I have a high-maintenance mouth (genetics, mostly, because I try to take care of my teeth) and now at 50, I find myself wanting a beautiful white smile but not knowing if I can have one without spending tens of thousands of dollars. The problem is I have many crowns and bridges and metal fillings, so bleaching won’t work. I’ve become very self-conscious about opening my mouth real wide becasue I don’t want people to see all the dark fillings and the empty space where I’m missing a tooth. What I want to know is, is there some cosmetic dental procedure that I can get that wouldn’t require pulling out all my teeth, wouldn’t bankrupt me, but would look natural and beautiful? Thank you for your time,
- Lisa from Georgia
When you have existing dental work that makes your mouth look ugly, there are those who may try to entice you to do shortcut “cover-up” procedures, but I wouldn’t recommend them because you’ll end up spending more in the end and could do real damage to your teeth.
For example, the company that makes Lumineers promotes them for use in covering over old crowns and bridges. The problem is that the coverup looks good for only a year or two, it hides possible existing problems under the old crowns and bridges, and it costs almost as much as replacing the crowns and bridges.
My advice for keeping this within budget is to phase it in over a period of years and do it right. Just reconcile yourself to the idea that you need to be patient, but you’ll end up with a beautiful smile, and find an excellent cosmetic dentist who will walk through this with you and replace all the old work over a period of years. First decide the color you’ll want your teeth to be, and then work toward getting your entire smile in that degree of whiteness.
PS - There are a lot of people who feet that they have inherited bad teeth, but it may be that they have merely inherited eating habits. And very few people seem to understand what really provokes aggressive decay. There is an excellent page on tooth decay – you may want to check it out, paying particular attention to point #5.