My Lumineers are too dark

I got some lumineers, but they are darker than my regular teeth. My dentist says they’re fine, but it is obvious they are not. Do I have any recourse?

Pamela H. – Boston, MA


If by recourse you mean a refund, it is possible, but may be difficult.  Technically, if the Lumineers are functional, then he isn’t under any professional obligation to refund your money. Depending on his personal code of ethics, he may give you a hard time.

But, that doesn’t mean things are hopeless. You can go to a different cosmetic dentist and get his/her opinion on the Lumineers. If they agree with you, they could write to the dentist and put a little pressure on him.  He may give you at least a partial refund to protect his reputation.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.

Pediatric Dentist Insists on Amalgam Fillings- What Should I Do?

My 6 year old was recently at the pediatric dentist and it was discovered that he has two cavities. Even though my son is cooperative, the dentist says she has to use amalgam fillings because she won’t be able to keep my son’s mouth dry enough to use the tooth-colored ones. I told her that I’m not comfortable with putting mercury in my child’s mouth, but she insists it’s safe and that since these are baby teeth, they will fall out soon anyway. I don’t know what to do. Do I need to find a new pediatric dentist, can I take my son to my regular dentist or do I need to find some sort of specialty dentist?

Thank you,

Emilia- Ft. Worth, TX


Dear Emilia,

There’s a growing movement in dentistry to end the use of amalgam fillings and many people share the same concerns as you. However, both the FDA and the ADA agree that amalgam fillings pose no risk to your health and they are still a viable solution in situations like your son’s.

As your pediatric dentist explained, in order for composite fillings (the tooth-colored ones) to adhere properly, the tooth needs to stay dry. Even the most well behaved child can become fidgety during a procedure. Something as simple as your son slightly moving his tongue can contaminate the filling preparation and will require that the dentist start over or, if it goes unnoticed, will weaken the bond. This means that a composite filling may not be a long-term solution, as the filling may fall out and the child will have to continually return to have it replaced. For this reason, some dentists feel that providing a composite filling is a substandard treatment and will not do them in these situations.

That being said, you are the child’s mother. You must do what you feel is best for your son. If you are still uncomfortable with amalgam fillings and your pediatric dentist will not consider doing composites, your only real option is to find a dentist who will. This is truly a matter of the dentist’s preference. I wouldn’t insist your dentist do the procedure, because she probably can’t and will not say that to you. That will put your son’s treatment at risk. You may find success in another pediatric dental practice, in a general office or in a holistic office. Go wherever you feel most comfortable.  Best of luck to you and your son.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.

Got dentures- now I can’t eat

I’m really unhappy with my dentures.  I’ve had them about two weeks and I just can’t eat anymore. I’ve already lost weight. I was very slender to begin with so I can’t afford to lose much more. My dentist isn’t listening to me. He tells me they are fine and I just need time to get used to them. Is there anything I can do?

Elise L. – Montana


Before you got dentures, your dentist was under an ethical obligation to share all the treatment options with you. If he didn’t, I would have serious concern about continuing your care with him. Plus, when you’re frustrated and hungry, it doesn’t help to have a dentist that isn’t listening to you.

 No matter how well fitting someone’s dentures are, they will lose about 50% of your chewing capacity. Though some people seem to survive the change, others find it a misery.  Eventually your dentures will start to slip as well. That is the bad news.
The good news is you have options. The best option, before you even got dentures, is to get dental implants. This does require a surgical procedure and is more expensive than dentures, but it will be like having your own teeth again.
If you can’t afford that, there is a procedure using mini implants that can anchor your dentures. This will improve your eating facility.
I’m sorry for what you are going through.
This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.