Category Archives: Lumineers

Protecting Lumineers

I’m considering getting a smile makeover with Lumineers. Can you tell me how hard they are to take care of?

Marilyn

Dear Marilyn,

Advertisement with Lumineers including a woman smiling and a single veneer being held by a tool

It’s great that you’re getting a smile makeover. However, I want to caution you against choosing the brand. Instead, you should carefully choose the dentist and let them choose the brand.

While some dentists place Lumineers. Others prefer different brands. What you want is an expert cosmetic dentist who knows the pros and cons of each brand and can create a stunning smile for you.

Caring For Your Lumineers

Whatever brand of porcelain veneers you get, there are things that are important for you to know to keep them in great shape.

  • Make sure your hygienist understands cosmetic dentistry: Not all hygienists are familiar with cosmetic work. It is important during your checkup and cleanings that your hygienist doesn’t use anything like a Prophy Jet or acidulated fluoride. Either one of these will damage the glazing and cause your veneers to pick up stains.
  • Keep up with your home care: Being stain-resistant doesn’t mean you can get away with not taking care of your teeth. You’ll have to brush regularly as well as floss. Some dentists recommend you use Supersmile toothpaste, which is specifically designed for cosmetic work.
  • Protect your teeth from grinding: If you grind your teeth, you’ll want to make sure you get a night guard. Consistent grinding can cause your veneers (and natural teeth) to chip. A night guard protects them.

Finding that Expert Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty. Because of that, any dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist regardless of their skill level. There are countless cosmetic dentistry horror stories by patients who’ve thought they were getting a gorgeous smile with a qualified cosmetic dentist only to leave heartbroken and disappointed with the results.

Because of that, Dr. Hall, who runs the mynewsmile.com website, decided to make a recommended list of skilled cosmetic dentists. He screens them for both technical training as well as their artistry. Anyone he recommends can give you a gorgeous smile you’ll be thrilled to share with the world.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

lumineers for white spots

I just finished my braces and my teeth have white spots on them. It’s pretty embarrassing and my friends have pointed it out to me, so I know it is noticeable. Getting braces was pretty expensive. I want to cover the white spots, but I don’t want to ask my mom about it if it is going to be way too expensive for her. She’s a single mom and works super hard but we don’t have a lot of money.

Becky

Dear Becky,

Advertisement with Lumineers including a woman smiling and a single veneer being held by a tool
Lumineers are just one brand of porcelain veneers

First, I just want to tell you how proud I am of how you are handling this. You aren’t running to your mom demanding anything. Instead, you are doing research to see if this is even a possibility.

You should know up front, that Lumineers are just one brand of porcelain veneers. Many of the best cosmetic dentists actually prefer to use a different brand, so don’t be surprised if you go to a dentist and they suggest another type.

As far as the cost, that often depends on the quality, skill, and philisopy of the dentist you’re going to, but I would expect it to cost between $800 to $1,600 per tooth.

This may be out of the budget of your mother if finances are a struggle. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful smile though.

White Spots After Braces

When your braces are removed and there are white spots, it is a sign that food and bacteria became caught around your braces while you were wearing them. The white spots are the pre-cursors to decay, so you’ll want to see your dentist fairly soon to shore up and weak spots before they become full blown cavities.

Repairing the white spots cosmetically can be done with dental bonding. A dentist could hand sculpt the composite bonding onto your teeth and it will cover the white spots perfectly.

In your place, instead of suggesting a procedure to your mother, I would just let her know what’s going on and ask if the two of you can talk to the dentist about affordable solutions.

Best of luck to you!

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

Are Lumineers the best?

I am planning on a smile makeover. I want to get the best one possible. I keep hearing good things about Lumineers. Are they as good as their advertisements say?

Georgiana

Dear Georgiana,

Advertisement with Lumineers including a woman smiling and a single veneer being held by a tool

You are right that Lumineers are heavily advertised. They happen to be one of only brands known by name because of that. While they are okay, you can do better. Plus, there is a much more important consideration than the brand.

More Important than the Brand

While some brands are better than others, you can use the absolute best brand and the results would totally depend on the skill of the cosmetic dentist using that brand.

The skill of the dentist is the number one determining factor in whether or not your smile makeover ends up stunning or sad.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

You want a dentist who has invested a lot of post-doctoral time in cosmetic training. Smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school. Instead, a dentist has to intentionally take the time to study its theory and practice.

Just like not all painters have the same skill level, neither do cosmetic dentists. One dentist will have a more artistic eye than another. So, how do you know if you’re getting a Michelangelo or a Mickey Mouse?

One way is to look at their smile galleries. This should be a brag book of sorts showcasing their best work. You’ll want to make sure it is their actual work and not just stock photos they are posting.

However, you’ll likely be safer looking on the mynewsmile.com website. This site examines both the technical skill and artistry of dentists who wish to be listed. They can’t pay to get on. They have to have the requisite skill.

Don’t Be Surprised if they Don’t Suggest Lumineers

An expert cosmetic dentist will know the strengths and weaknesses of each brand of porcelain veneers. Unfortunately, Lumineers has more weaknesses than strengths. Their biggest weakness is the company which owns the brand insists dentists have to use their lab. It’s not known for beautiful work.

Find the right dentist and trust them to pick the right brand of porcelain veneers for your smile makeover goals.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

Lumineers versus DURAthin

I’m planning on a smile makeover. I’ve been looking at images of both Lumineers and DURAthin. I like the DURAthin a lot better based on what I’ve seen, but wondered about cost. Are the DURAthin much more expensive?

Lisa

Dear Lisa,

A woman getting a porcelain veneer placed on her teeth

I’m concerned you are going about this the wrong way. It really isn’t the brand of porcelain veneers you get. It is the dentist. Let’s say two sculptors purchase the exact same type of marble to sculpt the same subject. It’s very likely one of them will have much more lifelike and beautiful work than the other. The skill of the artist truly matters.

The same is true for cosmetic dentistry. Whether you get Lumineers, DURAthin, or another brand won’t matter as much. I will say that most expert cosmetic dentists do not like the Lumineers brand. This is because they force dentists to use their lab which isn’t known for beautiful results.

What I’d like you to do instead of shopping brands is to shop dentists, but not by price. Instead, shop them by skill and artistry. Then, let them pick the best brand of porcelain veneers for the smile you want. They know the characteristics of each brand.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

Smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school If a general dentist is interested in doing cosmetic dentistry, they have to take the initiative to learn it. That means going to post-doctoral institutions to learn about things such as color theory, bonding techniques, the aesthetics of porcelain veneers, etc.

So how is a patient to know if a dentist has done that? One way is to just ask them where they received their cosmetic training. You’d also want to look at their smile gallery to see what type of results they’ve gotten on the cases they completed. Be certain to ask whether or not the smile gallery represents their work and isn’t just stock photos. You want to see what they produce. You’ll also want to be certain they’re willing to stand behind their work with a beautiful smile guarantee.

However, you should be aware there is a website which has already done this research on cosmetic dentists. You could just go to mynewsmile.com and click on their “Find a cosmetic dentist” link. They’ve screened every dentist on there for both their technical training as well as their artistry. You’ll be in good hands with any dentist they recommend. All you have to do is input your zip code along with how far you’re willing to travel and they pull up a list of highly qualified dentists who can give you the smile of your dreams.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

Dentist Stained My Lumineers

I am so angry, but don’t know if I can do anything about it. Before getting my “smile makeover” my dentist and I discussed what I wanted it to look like. One thing I specifically said was how white I wanted them. Despite my instructions, he put a stain on my Lumineers. When I asked him about it he said, “I want smiles I do to look natural.” When I let him know I wasn’t thrilled, he said, “Well it’s certainly prettier than your natural smile.” I’m furious. Can anything be done?

Stephanie

Dear Stephanie,

Advertisement with Lumineers including a woman smiling and a single veneer being held by a tool

I understand your anger and have heard these type of stories so often it makes me sad. It’s so hard to get patients the information they truly need before getting their smile makeovers done. Here’s the thing, the only thing which guarantees a great result in your smile makeover is the dentist you choose. Too many patients think their family dentist is qualified.

I don’t blame the patients. They’re supposed to trust their medical and dental providers. However, doing proper smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school. In order to be a great cosmetic dentist, your dentist would have had to invest in post-doctoral training at a reputable institute which trains in cosmetic dentistry.

It’s not a recognized specialty so it’s completely up to the dentist how much time and money they invest in this type of training. At the same time, there are companies (like the Lumineers company) which heavily markets their products to dentists as being “easy” to place because they’re not required to do tooth prep. While they may be easy to place, that doesn’t make them any easier to get a beautiful result.

Evidence Your Dentist Isn’t a Skilled Cosmetic Dentist

In dental school, dentists are taught that they know better than the patient and should tell them what to do. However, cosmetic dentistry is different. Notice your dentist said, “I want smiles I do to look natural.” What he’s not realizing is cosmetic dentistry is about what you want, not what he wants.

Additionally, he thinks a stain is what makes a smile look natural. But, patients who come for cosmetic work aren’t looking for a “natural” smile. They’re looking for a gorgeous smile.

Finally, he didn’t do a try in. Based on what you described, he didn’t let you see them before he permanently bonded on your porcelain veneers. Any cosmetic dentist worth his salt will use a temporary try-in paste to make sure the patient is satisfied before bonding them.

What to Do About Your Lumineers

You have a reason to get a refund. You gave your dentist specific instructions about the color. He ignored them. That means he didn’t have your permission to place those porcelain veneers. Tell him, either you get a refund or you’ll go to the dental board about him not following your instructions and then bonding them on without giving you an option.

Then, once you get your money back, go see an expert cosmetic dentist to have them redone. My suggestion to find the right dentist is to go to the mynewsmile.com website and use their “Find a Cosmetic Dentist” link. They only recommend expert cosmetic dentists who can create gorgeous smiles and know how to follow a patient’s instructions. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

Before Getting Lumineers, Read This

The Lumineers brand is heavily marketed to both patients and dentists. You see those pictures of the models with their gorgeous smiles and dream about that being you. And it can… but you may need something other than Lumineers to make that dream come true. Here are some things that can make your smile makeover a dream come true instead of a nightmare.

Advertisement with Lumineers including a woman smiling and a single veneer being held by a tool

Lumineers is Just a Brand

Let’s say you keep seeing advertisements for the wonders of plastic plates. You see commercials of families entertaining and everyone having a great time with them. They’re great. If you want to entertain maybe you should get them. But, what if instead, you could get gorgeous, sturdy designer marble plates for around the same price. Suddenly those plastic plates aren’t looking so great.

A brand is just that. A brand. There are many brands of porcelain veneers. Each brand has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Lumineers is Marketed to Inexperienced Cosmetic Dentists

The dentists who offer Lumineers the most often are inexperienced cosmetic dentists. They tell the dentists they’re easy to place because they’re ultra-thin and don’t require tooth preparation. The biggest problem with that is many smiles require at least a minimal tooth prep even with ultra-thin brands. Without that, the results end up looking bulky.

Many patients have come to our practice to fix the cosmetic disaster they received from another dentist, describing the results as “horse teeth”. That’s probably not the smile you’re dreaming of.

Lumineers Biggest Weakness is their Lab

The Lumineers brand is owned by the DenMat Company. They require all dentists who choose to use their brand to also use their lab. This lab doesn’t have a great reputation for producing beautiful work. Many cases end up looking bulky, chalky, and opaque.

The best cosmetic dentists prefer working with the lab of their choice. Having a ceramist you work well with is extraordinarily important in producing beautiful results.

The Most Important Decision for Your Smile Makeover is the Dentist You Choose

You not only need an experienced cosmetic dentist, but you also need an artistic one as well. So, how is a patient to know who can produce gorgeous smiles and who can’t? My recommendation is that you look on the mynewsmile.com website.

They screen cosmetic dentists who wish to be listed. Each dentist has to prove their knowledge, technical skill, and artistry through extensive scrutiny and examination. Anyone on their list will give you a stunning smile. Just don’t be surprised if they recommend a different brand for you.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

My Lumineers Will Not Stay On

I’m in the middle of a Lumineers nightmare. I spent a small fortune to get Lumineers placed on my four front teeth. They keep falling off. I can’t even get through a full week before at least one of them falls off. While my dentist doesn’t charge me for bonding them back on, I can’t keep taking time off work to get these re-bonded. Now today, I think I accidentally swallowed one! I can’t find it and I had it before lunch. Maybe it fell off while I was eating?? I don’t know what to do. Will I get sick? Will my dentist make me pay for another one? What do you recommend?

Livvie L. – South Dakota

Livvie,

Woman covering her mouth
If you want a beautiful smile, Lumineers isn’t the way to go.

You’re correct in describing this as a nightmare. I can’t believe you’ve been as patient as you have. This is absolutely unacceptable and completely the fault of your dentist. For any brand of porcelain veneers, including Lumineers, to fall off is highly unusual. To have them constantly fall off reeks of incompetence. Your dentist obviously doesn’t understand proper bonding techniques.

It doesn’t surprise me that he gave you Lumineers instead of another brand of porcelain veneers. The Lumineers brand is highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. Obviously, not for your dentist though.

When Your Lumineers Keep Falling Off

First, don’t panic. You won’t get sick from swallowing one. It will pass through in the normal course of events. As far as your dentist charging you, he shouldn’t. It’s his fault it fell off to begin with. These should last decades without problems when well placed and well taken care of by the patient.

That being said, even if your dentist is willing to make another one, I wouldn’t expect him to do any better with another one. I’m going to suggest you just ask for a refund. Not just on the missing Lumineer, but all of them. You’ve missed enough work from his incompetence to justify one. If he doesn’t give it to you, tell him you’ll go to the ethics committee.

Now, you’ll want to replace them to get the smile you originally paid for. To do that, you’ll need an expert cosmetic dentist. Look for one through the mynewsmile.com website. They only recommend highly skilled and artistic cosmetic dentists. Anyone on that list will give you a gorgeous smile makeover.

I’m sorry you’ve had to go through this.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.

One of my Lumineers Keeps Changing Colors

I don’t understand what’s going on with one of my Lumineers. All the rest of them are fine. This one keeps turning bluish. My dentist says it’s fine and I’m imagining it, but I know I’m not. Even my husband agrees. What do I do?

Elaine E. – Denver, CO

Elaine,

Bear in mind that I haven’t examined your Lumineers, but based on what you’ve described, I think it’s possible the Lumineer you’re having trouble with didn’t get completely bonded. They’re very thin, so if the bond is broken, things will get between the Lumineers and the teeth. That will give it the bluish tint you’re describing.

If your dentist isn’t being cooperative, get a second opinion from another dentist. Some dentists give free second opinions. Having another dentist verify your claim will give you grounds to have your dentist re-do that Lumineer.

Give your dentist a chance to make it right. If he doesn’t, then maybe the other dentist will put some pressure on him. Dentists, like most professionals, care about what their peers think.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Duane Delaune.

Is It Possible to Get a Refund for Lumineers?

All I wanted to do was close a gap between my two front teeth and correct a chip on one from when I was a kid. My dentist told me that Lumineers was the way to go, and he promised me a beautiful smile, but he wanted to do all six of my top front teeth to make sure it matched. I was a little uneasy about it because I really just wanted the middle two done.

He said he couldn’t make it look nice unless I did all of them. Ok. I went along with it. We went through the prep day and everything seemed fine, but the day I went in to have them put on, one of them was cracked in the box. Really. I can’t believe they didn’t realize it was broken until I got there. He then says he’s going to put the rest on and send that one back, and another one breaks while he’s cementing them. So, I go around looking goofy for a couple of weeks and go back for the other two, but they don’t match. He agrees to reorder them, and while we’re waiting, a third one breaks. I just want to be done with this. I have been waiting for months at this point and he still hasn’t gotten it right. Is this a common problem with Lumineers? If so, do I have grounds to request a refund?

Thanks,

Art

Dear Art,

Lumineers, as a whole, can sometimes look okay, though it really depends on how skilled the dentist is. Unfortunately, they’re often marketed to inexperienced dentists as being easy to place. Those dentists jumped right in and started giving them to patients. It’s under these circumstances that there are usually a lot of complaints about breakage, though having one arrive broken is certainly rare.

As for requesting a refund, you can always ask. He’ll probably want an opportunity to correct the work, though if he’s unskilled, any new work will likely wind up exactly the same.

If you decide to have them re-done by another doctor, it’s best not to ask for the brand name. Many doctors who are incredibly skilled at cosmetic work use a similar ultra-thin veneer, though they use an in-house or local lab to make them. It’s also wise to ask for before and after photos of the doctor’s actual patients, so you can examine his work. Be certain they’re not stock photos. Some will offer those, or images of patients who have had the same treatment, but they’re useless if they don’t showcase the doctor’s personal skill. Best  of luck to you.

It wouldn’t hurt to get a second opinion by a more experienced cosmetic dentist. They might put some pressure on your current dentist to refund your money.

FYI, the typical treatment for a chip and tooth gap is dental bonding, not Lumineers.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Duane Delaune.

Lumineers are leaving my smile in the dark!

I had a Lumineers smile makeover about eight years ago. Back then, I had quite a bit of money and was able to afford to have sixteen teeth done. There’s no way I could afford that now. The problems started almost immediately after having them put on. My original dentist was in Hawaii, but I moved to Texas about a month later and the veneers started falling off. I found a dentist here and he re-bonded two of them. It took months for my dentist in Hawaii to finally give me a small refund so I could at least put it toward having the work done here. They also started to look like they didn’t fit right – and they were starting to darken. It really made me hesitant to show my smile. It been a year and all of them are still in place, but now my front teeth are also getting darker and it appears to be underneath the veneers. If I have to get these replaced, I have no idea how I am going to pay for it. Is there anything I can do? — Tana

Tana,
From what you are describing, your veneers are leaking. Aside from the color changing, the more urgent problem is the risk of decay. Where there’s stain leaking in, there’s usually bacteria, too.

It sounds like neither one of these dentists really knew what they were doing. The veneers were not bonded correctly in the first place, and unfortunately, there are not very many dentists who truly know how to re-bond them. The old bonding needs to be sandblasted off so that there is nothing left on the tooth and then the inside of the porcelain would need to be etched with hydrofluoric acid (not many dentists even have this in their office). After being primed and bonded onto your tooth, the veneer should last for many years without leaking or falling off.

If your veneers can be taken off without breaking, there’s a chance they could be cleaned, prepped and re-bonded. It’s hard to tell without visit a cosmetic dentist to have them looked at. The other problem will be matching the color to your other teeth. This is where it’s important to find a cosmetic dentist. If you cut corners now, you may be paying even more down the road. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.