Tag Archives: Lumineers

Best Way to Fix My Nephews Teeth

My nephew wants to be an actor but his teeth are pretty crooked, at least in my opinion. He is about to graduate from high school. I want to get his teeth repaired for him as his graduation present so he can pursue his dream of being an actor. I spoke to one dentist who suggested Lumineers, but I’m a little concerned about this option. It doesn’t have the best reviews. Plus, from what I hear they will only last about 15 years. Should I look for something more permanent?

Aunt Mary

Dear Aunt Mary,

Clear Invisalgin Aligner
Invisalign’s aligners are invisible, even at a conversational distance.

If only everyone had an aunt like you! What a great way to help your nephew. I’m actually very glad you wrote because I want to make sure your money is well spent and not wasted on such a kind gift.

With how you described your concerns with your nephew’s smile, you have two options. Let’s start with the one your dentist recommended— Lumineers.

Option One: Porcelain Veneers

Lumineers is one brand of porcelain veneers and you’re wise to be concerned about the reviews you’ve read. It is highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. The company claims it doesn’t require any tooth preparation (which is what they say makes it easy). In most cases, that makes the teeth look bulky.

A secondary problem is the company which makes Lumineers requires dentists to use their lab, which isn’t known for its beautiful work. Because of that, most expert cosmetic dentists prefer other brands of porcelain veneers.

If you decide to go the route of porcelain veneers, make sure you take your nephew to an AACD accredited dentist. These are the top cosmetic dentists in the country. They’ll know which brand will work best for your nephew’s smile goals and will create a gorgeous smile for him.

As far as the longevity of porcelain veneers. A lot of that depends on how well cared for they are. If they are not taken care of, they will only last around five years. If they are cared for diligently, they can last 20+ years.

However, you have a second option, which costs significantly less.

Option Two: Invisalign and Teeth Whitening

If all he really needs is orthodontics, I would suggest you go this route. With Invisalign, he can straighten his teeth without anyone knowing in half the time of traditional braces. Instead of metal wires and brackets, these use clear aligners. A sophisticated software program plans out his treatment then produces the aligners which he’ll switch out every two weeks.

Additionally, if his teeth need whitening, the aligners can double as teeth whitening trays which will allow him to straighten and whiten his teeth at the same time.

I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Will This Smile Makeover Be Bad?

I’m a little concerned. For our 25th anniversary, my husband and I decided to get smile makeovers together. Our dentist is preparing Lumineers for us. We’ve already paid our money and they were designed. She said they’d be back from the lab in two weeks. Two weeks later, she did call us but only to tell us the impressions were bad and we need to re-do them. Are we being taken? She’s already got our money. How can we be certain we’ll actually get our Lumineers?

Missy

Dear Missy,

A single porcelain veneer being placed

Having to re-do impressions is not unheard of. So, that’s okay. However, I do have some concerns. My concern isn’t that you’ll not get your Lumineers. It’s that you’ll get them and be disappointed. I’m reading into some things here, but think I’m on solid ground and want to give you a way to protect yourself.

It seems to me like your dentist may be in over her head. Here is what makes me think that. First, she didn’t notice the impressions weren’t good. Instead, the lab had to call and tell her. The fact that it took the full two-weeks, makes me think that she didn’t want to admit the impressions were bad because it could be embarrassing. She likely asked them to try anyway. At which point they likely did and had to call her back saying they were unworkable. Plus, it wasn’t just one impression, but both were unusable.

Combine those issues with the fact that she is using Lumineers instead of another brand of porcelain veneers has me concerned. The Lumineers brand are heavily marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists.

Protecting Yourself From a Bad Smile Makeover

You’ve already paid and had this work done, so let’s see if we can avoid having to switch dentists. When the Lumineers come back, I’d like you to insist, and I do mean insist, she puts them on with a temporary try-in paste first. If she doesn’t have any, tell her to get some and then get back with you.

This is a water-soluble gel which allows the patient to see exactly what the veneers will look like on their teeth. Make sure your husband gets a good look at yours and you at his, as well as both of you getting to see them in various lightings. If you don’t like them, really like them, ask her to send them back and have them re-done. This is a common thing and she shouldn’t balk at it.

Don’t let her try to convince you they’ll look different once they are permanently bonded on. They won’t. This is a common tactic some less skilled cosmetic dentists use to get the case done. If she can’t get them to where you are thrilled, DO NOT allow her to bond them on.

Instead, that would be the time to switch dentists. She is ethically obligated to cooperate and give the new dentist all the impressions, as well as all other information.

If it comes to that, go to see an AACD accredited dentist. These are the top of the line dentists in the cosmetic field. They can give you a stunning smile.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

No-Prep or Traditional Veneers

I’m getting a smile makeover for the start of the new year. It was one of my Christmas presents. I’ve been doing some research and I just can’t make the final decision between Lumineers or traditional porcelain veneers. I like the idea of no-prep, but the reviews have been mixed with some people saying their smile ended up looking bulky. Do you have any advice for me?

Elaina

Dear Elaina,

A single porcelain veneer being held up by a dental instrument

How great that you received such an incredible Christmas gift. You must have been a very good girl this year. It is also nice that you are trying to research ahead of time to get the best option for a beautiful smile.

I’m going to shift your question a bit to give the important answer. A great cosmetic dentist can create a gorgeous smile for you no matter what type of materials he is working with. That is one of the reasons the reviews are so mixed on the Lumineers brand. The ones who’ve had their teeth end up looking bulky are the ones who didn’t go to a top-of-the-line cosmetic dentist.

Whenever you’re talking about creating a piece of art, the artist you choose matters. While porcelain veneers, whether traditional or no-prep, can give you a stunning smile. The right dentist has to be doing it.

So, how do you find this magic dentist?

Finding the Right Dentist for Your Porcelain Veneers

You’ll want a dentist who has not only invested a significant amount of time training in cosmetic dentistry and smile design, but one who has a natural or trained artistic eye as well.

You could spend countless hours researching each cosmetic dentist in your area one by one, or you can utilize one of two great resources. The first is the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). They have an accreditation program which helps patients find the best of the best.

You’ll simply need to go to their site (aacd.com), click on find a cosmetic dentist, then input your area. Be sure to check the box that says you’re looking for an accredited dentist. That is very important.

Sometimes it’s hard to find an AACD accredited dentist in some areas. These are among the top 1% of cosmetic dentists. The accreditation process takes a long time. If you don’t see one in a reasonable traveling distance to your home, check out mynewsmile.com.

This site screens cosmetic dentists who wish to be listed for both technical skill and artistry in their work. They also have a find a cosmetic dentist button. While many they list are accredited, others are highly skilled cosmetic dentists in the midst of the accreditation process and can give you an equally gorgeous smile.

This blog is brought you by Salem Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Dentist Fleecing Me Over Tooth Gap

I told my dentist I was finally ready to close my tooth gap. My dentist has been after me to do it all year. But, I assumed we’d do braces to close it. That’s one of the things which took me so long. I wasn’t too excited about that idea. But, I’ve finally decided that I’d rather have some temporary embarrassment instead of permanent embarrassment. But, when I told him, he suggested something called Lumineers. He explained it to me and it seems like a huge overtreatment and expense for a tooth gap. Should I just go to an orthodontist or is this the new standard?

Kelly A.

Dear Kelly,

A woman putting in her Invisalign aligners in two stacked images

I am glad you wrote before going through with this. It sounds to me like your dentist is an inexperienced cosmetic dentist trying to gain some. He’s using your tooth gap as an excuse to practice. Lumineers are a brand of porcelain veneers often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place.

Even if he weren’t trying to gain experience, porcelain veneers are not the standard treatment for a tooth gap, unless the patient wanted a total smile makeover. Now, if you wanted to completely change your smile then that would be fine. But, that’s not what you’re after. You simply want to close your gap. I have great news for you in that regard. There are two fantastic options for you to close that gap which not only are much less expensive than Lumineers, but you won’t have to wear any metal braces.

Invisalign for a Tooth Gap

There’s a new kid on the block when it comes to orthodontics these days. Invisalign uses clear aligners to straighten your teeth. They’re much more comfortable than traditional braces and often work in half the time.

This will allow you to straighten your teeth without anyone knowing. There are no restrictions on what food you can eat. Plus, because they’re removable, you’ll brush and floss normally without the challenges that come from a mouth full of metal wires and brackets.

Dental Bonding for a Tooth Gap

Depending on the size of the gap you’re talking about, a good cosmetic dentist (not necessarily your family dentist) can close the gap using a composite resin. He or she can shape it to blend in perfectly with your natural tooth structure. This is also a great solution for minor chips on your teeth.

The only thing to be aware of with bonding is that once it’s on the color can’t be changed, so if you plan on ever whitening your teeth do it before the bonding is done.

I’d do either of those two procedures before Lumineers.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

How Do I Find the Best Dentist to Fix a Cosmetic Tooth Disaster?

Help! I spent half my savings on a smile makeover and it’s a disaster. My dentist suggested Lumineers because my teeth wouldn’t need to be shaved. I thought that would be better for my teeth. What he didn’t tell me was how bulky they’d look. I feel like I have the smile of a donkey. Plus, the color isn’t anything like I expected. They look opaque to me instead of translucent. Can this be fixed? How do I find the best dentist to fix them?

Lucinda C.

Dear Lucinda,

A single porcelain veneer being held up by a dental instrument
Finding the Best Dentist for a Smile Makeover

These type of tragedies are way too common. A patient spends a lot of money to get a beautiful smile only to end up with a disaster that was worse than their natural teeth were to begin with. Most patients tend to leave it to their regular family dentist to do their smile makeover out of a sense of loyalty.

Unfortunately, unless your family dentist has invested extensive time and training in developing their technique and artistry for creating gorgeous smiles with porcelain veneers, the results are rarely what you’d expect and often disappointing.

Lumineers are often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place because they’re considered “no-prep”. Well, you’ve seen what no prep can sometimes end up looking like.

Finding the Best Dentist to Fix Your Cosmetic Disaster

First, your dentist should not have permanently bonded your Lumineers on without letting you see what they looked like with a temporary try-in paste. The fact that he did and they look so unacceptable to you, you have the right to ask for a refund. Then it becomes a matter of finding the right dentist to give you a stunning smile.

The easiest way is to find a cosmetic dentist who’s reached accreditation level with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). These are the best cosmetic dentists in the country. Not every area has them. However, it’s worth it to do a little traveling to get the best. There are some cosmetic clients who fly across the country to get their cosmetic work done. But, I realize not everyone is living on a celebrity’s budget.

If you don’t have one at a reasonable distance, look on the mynewsmile.com website. Some dentists are in the process of reaching accreditation level and are equally skilled. This site checks out the technical and artistic skill of the dentist before allowing them to list on their site. No one can simply purchase their way to the list.

I hope this helps!

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

How Do I Know If My Dentist Is the Best for My Smile Makeover?

I’m worried I should go to a different dentist for my smile makeover. He’s a really nice man, but when I suggested I get porcelain veneers he said that crowns would be a better option. I told him I didn’t want to grind my teeth down when they’re healthy. He said he was willing to get certified to place Lumineers for me. He’s super sweet and I love that he’s willing to learn something to help me but I’m not sure I want to be his first case, especially because this will essentially wipe out my life savings. What do you think?

Carrie E.

Dear Carrie,

Woman with beautiful smile

Your gut instinct is right. It does sound like you have a very caring dentist, but he won’t be the best dentist for your smile makeover. You need someone who’s had significant training and skill in cosmetic dental work. It takes a lot of training and artistry. It doesn’t mean you have to switch dentists altogether. Just for your smile makeover. You can still see your regular dentist for everything else.

Look for a dentist in your area who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). These are the dentists who have the skill you need to create a gorgeous smile. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

The Best Way to Care for Your New Smile

Now one thing to understand is your dentist won’t know the right way to care for your new smile after you finally get it. The important thing will be to make sure they don’t use anything like a prophy jet or other power jet to clean your teeth. That will remove the glaze from your porcelain veneers and they’ll quickly become ruined.

He sounds like a responsible dentist. It might not be a bad idea for him to learn about how to properly care for them for your further cleanings and check-ups. I bet he’d be willing to do that, especially because he offered to get certified in Lumineers for you.

By the way, tell him if he’s truly interested in learning about placing porcelain, not to waste his time with the Lumineers seminar. He’d be better off learning about true aesthetic dentistry at somewhere like LVI. Obviously, he’d probably take that better from a peer than a patient, so feel free to show him this post.

Best of luck with your smile makeover.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

How Do You Avoid a Smile Makeover Disaster?

My friend Cecilia just spent thousands of dollars on a “smile makeover” and it’s awful. The teeth are thick and bulky. They look opaque. In all honesty, she went from having an okay, but not beautiful smile to having horse teeth. I didn’t even have to tell her it was bad. She burst into tears the minute she walked through my door. I told her to ask for a refund or to have it re-done, but she said the dentist thinks it’s beautiful and the problem is in her mind. If I go with her and tell the dentist I agree with her will it help? I was planning on having my own smile makeover. I still want to do it but would love to know how to avoid my friend’s issue. Any tips?

Lucy S. – Seattle

Lucy,

I can tell you right away what went wrong with your friend’s makeover. She went to a family dentist who doesn’t have a great deal of training or experience with cosmetic dentistry. Based on the description you gave of your friend’s new smile, it sounds like her dentist placed Lumineers on her teeth. That wouldn’t surprise me because they’re often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. Unfortunately, horse teeth are usually what you end up with when someone without skill places them.  They’re just a brand of porcelain veneers. A brand most cosmetic dentists don’t prefer.

I don’t think you going and telling the dentist he did a bad job is going to change his mind. Your best bet is to have her go to an expert cosmetic dentist and have THAT  dentist tell him it was a bad job. An expert cosmetic dentist would never be satisfied with a case in which the patient is dissatisfied. Ever. However, a family dentist, who doesn’t do much cosmetic work will be more interested in what his peers think. If colleague thinks his work is subpar, he won’t want to look bad by not re-doing it.

So, your friend’s problem is how to find an expert cosmetic dentist.  This is your issue too, because you want a gorgeous smile makeover when you decide to go forward with yours. You want to go to an AACD accredited dentist. The AACD is the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Now bear in mind any dentist can become a member of the AACD, but accreditation has to be earned. Only the top cosmetic dentists reach this level. If you get a smile makeover by them, you’re pretty much guaranteed a gorgeous smile. In fact, many highly skilled cosmetic dentists (like Dr. Burba) have a beautiful smile guarantee.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Help me convince my mother her dentist is a terrible cosmetic dentist

I love my mom. She is probably the most genuine, kind-hearted woman on the face of the earth. Unfortunately, that makes her kind of a target.  Her dentist, who by all accounts is a great family dentist is trying to talk her into a very expensive cosmetic procedure–Lumineers. He says they’re so easy any dentist can place them. Her teeth are discolored, mostly due to age and her front tooth is chipped.  Will you tell my mother what she needs for this is a cosmetic dentist? Please?!

Laquishia S. – Birginia

Laquishia,

There’s nothing more valuable in the world than a kind-hearted mother.  Their tenderness makes life more joyful.  You’re right that your mother needs a cosmetic dentist. What you may not realize, though, is there isn’t a recognized specialy in cosmetic dentistry. Therefore any general (family) dentist can alos be a cosmetic dentist. All they have to do is learn the procedures. So, how do you find the best dentist for the best mom?

Before your mother starts kindly telling you, “I told you so,” I am apt to say her current family dentist doesn’t qualify—for a couple of reasons.

1. Lumineers. His boast that lumineers are so easy to place that anyone can do it has me very nervous as to what kind of smile she’d have ended up with.  He’s right about one thing, getting certified to place lumineers is easily done. They simpley pass a written exam that is designed to see if they get the concepts. So, in that case, her dentist is right. Any dentist can pass that test.

They’re marketed to family dentists who want to cash in on the surge of interest in cosmetic procedures. They are ultra thin. The benefit to dentists is that little tooth prep is required because of that (though I will say it should be).  Without it, though, they can look bulky.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the hard part about Lumineers (or any other brand of porcelain veneers).  The hard part is the artistry. That takes years of study and practical training.

2. The choice of procedure.  Yes, Lumineers can fix chipped and discolored teeth, but it is a very expensive way to do so. If that is all that bothers your mom about her smile, than teeth whitening followed by dental bonding to repair the chips is a MUCH less expensive route to go.

However, if there were other thing that have always bugged or nagged at her about her smile, then porcelain veneers are a great tool to get a complete smile makeover. In fact, she can get a drop dead gorgeous smile.

In that case, it is a matter of finding that best cosmetic dentist in your area.  Ideally, you want a dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). They are the top, most artistic cosmetic dentists in the world.  You want accredited…not just a member.  Membership can be attained by any dentist. Accreditation requires serious skill and artistry.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Which is cheaper Durathin or Lumineers?

I’m trying to decide between durathing and lumineers for my smile makeover. Can you give me some idea which is less expensive?

Casey M. – Kansas

Casey,

I want to try to re-direct your question. I’m assuming you’re after the best smile you can get.  The prices of porcelain veneers change more based on the skill of your cosmetic dentist than it does the type of veneer you get.

You can get some dentists that will place lumineers for $500 a piece. To be quite frank, these dentists aren’t worth their salt. You’ll end up with a disappointment smile. Some patients have come to me with horror stories about how their “new” smile was much worse than their original smile.

What you want to look for is a great cosmetic dentist, not the brand of porcelain veneers. Your best cosmetic dentists will be accredited (which is different from membership) with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Find a great cosmetic dentist and they’ll get you the right porcelain veneers.

One thing you may want to be aware of, is very few artistic cosmetic dentists like Lumineers. The reason behind their distaste is the Lumineers company requires dentists to use a certain lab, the DenMat lab. It’s just not a very good lab. Cosmetic dentists know which labs do beautiful work and want the freedom to use them.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Fixing a large gap between my teeth

I have quite a large gap (about 7-8 mm) between my teeth. I’d like to do Lumineers for this.  If not, what other options do I have aside from braces, which I don’t want.

Andrew K.- Minnesotta

Andrew,

Please don’t use Lumineers to solve this problem. A gap that size is large enough to fit an entire tooth. If that is not done carefully, you could end up looking ridiculous. I’d like to suggest you use Invisalign. I know you don’t want to do braces, but these aren’t at all like traditional braces. They have no wires or brackets and are truly invisable, even at a conversational distance. If you qualify as a candidate, they will close the gap in about half the time as braces.

If you had your heart set on Lumineers because you had more than just the gap you wanted to change, there is a way to work that out. However,  there are some precautions you need to take. First, you need to know that Lumineers are simply a brand of porcelain veneers. There is nothing that special about them. In fact, most artistic cosmetic dentists don’t feel they are the best brand. They tend to be bulky and the coloring materials they use aren’t that great. Lumineers also insists you use their lab, giving the dentist less opportunity to make the Lumineers what they should be.

The most important step is to make sure you get an expert cosmetic dentist to do your procedure. Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty by the American Dental Association. As a result, there are no training requirements. Any general dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist.  Additionally, patients have little recourse if things go awry. For instance, if you get a hideous set of veneers, but your bite functions, you’re stuck with them.

This won’t be an issue with an expert cosmetic dentist.  Not only will they be able to get the best brand and materials for your smile makeover, but they’ll also be able to make sure your smile is absolutely gorgeous  before the veneers are permanently bonded onto your teeth. In fact, many cosmetic dentists have a beautiful smile guarantee. I would look for a dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).

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