I want to get a smile makeover. I talked to my dentist about it and he suggested Lumineers. I wasn’t too keen on the idea because I’ve heard they end up bulky. I mentioned that to him and he said I have small teeth so it’s fine. Is that true? Can no-prep veneers look good? I’m a little concerned. I want this makeover to look great. I love my dentist, but I’m wondering if maybe he won’t be my best choice for cosmetics. Am I being a snob?
Laura A. – Franklin, TN
You’re not being a snob. In fact, I share your concern. Lumineers can be beautiful under certain circumstances. Though, generally, they’ll need some tooth prep regardless. Though the most important thing is the right dentist. Cosmetic dentistry takes a completely different skill set than general dentistry.
Though even with the right kind of dentist, the Lumineers tends to tie the hands of the dentist by requiring them to only use their lab, which frankly isn’t that great. Most cosmetic dentists prefer to use a lab where they’re confident with the technician and have a good working relationship with them. Some dentists even have their own labs.
If I were in your place, I’d research the dentist. What type of post-graduate training does your dentist have in cosmetics? Is he both skilled and artistic. Does he have before and after pictures to show you of cases he’s done? Don’t let him show you stock photos. It needs to be his cases.
Ideally, you want a dentist who has reached accreditation level with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). These are the top cosmetic dentists in the world. You will get a stunning smile. It’s even worth the drive if you have to go to a nearby city.
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I was in a car accident and somehow managed to chip my tooth on my phone. (No lectures on not texting and driving please. I’ve already learned my lesson.) My friend recommended I get Lumineers, but when I priced it, that was way out of my budget. Is there another option?
Alexa T.- Delaware
I’ll be honest, even if you could afford Lumineers, I wouldn’t recommend them to you. First, they tend to be a little bulky. Second, their lab is not known for producing beautiful results. Also, Lumineers are just a brand of porcelain veneers, so you could get much better results with just a different brand.
If you’re not to a place where getting a porcelain veneer, then I would suggest dental bonding to fix your chip. This uses a white composite material, that has a putty like texture your dentist can use to shape to your tooth and then hardens.
This lecture-free blog is brought to you by Tulsa Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.
I’m hoping you can advise me. I’ve got tetracycline stains on my teeth. I want to cover them with porcelain veneers. I’ve decided to go with Lumineers so my teeth don’t have to be ground down to nothing. However, I’m not sure how to know which dentist to pick from their site.
Thanks in advance, Justin
There are several things here to consider. First, there isn’t actually any grounding done to your teeth with porcelain veneers. There is about a mm or so that is shaved off the front, but that is to keep them from looking bulky. If you click here to look at my porcelain veneers page, you’ll see a picture on the top right that shows a veneer about to be placed on a shaved tooth. As you can see from the picture, you cannot tell a difference between the shaved and unshaved teeth. Lumineers are advertised as a no-prep veneer, many dentists still prefer to prep the tooth by shaving a tiny amount to prevent that bulky look you get with veneers. Plus, with your tetracycline stains, the shaving will allow the veneer to wrap around the tooth, which will hide the stains better.
When it comes to choosing your Lumineers dentist (or any other veneer for that matter), I wouldn’t go by the list on their website. They tend to put dentists on there who do a lot of business with them. It has very little to do with their skill as cosmetic dentists. Tetracycline stains are some of the absolute hardest to deal with, so you will want a dentist who is highly skilled. You can either look for a dentist who is accredited with the AACD, or you can go to the mynewsmile.com website and look for one of their recommended dentists in your state. Both will give you highly qualified cosmetic dentists to choose from.
This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.