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writeradmin writes blog posts on behalf of Dr. Kevin Peck

Are Lumineers Bad For Your Teeth?

I’ve been looking into my smile makeover options and was excited about the prospect of Lumineers because my dentist told me they don’t require any grinding down of your teeth. However, as I’ve looked online, I see a lot of mixed information about them. Some love them and some say that they destroyed their smile. Should I be concerned?

Alexis

Dear Alexis,

An advertisement for Lumineers

Lumineers won’t destroy your smile on their own. That is why there are mixed reviews. If you have a dentist who is skilled in cosmetic dentistry, then you have a better chance at a successful outcome than if you have a dentist who hasn’t invested a lot of time and training in learning cosmetic work.

That being said, there are two big problems with Lumineers. The first is that they are heavily marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place because they are ultra thin, which Lumineers says makes them no-prep.

While an occasional smile can get away with a no-prep makeover, most need at least some tooth preparation or else the smile ends up looking bulky. Some have even described it as having horse teeth.

Your dentist was mistaken in saying that your teeth will need to be ground down with another brand. That is simply not the case. The only procedure that would require your teeth to be ground down is with dental crowns. For porcelain veneers, you only need about the depth of a fingernail gently shaved to make room for the porcelain veneers.

Your dentist’s claim gives me pause to think he is not experienced enough in cosmetic dentistry to give you a beautiful result.

The second issue with Lumineers is their lab. The company that owns them forces dentists to use their lab, which is not known for producing beautiful results.

In your place, I would not worry about the brand as much as the dentist. Ask to see some before and after pictures of porcelain veneer procedures they’ve done. If you like their results, you should be fine. Then, let them pick the brand that will give you the look you want.

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

Can I Refuse

Is there a way to whittle down unnecessary services that your dentist insists on? I’ve had the same dentist for years and he recently retired. The staff stayed on and I know them quite well and enjoy them. However, the new dentist is tacking on services that raised my appointment cost by over $200. She’s added things like full panoramic x-rays and fluoride treatments. Are these really necessary? Can I refuse them or should I just switch to a more affordable dentist?

Joseph

Dear Joseph,

Dollar sign hatching out of an egg

It is hard to make ends meet these days, especially with inflation the way it is, so I understand your desire to cut back some expenses on your dental bill.

The first thing I would do is have a conversation with your dentist about the reasoning behind the additional services. Most dentists will to a panoramic x-ray every three to five years. You didn’t mention when your last one was. If it has been a while then it might just be time.

While fluoride is most often used in childhood appointments there are still instances when doing it in adulthood is useful. One is if you are undergoing any treatments such as radiation that will be hard on your teeth. Other reasons include frequent decay or sensitive teeth.

If your dentist is doing these additional treatments for one of those reasons, it may be in your best interest to go with them, though you can certainly explain the hardship the cost is for you and see if she is willing to allow you to pay them out in installments.

If she just does them as a matter of course, you can ask if she is willing to make an exception for you. If not, it may be time to seek out a more affordable dentist.

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

Dentist Keeps Adding Things I “Need”

I am starting to get a bit frustrated with my dentist. Every time I go in, he keeps pushing new suggestions on me. This checkup it was a mouthguard because he said that I grind my teeth. Is this typical practice for dentists or is mine just greedy?

Brooke

Dear Brooke,

Dollar sign hatching from an egg
There is a difference between affordable and cheap denitstry

I would like more information before I want to pronounce your dentist as greedy. Could you give me some more examples of things he’s pushed on you? The reason I asked you that is the suggestion for a mouthguard is not only appropriate but important if you grind your teeth.

Without that protection for your teeth, then you will end up with your teeth ground down to nubs. The only way to fix that is with a full-mouth reconstruction, which entails placing a dental crown on every tooth. That will cost you upwards of $30,000. Getting a mouthguard can literally save you a small fortune.

If affording it is the problem you are facing, then you have a couple of options. First, you can ask your dentist if he’d be willing to allow you to pay it out. If he is not, there are dentists who would be.

In that case, I would look for someone who advertises as an affordable dentist. They are much more willing to allow you to pay things out financially.

If that doesn’t work for you, there is a second option but it is not as good. The mouthguard a dentist would make you will be custom fitted to your bite. If that is not possible, you could, alternatively, purchase an over the counter mouthguard. They pretty much come in a one-sized fits all so they will not be comfortable. But, they will be cheap.

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

Baby Teeth Didn’t Come Out

Can you help me? I am 16 years old and most of my adult teeth have come in behind my baby teeth. This makes me look hideous. Is there any way to fix this? I’m tired of everyone’s comments and want to be able to smile without feeling like a freak.

Tara

Dear Tara,

teenager smiling with braces

I am sorry this happened to you. I’m a little frustrated on your behalf that your pediatric dentist never took care of this. Maybe you haven’t gotten to go to a dentist? That’s the only legitimate reason I can think of for this type of neglect on the part of a dentist. The good news is that this can be fixed.

First, if you have all your permanent teeth, the baby teeth will need to be removed. Don’t try to do this yourself. It needs to be done by a dentist. Then, the adult teeth can be moved into their proper place with orthodontics.

Whenever an adult tooth is erupting and the baby tooth is still in place, it is always best to remove the baby tooth as quickly as possible. This way you can minimize any misalignment. It doesn’t guarantee the teeth will come in properly aligned but does greatly increase the chances.

Sometimes a baby tooth doesn’t come out because of congenitally missing teeth, which simply means the adult teeth didn’t form and all you have is the baby tooth. In that case, you try to keep the baby tooth as healthy as possible and then, when all your teeth have erupted, you can have the baby tooth removed, open up the space for a replacement tooth and you are ready for a prosthetic tooth.

I hope this helps. You can get the smile you want.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck, an affordable Scottsdale Dentist.

Lumineers Disaster. What Should She Do?

I have a situation. I spent a ton of money getting Lumineers on my top six teeth. When I first went in, I told this dentist that I have had two dental bonding procedures done on my teeth that has made them look a bit bulky and I’d like that to be corrected with my Lumineers. The dentist assured me the Lumineers people knew exactly what they were doing. They did provide an image of what my smile would look like when they were completed and I was really excited about that. However, the result turned out nothing like expected. The closest I can explain it is saying I now have horse teeth. They are bulky and I have a huge overbite. My top teeth actually come out to the middle of my lower lip. They told me my muscles would adjust. I’ve been in tears since they bonded it. Is there any way to get my money back?

Catherine

Dear Catherine,

Lumineers Advertisement

I cringed when I read your dentist’s comment that the Lumineers people will know exactly what to do. There are two things wrong with that statement. First, it is the dentist who is supposed to know exactly what to do and give the laboratory specific instructions. Think about it like a doctor writing a prescription and the pharmacy filling that prescription. If the doctor writes the wrong prescription, there is no way for the pharmacist to know that. They can only do what they’ve been told. Second, the laboratory that does Lumineers’ work is not known for its beautiful results.

Getting a refund, however, could be tricky. Because cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty, which means it is judged by the standards of general dentistry. That means to get a refund, it doesn’t matter what the results look like, but rather whether or not the smile is functional. If it is, all you can do is appeal to your dentist’s sense of pride in his or her work. If that doesn’t matter to them, I would tell them you’ll be posting a review about how they don’t care whether their “smile makeovers” are attractive or even feel comfortable in or mouth.

I’m sorry for what you went through.
This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

My Dentist Keeps Trying to Upsell Me

I am starting to get a bit frustrated with my dentist. Every time I go in, he keeps pushing new suggestions on me. This checkup it was a mouthguard because he said that I grind my teeth. Is this typical practice for dentists or is mine just greedy?

Brooke

Dear Brooke,

A dollar sign hatching out of an egg

I would like more information before I want to pronounce your dentist as greedy. Could you give me some more examples of things he’s pushed on you? The reason I asked you that is the suggestion for a mouthguard is not only appropriate but important if you don’t get some protection for your teeth in this case, then you will end up with your teeth ground down to nubs. The only way to fix that is with a full-mouth reconstruction, which entails placing a dental crown on every tooth. That will cost you upwards of $30,000. Getting a mouth guard can literally save you a small fortune.

If affording it is the problem you are facing, then you have a couple of options. First, you can ask your dentist if he’d be willing to allow you to pay it out. If he is not, there are dentists who would be. In that case, I would look for someone who advertises as an affordable dentist. They are much more willing to allow you to pay things out financially.

If that doesn’t work for you, there is a second option but it is not as good. The mouthguard your dentist would make you would be custom fitted to your bite. You could, alternatively, purchase an over the counter mouthguard. They pretty much come in a one-sized fits all so they will not be comfortable. But, they will be cheap.

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

Ugly Teeth With Lumineers

We had Lumineers placed on my daughter’s teeth to improve her smile. We were told by our dentist that this would be the least invasive. We were also told that we would get to see and approve the results before anything permanent was done. However, that did not turn out to be the case. When they came in, I could tell right away they were going to look too big for her mouth. They did use a temporary try-in paste. We were told she’d get to walk around with them and decide what she thinks, but that didn’t happen. When I expressed concern about them looking too bulky and box-like, they told me that they would look normal once they were bonded in. That did not turn out to be the case. I said that and they told me to give it a week and we’d probably love it. When she went to school, the kids teased her mercilessly. Most called her horse teeth. The “nice” kids told her they looked okay but not natural. Now she’s in tears and doesn’t want to go back. This is the beginning of our school year and I don’t want her falling behind. Now they are saying they can shave them down, but I’ve lost confidence in them, what do I do?

Lisa

woman covering her mouth with her hand.

Dear Lisa,

I am very sorry for what your daughter was put through with this. Classmates can be quite cruel. It sounds like you went to a general dentist who doesn’t have much experience with porcelain veneers and bought into the marketing the Lumineers are easy to place because the teeth do not need any preparation.

The problem with that is very few smiles will look natural without some preparation no matter how thin the brand of porcelain veneers is. This is why your daughter ended up with what her schoolmates called “Horse Teeth”.

I do think you are entitled to a refund and can then have this done by a more experienced cosmetic dentist. I would insist on seeing before and after images of work they have done themselves before agreeing to let them work on your daughter’s case.

Don’t let this dentist do any more work on her Lumineers. Instead, tell them that you would like a refund and would like to work this out without going through a lawyer, but you are willing to do so if the need arises. They misrepresented several things and tricked you into bonding them on without liking them.

I hope you can resolve this quickly for your daughter’s sake.

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

Pain After Root Canal Treatment

I need some advice about my root canal treatment. I had one done in three sessions that was the most discomfort I have ever been in. Then, I remained in pain for quite some time. I went back to my dentist and he decided to refer me to a root canal specialist, which I am wondering if he should have done in the first place. The endodontist thought maybe I was in pain because a canal was missed and I opted for a retreatment. During the procedure, he did not find a missed canal but said that he gave the end of the root more of a seal than was there before. He did tell me it would hurt for a few days. The swelling is down, but I am on day five and still in quite a bit of pain. Is there something wrong or do I need to wait this out?

Drew

Dear Drew,

Man in pain holding his cheek

I am sorry you are in pain. The good news is there are some things to be optimistic about here. First, it looks like the original problem of the infected tooth was resolved during the root canal treatment. In some complicated cases, it is better to go to a root canal specialist, but for most normal root canal treatments, your general dentist is just fine.

It should be noted that the failure, in this case, was not because he missed a canal but could have done a better seal at the tip of the root, which your second treatment resolved.

You said the swelling has gone down. This is another positive sign. The question about healing after a root canal treatment is not as much “how long should you be in pain”? Rather, the question is, “Are you improving?”

In your case, it appears you are. Some patients are in pain for longer than others. I would ask your dentist or endodontist to give you something for the pain but make sure you taper off of it each day.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.
Click here to learn how she keeps prices affordable.

Can’t Afford My Sinus Perforation

I had a molar extraction about six months ago. During the procedure, my dentist perforated my sinus. After a few weeks a piece of bone came out. I thought it had healed over after that. However, recently I blew my nose and so much air came through that it literally blew my partial denture out a bit. I don’t have the money to get this fixed at the moment and my dentist has retired. What do you recommend?

Laura

Dear Laura,

I am glad that you wrote. While a sinus perforation can happen to any dentist because of mouth structure– there are some maxillary molars that have a very thin membrane separating them from sinus cavities. That being said, your dentist should have addressed the issue. While it sounds like he let you know that it was perforated, it does not sound like he actually closed the perforation.

At this point it should have healed. Because it did not, I would suggest you see an oral surgeon. I know you said you are not able to afford a dentist right now, but I think your dentist should take responsibility for this. If the dentist had partners, talk to one of them about what is going on. They should cover the cost of this.

If his practice was sold, there should be provisions in the contract dealing with post-operative complications, etc.

I feel confident that you can get this covered without expense to yourself (except for your time, of course).

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

Tooth Infection and Fevers

I called our pediatric dentist’s office to schedule an emergency appointment because my daughter has a fever and has been saying her tooth hurts. They said that a tooth infection will not be the cause of her fever and they don’t think she’ll need an emergency appointment. I tried to ask some more questions but they didn’t seem to want to answer them. Am I confused? I thought any infection could cause a fever.

Yoon

Dear Yoon,

happy girl in a dental chair

I hope there is just some miscommunication here. Yes, you are correct, any infection can cause a fever. That includes tooth infections. While most do not, it would be foolish to write it off. Any time a tooth hurts it is a good idea to check it out.

The bigger issue I have here is the way they blew off the questions you had. A good pediatric dentist is willing to talk to parents and make sure they are comfortable and understand the need or lack of need for a treatment.

If they’re blowing you off and acting too rushed, they may have too many patients to adequately serve your daughter well. If this continues, I recommend looking into another pediatric dentist who has more time for their patients.

I don’t know the age of your daughter, but cutting teeth can also cause a fever and tooth discomfort. If you’re concerned, I suggest you call them again and tell them you really want her seen. If they don’t agree, there are general dentists who work with children that also do emergency dental appointments. They can probably schedule her in more quickly.

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