Will Teeth Whitening Help White Spots or Make Them Worse?

When I was a child, solid white spots developed on the tips of my teeth. As a teenager, I had braces, and I think the braces cause white spots on my upper center front teeth. My family dentist says my teeth are healthy, and since I’m 30 years old with healthy teeth, I shouldn’t be overly concerned. The white spots because they are noticeable when I smile. Will Zoom whitening or whitestrips make the spots more prominent, or are porcelain veneers better? Thanks, Laney from AL


So many dentists have the attitude that your teeth look okay, so leave them alone. But that’s not what you want. And they’re not genuinely concerned about how you feel about your smile. They just fix teeth to their satisfaction. Don’t ask your family dentist to do anything about the white spots on your teeth.

Zoom whitening, whitestrips, or any teeth bleaching will improve the spots on your teeth. It can make them worse. Although some dentists might prescribe whitening, find a dentist with advanced training in cosmetic dentistry.

Although Dr. Lacy would need to examine your teeth, dental bonding might conceal the white spots. If not, porcelain veneers will cover them. If you want a brighter smile overall, you can whiten your teeth and then use bonding or porcelain veneers for the white spots.

But don’t think that every dentist who claims to be a cosmetic dentist can do the work. Some claim to be a cosmetic dentist because the procedures are profitable. But the dentists don’t have artistic talent or training, color management, or translucence. If you choose a dentist based on their claims alone, you can still be disappointed with the results.

Take time to find a cosmetic dentist to conceal the white spots, and then you can return to your family dentist for general care.

Miranda Lacy, DDS, of Plano, TX, sponsors this post.

Need a Tooth Extracted But Can’t Afford a Dentist? 3 Facts to Consider

Last September, one of my bottom right molars cracked. A corner of the tooth came off, but I didn’t go to the dentist because I don’t have dental insurance and can’t afford to pay for services upfront. Now the tooth is crumbling piece by piece. The backside of the tooth is intact, and the tooth is hyper-sensitive. Will my tooth fall out without me going to a dentist? – Thanks, Jen


If your tooth is sensitive and decayed, it will eventually fall out. Although Dr. Lacy would need to examine your tooth for an exact diagnosis, the sensitivity in your tooth means that it’s irritated. And the pulp (living tissue) in the tooth can become infected. It’s best to have a dentist extract the tooth to prevent the infection from spreading into your jawbone or elsewhere in your body.

Three Factors to Consider If You Think You Need an Extraction

We’ll share a few scenarios with you to help you decide if you want to wait until the tooth falls out or find a dentist willing to work with your budget.

  1. Sensitivity in your tooth – You didn’t mention when or to what your tooth is sensitive. When tooth pulp is infected and dead, your tooth is sensitive when you bite. If it’s sensitive to cold or air, the pulp is still alive.
  2. Swelling – You didn’t mention swelling, but if your jaw area isn’t swollen, you can wait and hope the tooth decays away. Swelling indicates and infection that a dentist needs to treat right away.
  3. Tooth location – It’s easier for a dentist to access lower tooth nerves and treat the tooth without injected anesthetic into the tooth pulp. Upper teeth have more risk. You said the tooth is a molar, but you didn’t mention wisdom tooth. If it’s not a wisdom tooth, when the tooth is missing, the surrounding tooth will drift into the space and affect your bite. You can develop TMJ disorder, including jaw, neck, and ear pain, headaches.
Photo of woman holding the right side of her face, who might need Plano affordable dentistry from female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.
Although you don’t have insurance, you can find an affordable dentist

Although it can be challenging to receive quality dental care without insurance, we suggest that you look for a dental clinic or dentists who will let you pay for care over time. At least have a dentist examine your tooth and explain your options. The dentist might be able to save the tooth and protect it with a crown. At least you’ll know what to expect and how the tooth will affect your oral health in the future, even if you decline treatment.

Miranda Lacy, DDS, an affordable female dentist in Plano, TX, sponsors this post.