Dentist Hates Lumineers

I’ve been saving for Lumineers for ages. Now that I’ve finally got the money, my dentist doesn’t want to place them. He said Lumineers will make my smile look bulky. I picked those because he won’t have to grind my teeth down and now he wants to grind my teeth. Should I let him or go to a different dentist who’ll do what I want?


Dear Marcy,

An advertisement for Lumineers

The thing Lumineers is best at is marketing. They’ve pushed their no-prep line so far that patients are afraid to have another brand of porcelain veneers. Truthfully, all Lumineers are is a brand. They’re not even the best brand.

While some patients look fine without any tooth preparation at all, most end up with a bulky looking smile. Some have described it as having horse teeth. That’s probably not the look you’re going for.

The type of tooth preparation needed for porcelain veneers doesn’t actually grind down your teeth. That’s only necessary for porcelain crowns. Because porcelain crowns cover your entire tooth, including the back and sides, a large amount of tooth structure has to be removed to make room for it.

Porcelain veneers are different. They are very thin and only go on the front of your tooth. For those who need tooth preparation, the dentist only needs to remove only about the depth of a fingernail. You can’t even tell that much has been removed.

Getting a Gorgeous Smile Makeover with Lumineers

Not many expert cosmetic dentists like the Lumineers brand. A lot of that has more to do with the company’s insistence that dentists use their lab. Their lab doesn’t have the best track record for creating gorgeous results.

You don’t want it to look like you’ve got veneers on. You want it to look like you have a naturally gorgeous smile. Because your dentist is warning you that you’ll end up with bulky results, I would say he’s trying to look out for you and give you the best smile possible.

You can insist he give you the Lumineers, sans tooth prep. He may relent and do it. But, I think you’ll regret that decision in the end.

Why don’t you try this? Tell him to go ahead with the brand of porcelain veneers he wants, but you want to see them on with a try-in paste before he permanently bonds them. If you don’t like them, then he has to do the brand you want.

He’ll probably be more willing to do that.

Also, remember, you don’t have to have them placed on your upper and lower arches. Make sure you just whiten the lower arch to match the color of the upper arch. That saves patients a ton of money.

This blog is brought to you by Drs. Kevin and Hillary Peck.

Affordable Solutions for Teeth Falling Out

My mom is almost 87. She recently had to have a filling and then later that day when I went to check on her two teeth just fell out. Her dentist never even mentioned they were a problem. I can’t just leave her that way. She needs to replace them, but I don’t know if a bridge is a good idea at her age. Maybe her other teeth are too old? What would be an affordable solution for her?


Dear Bridgett,

I need to say up front it sounds like your mother needs a different dentist. If she has teeth just falling out from no obvious issue, it means she has an advanced periodontal disease. He should be checking her gums at her regular check-ups and warning her about the state of her gums. There are steps which can be taken to treat gum disease.

If I’m right and she has gum disease a dental bridge is out of the question. It will just pull out the remaining teeth it’s attached to. Ideally, you’d replace missing teeth with dental implants, but that’s also out of the question with gum disease. Plus, you asked for an affordable solution. Dental implants can cost upwards of $40,000.

An image of complete dentures

Normally, I wouldn’t recommend dentures because of their complications with bone resorption. However, your mother is 87. I don’t think that’s going to be an issue for her. It usually takes between 10 and 20 years for it to become a problem. Now, if your family has a history of centenarians, you may reconsider. But most don’t.

Cu-Sil partial denture

If you go to another dentist who thinks he can save quite a bit of her teeth, please do that. You don’t have to lose all your teeth to get dentures. There is something called a Cu-Sil partial (pictured directly above). It will leave holes for her healthy teeth. It uses little rubber rings to keep it secure to her teeth. It actually makes it more stable. Then, if the tooth is lost in the future, it’s simply a matter of closing up the hole and adding another false tooth.

Affordable Dentists Will Work with You

Most patients, especially elderly ones, don’t have the funds to just pay for large procedures outright. However, most dentists are willing to work with patients giving them payment plans. If you can’t find a dentist like that. Sign your mother up for Care Credit. It’s a medical credit card of sorts, which will allow her to pay off her treatments slowly. In fact, depending on the state of her credit, she can even get 0% interest as she pays it off. They also have no penalty for early repayment, so it’s a win-win situation.

This blog is brought to you by Drs. Kevin and Hillary Peck.

Can a Pediatric Dentist Whiten My Son’s Tooth?

I don’t know what is going on with my son’s teeth. His top two teeth are turning dark. The rest of them are okay. Can a pediatric dentist whiten them?


Dear Laura,

A child holding a teddy bear at the pediatric dentists office

If just his front teeth are turning dark and not the others, it’s not a staining issue. Is it possible your son has suffered some trauma to those teeth recently? Could he have been hit in the mouth with something?

When a tooth is turning dark it means the tooth is either dead or dying. He’ll need a root canal treatment. You didn’t mention how old he is so depending on his age a pulpotomy might be more appropriate. It’s like a root canal for children.

You’ll need to see your pediatric dentist and have his tooth evaluated. It’s important to figure out if there’s any other damage. If he still has adult teeth underneath you’ll need to make sure they aren’t damaged as well.

Teeth Whitening and Pediatrics

Professional teeth whitening only works on natural tooth structure that has been stained. It doesn’t work on dead teeth. It also won’t work on any dental work that’s been done, such as fillings or crowns.

Most children don’t need any whitening because regular brushing keeps their teeth white. It’s us old folks who’ve accumulated years of stains on their teeth from things like coffee or tea, cigarettes, staining foods, etc.

There are some medicines which can stain teeth. Tetracycline is the worst of these. In those cases, then some cosmetic work may be warranted.

I’m assuming you’re son is under the regular care of a pediatric or family dentist. Please don’t put off getting this looked at. The last thing you want is for this to turn into a dental emergency. Not only are they dangerous and can turn life-threatening, but it’s important children have positive dental experiences. We want pleasant instead of painful memories of their dental care.

This blog is brought to you by Drs. Kevin and Hillary Peck.