I just want to double check a treatment before I invest in. My dentist had recently developed an interest in cosmetic dentistry and just became certified to place Lumineers. He happened to ask if I’d like to fix the gap between my teeth as well as the chip on a tooth. In fact, I would like that repaired. He suggested I get four Lumineers. I wondered why four when it’s really just two teeth that need the treatment. He said so they’d match better. It’s going to be a tad pricey so I just wanted to double check. Is this the way for me to go?
It’s great that your dentist is trying to improve his skills and broaden the services available to his patients. All cosmetic dentists have to start somewhere. All that being said, this isn’t the best treatment option for you. Here’s why.
Porcelain Veneers are for Complete Smile Makeovers
First, I should explain that Lumineers are simply a brand of porcelain veneers. If you wanted a complete smile makeover, then getting porcelain veneers would be a good option. As it is, you simply want to fix a gap and a chip. In that case, veneers are quite an overtreatment. I don’t necessarily think your dentist is trying to cheat you. He likely offered the only cosmetic treatment he knows.
The usual treatment for the things you want to fix is dental bonding. It uses a composite resin that a cosmetic dentist will hand sculpt onto the teeth to close the gap and to repair the chip. It takes a skilled cosmetic dentist because it has to be done freehand. I’m sure your dentist didn’t offer that because he doesn’t know how to do it yet.
Don’t Get Lumineers
If you were to decide to get a full smile makeover, I’m going to suggest you don’t get Lumineers. Let’s start with the “certification”. This is simply a seminar the dentist sits through. There’s not any significant training. It’s most often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place.
However, the worst part about them is their lab. This brand is owned by the DenMat company and they require dentists to use their lab. Sadly, this lab is known for not being very good. Combine inexperienced dentist with bad lab and you’re likely to end up with a disappointing smile.
There is a very basic mistake your dentist is already suggesting. He’s saying you need four for them to match. First, an expert cosmetic can match a single porcelain veneer to the rest of your teeth. Second, most smiles are much wider than four teeth. If you’re wanting a smile makeover, you’d want a minimum of six to eight veneers (depending on the width of your smile).
However, if you’re happy with your smile, a single veneer is possible with a perfect match.
Who Should Do Your Porcelain Veneers
While every dentist has to start somewhere when it comes to cosmetic work, it is to your benefit to let him practice on someone else. You want someone with expertise and an artistic eye. Finding that dentist used to take a lot of research on the part of the patient. Fortunately, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry started an accreditation program.
This program is designed to help patients know who are the best cosmetic dentists and who are still developing their craft. If you go the aacd.com, you can do a search for a cosmetic dentist in your area. Just make sure you check that you want one who’s been accredited.
This blog is brought to you by Hilton Head Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Bonnie Rothwell.