exposed and susceptible to decay.

It sounds like your dentist is a great family dentist, but may not be the best cosmetic dentist. His heart was likely in the right place, but that doesn’t help your smile makeover.

The only real way to fix this is to have them re-done by a dentist with more artistic cosmetic skill. As a patient, it would be difficult for you to know which dentist is skilled in cosmetics and which isn’t. In your place, I’d suggest going to the mynewsmile.com website. They only recommend the best of the best. Put in your zip code and they’ll recommend some great dentists to give you a smile you won’t just be proud of, you’ll be thrilled with.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Can Tooth Bands Replace Porcelain Veneers?

I’ve been talking to my dentist about the gap between my front teeth. He suggested braces, but I felt that would be unsightly and time consuming. He then said my best option was to get porcelain veneers. He showed them to me and what he’d done for a couple of patients. I was really excited about them, until I saw the price. I don’t think I can pay that much. I recently saw an add for tooth bands. They’re only like $30 and they say they can close gaps in teeth.  Is that a good option?

Franny L. – Ohio

Franny,

I’m really glad you’ve written. These tooth bands are a gimmick and can cause you to do enough damage to your teeth that you could loose them. They’re basically just rubber bands, so charging you $30 for a set of them isn’t really a good deal.

However, I don’t agree with your dentist’s recommendations either. Porcelain veneers are an expensive over-treatment, if the only thing you wanted repaired was your tooth gap. It’s designed for people who want to completely change their smile. They can change the shape, size, and  color of your teeth, giving you a completely new smile.

The common treatment, with patients who don’t want to straighten their teeth, is to use dental bonding. It uses a composite resin and will close the gap. It’s much more affordable than porcelain veneers.

If the main thing you’re concerned about with braces is the unsightliness, then I’d suggest Invisalign as an option. They’re completely invisible. No one will know you’re wearing them, and they’ll straighten your teeth in half the time.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Was I misinformed? I thought porcelain veneers could reshape teeth.

I’m  a little disappointed and confused. I was told that porcelain veneers could completely reshape my smile. I have teeth that are worn. I wanted longer, fuller, more youthful teeth. The color that my dentist gave me is great. I am happy with that. But, my teeth are the same size that they were before. That’s really disappointing. I pointed out to my dentist that I expected them to be longer, but he said they’re beautiful and I should be satisfied with them as is. He also said, it’s not possible to make them longer. Was I misinformed about the procedure?

Vanessa – Louisiana

Vanessa,

I’m sorry you’ve had such a bad experience with your porcelain veneers. You’re right. They are able to reshape your smile.  You should have been able to get a quite youthful smile.  I’m glad you don’t have to content yourself with just half of what you hoped for. And your dentist is wrong, it is possible to make your teeth longer with porcelain veneers.

It sounds to me that you went to your family dentist, who may be a good family dentist, but isn’t a great cosmetic dentist. He doesn’t have the training or experience to understand the aesthetics that go into a gorgeous smile.

I’d suggest getting a second opinion for an expert cosmetic dentist.  I know it’s hard for a patient to determine who’s an expert and who’s not.  If you’ll go to the mynewsmile.com website. They recommend expert cosmetic dentists in each state. You’ll be safe with anyone on their site.

Go to that dentist and see if he can help you get at least part of your money back.  To get the smile you want, the procelain veneers will have to be redone.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.