I had Lumineers placed across my top front six teeth because I wanted it to look like I had straighter teeth without getting braces. My dentist showed me lots of before and after photos, so I had absolute confidence in him to make me look like the photos. When it was all said and done, they looked ok, but not really great. You can tell for sure they’re not really my teeth and they don’t feel quite right either. Here I am about a month later and I’m still having trouble talking with them on and I create a whole lot more saliva than I used to, so I’m always self-conscious that I may be inadvertently spitting on people when I talk to them.
I kind of feel like this is my punishment for trying to take a shortcut. Would it be possible for me to have my Lumineers removed and go for something like Invisalign instead?
Lumineers are often touted as a “no-prep” veneer, meaning no tooth structure has to be removed in order for them to be placed, this rarely works in practice. When dentists don’t remove at least some of the tooth structure, you basically wind up with a thick protrusion on the fronts of your teeth, which usually looks and feels unnatural. If this is the case with you, there’s a possibility you could have them removed without much issue.
However, most dentists do have to take the front of the tooth down at least a little. It’s less with any type of ultra-thin veneer versus a traditional veneer, but some prepping is usually done none-the-less. If he has removed a significant amount of enamel, your teeth will be left without any kind of protective outer layer if you remove the Lumineers. That means they won’t match the other teeth around them, they’ll be sensitive, and they’ll be at a much higher risk for decay. So, if they come off and there isn’t much enamel, you’ll have to replace them with either chairside veneers, another type of ultra-thin veneers, or traditional porcelain veneers.
Your current dentist should be able to go over your options with you; he’ll know how much of the tooth structure was removed. However, it’s worrisome that the results you got were so different from the photos he showed you. It’s worth asking if those were photos of his own patients or stock photos supplied by the company that made your veneers. And, if they are his patients, did they have the same procedure done as you did? If not, you may want to look around for another dentist who does more cosmetic work and uses photos of his own patients in his smile gallery. At least then you’ll have a better idea of what you’re signing up for.
This blog is sponsored by Elgin Dentist, Dr. Steve Sirin. Dr. Sirin provides many cosmetic treatments, including porcelain veneers, Invisalign, and teeth whitening.
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