Tag Archives: Smile Makeover

Are Lumineers Bad For Your Teeth?

I’ve been looking into my smile makeover options and was excited about the prospect of Lumineers because my dentist told me they don’t require any grinding down of your teeth. However, as I’ve looked online, I see a lot of mixed information about them. Some love them and some say that they destroyed their smile. Should I be concerned?

Alexis

Dear Alexis,

An advertisement for Lumineers

Lumineers won’t destroy your smile on their own. That is why there are mixed reviews. If you have a dentist who is skilled in cosmetic dentistry, then you have a better chance at a successful outcome than if you have a dentist who hasn’t invested a lot of time and training in learning cosmetic work.

That being said, there are two big problems with Lumineers. The first is that they are heavily marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place because they are ultra thin, which Lumineers says makes them no-prep.

While an occasional smile can get away with a no-prep makeover, most need at least some tooth preparation or else the smile ends up looking bulky. Some have even described it as having horse teeth.

Your dentist was mistaken in saying that your teeth will need to be ground down with another brand. That is simply not the case. The only procedure that would require your teeth to be ground down is with dental crowns. For porcelain veneers, you only need about the depth of a fingernail gently shaved to make room for the porcelain veneers.

Your dentist’s claim gives me pause to think he is not experienced enough in cosmetic dentistry to give you a beautiful result.

The second issue with Lumineers is their lab. The company that owns them forces dentists to use their lab, which is not known for producing beautiful results.

In your place, I would not worry about the brand as much as the dentist. Ask to see some before and after pictures of porcelain veneer procedures they’ve done. If you like their results, you should be fine. Then, let them pick the brand that will give you the look you want.

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

Lumineers Disaster. What Should She Do?

I have a situation. I spent a ton of money getting Lumineers on my top six teeth. When I first went in, I told this dentist that I have had two dental bonding procedures done on my teeth that has made them look a bit bulky and I’d like that to be corrected with my Lumineers. The dentist assured me the Lumineers people knew exactly what they were doing. They did provide an image of what my smile would look like when they were completed and I was really excited about that. However, the result turned out nothing like expected. The closest I can explain it is saying I now have horse teeth. They are bulky and I have a huge overbite. My top teeth actually come out to the middle of my lower lip. They told me my muscles would adjust. I’ve been in tears since they bonded it. Is there any way to get my money back?

Catherine

Dear Catherine,

Lumineers Advertisement

I cringed when I read your dentist’s comment that the Lumineers people will know exactly what to do. There are two things wrong with that statement. First, it is the dentist who is supposed to know exactly what to do and give the laboratory specific instructions. Think about it like a doctor writing a prescription and the pharmacy filling that prescription. If the doctor writes the wrong prescription, there is no way for the pharmacist to know that. They can only do what they’ve been told. Second, the laboratory that does Lumineers’ work is not known for its beautiful results.

Getting a refund, however, could be tricky. Because cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty, which means it is judged by the standards of general dentistry. That means to get a refund, it doesn’t matter what the results look like, but rather whether or not the smile is functional. If it is, all you can do is appeal to your dentist’s sense of pride in his or her work. If that doesn’t matter to them, I would tell them you’ll be posting a review about how they don’t care whether their “smile makeovers” are attractive or even feel comfortable in or mouth.

I’m sorry for what you went through.
This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

How Can I Make My Lumineers Last Longer?

Hi there,

I want a new smile, and am interested in getting porcelain veneers. My cosmetic dentist works with Lumineers, so I was thinking of getting them. However, I want my smile makeover to last a long time. What can I do to make sure my Lumineers last 15-20 years?

Sidney, from Amarillo, TX

 

Hi Sidney,

It is good that your dentist is comfortable working with Lumineers. The first step to making sure your cosmetic dental work lasts a long time is choosing an expert cosmetic dentist. Lumineers are a type of ultra-thin porcelain, but they are placed directly over your natural teeth with no preparation. For this reason, Lumineers can look bulky or unnatural if not placed with skill and care.

You can keep your oral hygiene routine the same at home, as neither tooth brushes, tooth paste, nor mouth wash can harm porcelain. Keep up with your regular dental appointments to prevent gum disease. Also, be sure to let your oral hygienist know you have veneers, to avoid any harsh tools that can leave scratches.

Porcelain may be durable but it can be stained. Coffee and red wine are major culprits, as can be tobacco use. Try to use a straw when drinking coffee or red wine in order to minimize contact with your teeth.

Lumineers can also be ground down like your natural teeth, so make your dentist aware if you grind your teeth. A night guard will take the pressure off your veneers at night, and can prevent any fracturing.

This blog post is brought to you by Phoenix  Dentist, Dr. Hillary Peck, of Peck Family Dentistry.

 

Lumineers Disaster

I went into my dentist for a smile makeover. He gave me four Lumineers. When I went there, I was very specific with him that I wanted a white smile. Yet, when my Lumineers came in and were placed, I noticed they weren’t white like we’d discussed. I tried to like them, but after a few days, I called him. I expressed that I didn’t like the color. That’s when he told me he placed a stain on them so they’d look “normal”. I was quite disappointed to hear that as it went against my expressed desires. He offered to take the stain off. That idea thrilled me. I went there with high hopes. Those hopes were dashed when I saw the results. Essentially, all he did was drill off the top layer. This made the teeth look dull and uneven, which is even worse. Do I have any way of affordably getting this fixed?

Brandon.

Dear Brandon,

A porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

The smile makeover procedure you had reminds me a little to much of the middle-grade books, A Series of Unfortunate Events. I can tell from the way you described things that your dentist is either fairly new at cosmetic dentistry and is dipping his toes in the smile makeover waters, or he’s just completely incompetent. Because Lumineers is highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easier to place than other brands of porcelain veneers, I suspect (or maybe hope) it is the former.

Let’s start with the fact that he did four Lumineers. Most people’s smiles are around eight to ten teeth wide. If you don’t want a bi-color smile, you have two choices. First, you can get that many porcelain veneers. A great option if you can afford it. However, not everyone can. In that case, your second option is to have your teeth whitened before you have your veneers made. This way the teeth will be close enough in color to make sense and blend.

The next disastrous decision is he stained them. Yes, you said you wanted a white smile, but your dentist thought, “I’m the professional and know better.” So, he put a stain on them to make them look like regular teeth. This is an attitude taught in general dental school. However, people paying for a new smile don’t want “regular” teeth. They want gorgeous teeth. This is why dentists who invest in post-doctoral training in smile makeovers learn the opposite. You aren’t creating normal smiles. Instead, you are creating your patient’s dream smile.

Amateur move number three is him bonding them on without you getting a look at them. True cosmetic dentists will use a temporary try-in paste, give you plenty of time to look at the veneers in various lightings, and decide if you are thrilled with them. If you’re not, they don’t get bonded on. The dentist will make the changes necessary to achieve the results you want. You’re paying for a stunning smile. You should get one.

His Disastrous Lumineers “Fix”

Finally, let’s get into your dentist’s “fix” for his misjudgment. What he should have done when you told him this wasn’t the color you agreed to was to start over and provide you with new Lumineers. That, however, would cost him time and money. So, he takes a short cut and drills off the stain. While this ruined your Lumineers, this is actually good news for you.

Because he damaged them, he is now obligated to fix them. I would not just get a refund or have him re-do them. He’s shown a disregard for your wishes, as well as a lack of commitment to the quality of his work. What you need to do is tell him you would like him to cover the cost of another dentist replacing them.

Before deciding on a second dentist, look at their smile gallery. Make sure there are before and after pictures of cases they’ve done personally, not just stock photos. Even then, only go forward if you absolutely love the after results they acheived.

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

Are Lumineers Cheaper than Porcelain Veneers?

Hi,

I’m interested in a smile makeover with veneers. Where I live, porcelain veneers are over $1,500 per tooth. However, I’ve heard Lumineers cost a bit less. Is this true? Should I look for a cosmetic dentist to place Lumineers, or just get regular porcelain veneers? Can I get a beautiful smile with Lumineers for less than $1,500?

Miki, from Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

Hi Miki,

One of the most important things to look for in a cosmetic dentist is artistry, not cost. That may sound counter-intuitive, but the cheaper the dentist, the less quality work you receive. When you pay for cosmetic dentistry, you’re paying for the training, education, and mastery of the dentist. When getting Lumineers, expertise is key because when placed by an inexperienced dentist, they can look bulky.

A general dentist may agree to place your Lumineers or veneers, but a general dentist is trained to fix problems, not create an aesthetic smile. A cosmetic dentist will go the extra mile to create a smile you’re proud of. Saving money by opting for Lumineers isn’t going to be worth it if the colors don’t match and you’re too shy to show them off.

It’s always best to approach cosmetic dentistry with an open mind. Check a dentist’s smile gallery, and see if their work is the kind that you’d like for yourself. If you find you still want Lumineers, look for a dentist experienced with them, as the no-prep placement requires skill. Call a few cosmetic dental offices in your area to compare prices, and you’ll have a better idea of the total cost of your procedure.

This blog post is brought to you by Phoenix Lumineers provider Dr. Hillary Peck. Dr. Peck is a licensed general dentist with years of experience in placing Lumineers.

 

 

Poor Man’s Smile Makeover

I wanted to get a smile makeover because my teeth are so stained. Plus, I have a tiny gap between the two front teeth. I looked at porcelain veneers, but they were way out of my budget. Is there a way to get my smile more attractive without losing my home?

Lexie

Dear Lexie,

Dollar sign hatched from an egg
There are always affordable alternatives.

I’m a firm believer in the fact that there’s always an affordable dental alternative. You’re right that porcelain veneers are a tad on the expensive side. However, that doesn’t mean you are trapped with a smile you’re not proud of. Based on what you described, you’re a good candidate for two procedures which can repair both of those problems. These can make your smile look beautiful.

I’d start by getting your teeth whitened. This is probably the most affordable procedure you can do for your smile with amazing results. It will take years off your appearance in one fell swoop.

In addition to that, there’s an easy solution for your tooth gap. Dental bonding uses a composite resin to fill in the gap. A cosmetic dentist will hand sculpt the new inner edges of your teeth in a way that they meet perfectly.

It’s important you whiten your teeth first. Once the resin is molded and dried, the color cannot be changed. That’s why you’ll want your teeth the color you’ll want permanently so your dentist can match the resin to it.

What You Want in an Affordable Dentist

I don’t want you to confuse a cheap dentist with an affordable dentist. A cheap dentist will cut corners, which rarely works out well for the patient. An affordable dentist will still do quality work but find other ways to save you money.

Generally, they’ll try to keep their fees reasonable, but often they also offer payment plans. They can do that with either an in-house payment plan or through Care Credit.

You also want a dentist who tells you all of your alternative treatment plans. Just like there was a more affordable option for your smile makeover, your dentist should give you all your options. It’s the only ethical way to handle things.

One other suggestion. You should always check reviews of every medical practitioner before you see them. It’s always wise to learn from the experiences of others.

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

Dentist Stained My Lumineers

I’m a little upset but don’t know how to proceed. I asked my dentist for a cosmetic dentist recommendation. He said every dentist is a cosmetic dentist and he can do whatever I need. I told him I wanted a smile makeover. He told me about his certification in Lumineers. I was relieved to know he was certified so I agreed to let him do it. We discussed that I wanted my front teeth lengthened and to have all of them made as white as they can. He seemed fine with everything I’d mentioned. But, when he put the Lumineers on, I was so disappointed. First, they looked bulky. I’m not sure why because these were supposed to be ultra-thin. That’s one of the reasons he recommended them. But, the worst was the color. I told him I wanted it very white, but it wasn’t. I asked him why and he said for any smile makeover to look natural, he insisted their needs to be some natural staining. Is there any way to whiten these?

Jean M.

Dear Jean,

A dental tool holding up a single Lumineer

While there isn’t a cosmetic dentistry specialty, that doesn’t mean that every dentist is a cosmetic dentist. Every dentist is allowed to practice cosmetic dentistry. But, not every dentist is skilled in the art. And believe me, it is an art.

Certification in Lumineers sounds much more impressive than it is in reality. To receive certification they just have to attend a seminar. That’s it. There’s no examination of skill at all. None. Your dentist is what I’d call either a beginner cosmetic dentist or a dabbler. You asked about a smile makeover. He just got certified and decided this was a good chance to hone his skills and practice.

The problem is, he still has a general dentist’s mindset. In dental school, we’re taught we know better than the patient. We understand more about the science than you do. The problem is, if he’d studied cosmetic dentistry (which all has to be done post-graduate) he’d know that cosmetic dentistry is an art form. And art is in the beauty of the beholder. The beholder, in this case, is YOU. You decided what is a beautiful smile. If you want white teeth. You get them. If you want crooked teeth (and we’ve had requests like that) you get them.

He doesn’t understand that so he assumed he knew better than you and put a stain on them. If you’d wanted stained teeth, why get a smile makeover?

What do Do From Here About Your Lumineers

Unfortunately, teeth whitening only works on natural tooth structure. It will not whiten your Lumineers. The only way to fix this is to have the case re-done. You have a decent case for a full refund because he didn’t create the Lumineers you’d paid for.

In your case, I’d ask for a full refund from your dentist explaining he didn’t give you what you’d agreed on. Then go to a different cosmetic dentist. Look at their “brag book” to make sure you like the results they get before committing.

You’ll probably find that better cosmetic dentists tend to avoid the Lumineers brand. Even though they’re ultra-thin, the results tend to be bulky without tooth preparation and their lab isn’t known to be artistic. They’ll likely suggest a different brand of porcelain veneers. This is one case where I wouldn’t argue. If they’ve studied the craft as they should, they’d know which brands will have the nuances you want for your new smile.

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

Is Affordable Dentist Dragging Out Procedures for Money?

My teeth are in bad shape. I decided to finally take steps to improve them. I don’t have a ton of money because I’m a single mom. I did some research to find an affordable dentist who had good reviews. My only question is he’s been having me come in for almost two years at least once a month. Yet, the only improvement I’m seeing is my teeth are a bit whiter. Nothing else has been done. I still have crooked teeth. I still have two chipped teeth. He knows I want to improve those things but keeps telling me we have “other priorities”. Shouldn’t I be seeing more results by now? Is he dragging this out to just make money?

Lacey Q.

Dear Lacey,

A smiling blonde with a beautiful smile

Did your dentist mention to you why he has you coming in so often? The only thing I can think of which warrants that many appointments would be advanced periodontal disease. If that’s your situation then your dentist really can’t do anything else until that is cured. If that isn’t brought under control you can actually lose your teeth.

All that being said, two years is a very long time for that to take with as often as you’ve been coming in for treatments. I’m going to recommend you get a second opinion. I’m not saying your affordable dentist is dragging things out to make up profits, but it is an unusual amount of time.

Affordable Dental Makeovers

When people think of a smile makeover, usually it’s porcelain veneers they’re talking about. However, that is a pricey procedure and not for someone on a tight budget. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a gorgeous smile. There are affordable cosmetic procedures you can have done.

But, first things first, make certain your gum disease is under control. If you get orthodontics done before that, you risk your teeth coming loose.

As an adult, you’ll want to use Invisalign for your “braces”. This will allow you to straighten your teeth without anyone knowing. Additionally, the aligners can double as teeth whitening trays which saves you even more money.

That brings us to the teeth whitening. It’s an affordable procedure which can single-handedly make you look years younger.

Once that’s completed, a good cosmetic dentist can give you dental bonding to repair your chipped teeth. You’ll have a stunning smile you can be proud of…all on a budget.

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

Groupon for Lumineers? Likely a Bad Idea

I’ve become a Groupon addict. We can get things we’ve never been able to afford through this marvelous group innovation. Today I saw a Groupon for Lumineers. The price is fantastic! I’ve always wanted to get my teeth more attractive and this looks like an ideal way to do it. I just wanted to check with a dentist first to get a professional opinion.

Lacey L.

Dear Lacey,

There are a few things to consider before you hit that “Deal” button. First, have you had a consultation to make sure you are a candidate for porcelain veneers? Not everyone is a candidate. If you purchase that deal and it turns out you can’t get them, there are no refunds.

Second, what do you know about the dentist who will do the work? Not all cosmetic dentists are created equal. Lumineers are a bit notorious for being marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. This can lead to a poorly done smile makeover.

You’ll really want to research their ability to give a beautiful smile makeover. Ask to view some of their before and after photos of cases they’ve performed. They should have some type of smile gallery. This is generally examples of their absolute best work, so if you’re not thrilled with what you see, I certainly wouldn’t move forward.

Something else to consider is that Lumineers are just a brand of porcelain veneers. It may be that a different brand would produce better results for your particular smile.

While there are some areas of dentistry where it’s okay to just look for the most affordable dentist, cosmetic work isn’t one of them. You want to find the dentist who can give you the best smile possible. Groupon will limit you to this dentist offering the deal. So, do your due diligence to be sure you won’t end up with a lemon of a smile makeover.

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

Can I have miracles done on my teeth?

I’m hoping for a miracle. I have to go to a reunion and my ex will be there. He’s always insulted me about my teeth. They’re chipped, misshappen and need to be whitened. Plus, there is a tiny gap between my front teeth.  IS there some miracle that will fix all of them? Fairly quickly…like within six months?

Meg E.  – Anderson, IN

Meg,

Yes, I actually have a solution for you. Lumineers, a brand of porcelain veneers, can fix all the things you mentioned, in just two appointments.

A cosmetic procedure, they can change the shape, size, and color of your teeth. Your chips will be gone, the shape can be made natural and beautiful, the gap will be glosed, and they can be as white as you want them.

You’ll need to find a dentist who is skilled in placing them, but in the end you’ll have a smile you love….and your ex will be eating his heart out.

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