The Best Way to Fix My Nephews Smile?

I am gifting my nephew some braces for his graduation. However, his dentist told him that would take three years and if he just got Lumineers he could have a a smile makeover in two appointments. However, for eighteen teeth, it will cost about $18,000. He told him it would last for 20 years. I’m worried my nephew is being used for his dentist’s profit. What should I tell him?


Dear Meghan,

I share your concern. Even if he did get Lumineers, and we’ll talk about why that makes me leery in a moment, his dentist is talking about doing both arches. Generally, that is overkill. The general procedure is teeth whitening and then to put Lumineers on the upper eight to ten teeth. The remainder of your teeth aren’t as visible, even when you smile so teeth whitening blends them to the designed teeth.

My other concern is the Lumineers. This is a brand of porcelain veneers that are typically marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. That does not mean they are easy to make attractive. I would want to see what type of results he gets on cases he’s actually done. There are many brands of porcelain veneers experienced cosmetic dentists prefer.

The twenty years longevity on them completely depends on how well they are cared for and whether adequate upkeep is done. If it isn’t, they can lose their attractiveness in as few as 5-7 years.

My suggestion, especially as you had only planned on doing orthodontics is for you to look at Invisalign. They can straighten his teeth in 6 to 12 months and he can whiten his teeth at the same time as Invisalign is being done.

If you decide to go with porcelain veneers, please check that the dentist knows how to do them beautifully.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.