Lumineers Destroyed by Dentist

I got some Lumineers and spent a small fortune. However, it’s been a disaster from the beginning. I was excited after our consultation. He and I spoke quite in-depth with him about what I wanted, including a very white smile. When they were ready to bond on I was quite excited. As soon as I showed up he bonded them on. When I saw them in the mirror, I was devastated. They were stained, which made them look much darker than we’d discussed. I mentioned they weren’t as white as I was expecting but he asked me to give it a few days. I did but was just heartsick about the color. So, then I called him and said I really didn’t like the color. He told me to come in. He took off a layer of the Lumineers to show under the stain which is whiter, but now the veneers are dull looking and uneven. I can’t deal with this and I don’t know what to do. How could any decent cosmetic dentist be happy with a smile they created looking like this?


Dear Louisa,

A dental tool holding up a single Lumineer

I can tell you exactly how this particular dentist is satisfied with the results. He doesn’t understand how cosmetic dentistry works. Truthfully, you have a good case for a refund simply because he bonded them on without letting you look at them first and get your approval. He could actually get in a bit of trouble for that. Patients are supposed to give approval for a procedure before it’s performed.

Even if you had given permission, based on what you said he did to them after you complained, they are probably ruined. If he’s unwilling to give you a refund just from you asking I’d go to another dentist to get a second opinion. Make sure you go to a decent cosmetic dentist for your second opinion and don’t tell him who did your Lumineers. Tell him you want an unbiased opinion and don’t want to sway his thoughts.

Are Lumineers Your Best Option

Lumineers are a brand often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. While they don’t require tooth preparation (in certain cases) in many cases they do or they’ll end up looking bulky. Plus, as you’ve discovered, being easy to place does not mean they’re easy to design.

When you have these re-done, and you will need to have them re-done, don’t be surprised if your next cosmetic dentist suggests a different brand of porcelain veneers. The important item isn’t the brand but the skill of the dentist doing your porcelain veneers. It’s perfectly acceptable (in fact it is recommended) to ask to see samples of their work. They should have some type of smile gallery, sort of like a brag book to show you what type of results they get.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Can’t Afford Dentist With Infected Wisdom Teeth

What do you do if you have infected wisdom teeth but can’t afford a dentist? I’m in agony. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep.


Dear Vera,

Woman grabbing her jaw in pain
Don’t Ignore an Infected Tooth Because of Money

I know you’re in a great deal of pain so what I’m saying is in the deepest compassion. You cannot afford NOT to deal with this. This infection will spread. Your heart and your brain are very close to your jaw. If the infection spreads to either, it’s life-threatening and can happen so quickly the medical community may not have time to help.

There are ways to deal with this when you’re broke.

There are affordable dentists and even oral surgeons who will do the work you need and let you pay them out as you’re able. They know how serious this is and will work with you rather than allow you to put your life at risk.

If, for some reason, you can’t find a compassionate dentist in your area. There’s something called Care Credit. It’s a medical credit card which has low and even no-interest payment plans.

Call your doctor and get on some antibiotics. It WILL NOT take care of the infected wisdom teeth. Those need to be extracted. But, it will buy you a little bit of time while you find the care you need. He may even be willing to provide a stronger pain reliever than you can get over-the-counter.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Dentist Said I Only Have One Option

Hi, I’m annoyed with my dentist. He’s one of those people who think because he went to dental school I shouldn’t have to many questions and should just do his recommendation. This isn’t working for me. I have a tooth I’m trying to save. If I can’t save it, I want to know what options I have in replacing it. He says I only have one option—dental implants. I’m a believer that there are always options. What are other procedures available in this situation?


Dear Carl,

There are too many dentists who work that way. Unfortunately, the dental school promotes the attitude that the dentist always knows best. However, we are also taught that we’re ethically bound to give our patients all their options and never move forward with treatment without their express permission. Your dentist seems to have forgotten this. Feel free to show him this post as a simple reminder.

First, let me say I’m glad you’re trying to save the tooth. It’s always best to preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible. If it doesn’t work out, you have several options:

Dental Implants

illustration of a dental implantThis is the option your dentist mentioned. It is at the top of the line, the ideal option. In fact, it’s a lot like having your natural tooth back (when it was healthy). The downsides are the cost and the fact that it requires surgery. The surgery is actually its benefit too. It implants a root form into your jawbone which protects you from losing essential bone structure. Click here to learn more about dental implants.

Dental Bridge

Image of a dental bridgeThis is a second good option. It suspends a false tooth between two dental crowns. The downside is it does remove tooth structure from the adjacent teeth to make room for the crown. This makes more sense if those teeth already need crowns. Then you’re getting two for the price of one. The upside is it’s less expensive. Click here to learn more about a dental bridge.

Removable Partial Denture

Removable partial dentureThis is my least favorite option, but sometimes it’s all a patient can afford, so I help them make the best of it. It just uses a partial denture and clamps to your teeth. There are various types of clamps, all of which come with ups and downs, as well as varying price tags. Your dentist is obligated to tell you about them if you decide to go that route. The obvious downside to these is they’re not fixed in your mouth and can move around. Plus they put pressure on the teeth to which they’re clamped.

Have a Frank Discussion with Your Dentist

It sounds to me like you and your dentist need to have a pow-wow. If he’s not willing to help you navigate these options and give you all their pros and cons, you’re better served by going to a completely different practitioner. I’m sorry he’s making you reach out elsewhere for information. I hope you’re able to save the tooth and won’t have to bother with any of the above, but it’s always good to be prepared just in case.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.