Lumineers disaster

I went to my dentist for a normal check-up. He told me I had cracking in my front teeth and said I needed Lumineers to strengthen my enamel. He said if I agreed to have it done that month, he could offer me a two for one special. I agreed, because I didn’t want to have to pay twice as much a month from them to fix my teeth. However, they look awful. They’re bulky and don’t look at all like me. I feel like I’ve got cheaply done fake teeth. What can I do?

Sylvia S. Sheridan, AR

Sylvia,

There are a couple of things that bother me about your case. The first is the pressure sales tactics. Those are always a red flag of sorts in any kind of dental care. Secondly, sometimes what appear to be cracks in your teeth are in fact craze lines that in know way compromise the physical integrity of your teeth.

Unfortunately, we hear those complaints about Lumineers often. People don’t always realize that they are just a brand of porcelain veneers, not anything special. In fact, without the care of an expert cosmetic dentist, you’ll probably end up with a bulky, fake looking smile like you feel you’ve received. That is because they are advertised as easily done and a no-prep technique, but it actually takes a great deal of skill to pull that off and make them look good.

The only way to fix this is to have completely new veneers put on. I would definitely look for a different dentist to do it. You may see if there is anyone in your area who is AACD accredited. They would have the expertise to give you the beautiful smile you deserve.

This blog is brought to you by Boston Cosmetic dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

My teeth are nubs

I have severe bruxism and maloclussion. As a result my teeth have been ground practically down to nubs, though otherwise healthy. My dentist hasn’t done much to help me with this, except give me a mouthguard. However, the condition of my mouth really bothers me. Is it best for me just to pull them all and get dentures? I want a normal looking smile, where it is easy for me to eat. It’s a shame I’m dealing with this at 40 years old.

Steve G. from Minnesotta

Steve,

Bear in mind everything I am saying is without having examined you myself.

This would have been easier to treat in the beginning. If you’ve known about the TMJ issues, have you been to a TMJ dentist? I’d be  hardpressed to call them a competent one if all they did was give you a mouthguard.

I don’t think dentures at 40 is a good idea. In 10 to 20 years you’ll be dealing with facial collapse and won’t even be able to wear your dentures anymore. Even without that serious issue, rarely do denture patients feel like they have an “easy” way to eat.

It is always ideal to save your own teeth when possible. As you’ve said yours are otherwise healthy, though worn down, you might consider getting a full set of porcelain crowns. However, you must go to an experienced, well trained TMJ dentist. There are so many factors to consider when doing a case of your magnitude.

If you ever do get to the point when you do have to remove your teeth, than I recommend you get dental implants instead of dentures. That will protect your from getting facial collapse, and you’ll be able to eat normally.

This blog is brought to you by Boston Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.