What should I know before getting Lumineers?

I’m thinking about getting Lumineers. I’ve seen them advertised and they always look great. Are they too good to be true? I’m wondering if there is anything I should know prior to making an appointment.

Thank you,

Dear Becky,
You made a smart choice by asking about Lumineers. Before you commit to the procedure, keep these four pieces of information in mind.

  1. “Lumineers” is a general concept that has been given a branded name. To give you the back story, DenMat is the company that makes Lumineers and claims to be the first to create these veneers. While some may argue this, they were certainly the first to market the product well. But, there are dozens of companies that now make these veneers, some of which are labs which do not use any kind of branded trade name.
  2. The thin veneers may or may not be the right option for you.  One of the main advantages to these veneers is that they are able to be placed with a little adjustment to your tooth’s natural structure. However, sometimes the veneers are not thick enough to make an even smile, while other times, they’re too thick and awkward. Be sure to speak to a cosmetic dentist to see what will best fit your needs.
  3. A dentist’s skills are more important than the brand. Not only did the company that makes Lumineers market to patients, but they also marketed to general dentists, as a way to include cosmetic dentistry in their practice. This is a great feature for those dentists naturally gifted in aesthetics but gives false confidence to those who are not. The majority of dentists need extensive training to produce cosmetically beautiful results, but many may elect to pass on this training. This results in the use of this method without the proper training, yielding bulky teeth that do not look natural.
  4. Searching for a skilled cosmetic dentist will get better results than searching for a procedure. Like any profession, dentists have different strengths and weaknesses. Some are skilled more for crowns and oral surgery, while you should see different dentists for overcoming dental fear or to get a smile makeover. For the best results, search for a dentist who has devoted a great deal of time to become a skilled cosmetic dentist. Check the doctor’s credentials and extra training. Look at his or her smile gallery. Read reviews.

Best of luck to you!

This blog is sponsored by the office of Phoenix Lumineers provider, Dr. Hillary Peck.

An affordable dentist experimented on my tooth

I am embarrassed to admit that I answered an ad for an affordable dentist for a crown procedure at a reduced rate. The dentist claimed he recently got a machine that would make the crowns in-house. He wanted some patients with whom he could try out his machine. I’ve been in need of a crown procedure for quite some time, but couldn’t afford the cost I’d been quoted from other dentists. The low cost appealed to me and I answered the ad. During the five hours I was in his office the dentist had several issues with his machine, not to mention the crowns would not fit right. After he made some adjustments with my tooth, and the machine, the crown finally fit.

This procedure took place two days ago and my entire mouth is in pain, in particular, my tooth. Is it possible that the dentist caused permanent damage? If so, will I have to eat the cost, since he disclosed that this was a learning procedure up front?

Thank you,

Dear Jason,

You’ve had quite the experience. Regardless, you should be sure the dentist knows you are in pain. When teeth are manipulated as much as yours were, they experience irritation. If it’s just a basic irritation, the pain should subside in a few days. An over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen, should help you with the pain.

If the pain does not subside and improve on its own, it could mean the decay grew, in which case you would need a root canal as soon as possible. This could also be the case if your tooth experienced trauma during the procedure.

Regardless of the dentist claiming to be an affordable dentist, or saying that he was using the procedure to learn, he is responsible. If he is an ethical dental professional, he will want to be aware of the problems you are experiencing and fix them. If he refuses to fix the situation, you will need to see another dental professional about the issues you are having.

For future dental procedures, you may want to seek out dentists who provide quality care, and then look for financing options that fit into your budget, like spreading out treatment costs, utilizing insurance benefits, or financing treatment.

Good luck to you!

This blog post is provided by Phoenix affordable dentist, Dr. Hillary Peck.

Do I Need a Mercury-free Dentist to Remove One Filling?

I have a silver filling I want to get rid of. I asked my dentist and he said the panic about silver fillings is overblown and I’m safer leaving them in. I don’t want to leave it in. Do I need to switch dentists or is he right about it being unsafe to remove?


Dear Megan,

Left: silver amalgam filling Right: mercury-free composite filling

If a dentist doesn’t know how to do a sanitary amalgam removal, then yes, you’re better off leaving them in. However, you don’t have to if you truly don’t want to. Especially if they’re getting old, you’re much better off removing it before it starts to leak.

There are dentists who will know how to remove them safely. I’d look for a mercury-free dentist in your place. They’ll know how to keep you from inhaling any mercury vapors or swallowing any bits of mercury. Aside from a stopper dam, they’ll need a fan and cold water to keep the mercury from melting.

Once you remove the silver fillings, you can replace them with white composite fillings. These are actually better for your teeth than their silver predecessor anyway.

If you’re happy with your dentist, you can just go to another one for this removal and replacement. However, if you and your dentist tend to disagree in treatment philosophy, you could use this as an opportunity to find another dentist.

Look at the website of some local dentists. Make sure they’re mercury-free. It’s also good to see if they offer other services you may be interested in. For instance, if you’re looking for services such as teeth whitening, make sure you can get that as well.

Then, when you have a list of possibilities, be certain to check out their reviews. Many people leave reviews on sites such as Google or Yelp!

This will tell you if they do quality work and whether or not they have a good chairside manner and patients enjoy working with them.

Best of luck to you.
This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Affordable Dentists Drs. Kevin and Hillary Peck.