Lumineers are ultra-thin laminate shells placed over your damaged, stained, and misaligned teeth to hide cosmetic issues. Washington Dental can use Lumineers to achieve a natural-looking remedy for problems like cracked, stained, misshaped, chipped, or gapped, affecting your teeth' appearance and functionality. During your initial consultation in our Carson office, we can analyze your oral goals, health, and needs and recommend a personalized treatment plan for a satisfying outcome. We can also match your Lumineers to your surrounding teeth' shape, shade, and size so they look natural.

Introducing Lumineers

Commonly referred to as "no-prep" veneers, Lumineers is a DenMat dental lab's veneers brand. They demand less advanced dental work and preparation than traditional veneers.

They are made of ultra-thin laminate rather than composite or porcelain. The fact that Lumineers are only 0.3 millimeters makes them slick and easier to apply to your teeth.

Who Qualifies for Dental Lumineers?

Lumineers are versatile and can offer a solution to several dental challenges. Since they cover the front tooth surface, they are used for various dental imperfections, including:

  • Discolored and stained teeth
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Misshapen or small teeth
  • Spaces and gaps between your teeth
  • Slightly crooked teeth

They can also change the size and shape of your teeth, making your dentition appear even.

Although the desire to correct dental cosmetic flaws is the initial eligibility for the treatment option in question, dental experts also consider the following factors:

  • Healthy teeth free of decay — With Lumineers, the natural teeth aren't being replaced. Instead, they are being capped, with the natural teeth functioning as a base beneath your Lumineers. That means untreated tooth decay or cavities will continue to become worse. If you have tooth decay, you must treat the issue first.
  • You don't have teeth grinding history — Also referred to as bruxism, teeth grinding damages your teeth and could significantly reduce the lifespan of Lumineers. Since Lumineers are ultra-thin, they are more prone to damage from tooth grinding. Suppose you grind your teeth while sleeping. Consider putting on a mouthguard. Otherwise, the dentist might recommend another course of dental treatment.
  • A well-aligned bite — Lumineers might be referred to as instant orthodontic, although they handle cosmetic issues. Jaw-associated orthodontic challenges such as severe overbites and underbites are beyond what Lumineers can sort. If you have any of these issues, it would be best to solve the problem with braces.
  • You have numerous cosmetic issues — As previously mentioned, Lumineers is a versatile dental treatment. For instance, the treatment in question can fix mildly crooked teeth, a chipped tooth, and several discolored teeth. Without this treatment, you would have to invest in three different procedures to realize your desired outcome.

The most effective way to determine if you are eligible for Lumineers is by visiting your dentist for a comprehensive dental examination. The dentist will examine your smile's status, your teeth color, and your bite. 

Traditional Porcelain Veneers Vs. Lumineers

Both Lumineers and veneers are popular cosmetic procedures that could improve your smile and repair existing dental flaws, boosting your self-confidence, dental health, and overall health. They can also whiten and align your teeth. However, they are different, and discussed below are notable variations.

Application Process

Here is the difference as far as the application procedure is concerned.

  1. Veneers Have a Lengthy Preparation and Application Procedure

Veneers are applied in a customized multistep process. Following your consultation, the doctor will grind down your teeth' surface to prepare them for porcelain veneers. Your teeth should thin so your veneers can fit perfectly in the mouth.

Then the dentist will make a mold of the prepared teeth before making your temporary veneers. Customized veneers will be made from your mold in a dental lab. Typically, veneers take about two to four weeks to be made.

Your initial appointment might take a couple of hours, depending mainly on the number of teeth being treated.

Finally, the dentist will cement your veneers to the prepared teeth.

  1. Lumineers have a Shorter Preparation and Application Process

You will require more than two dental appointments following the initial consultation. Your initial appointment will be short. The dental expert does not need to prepare or trim the teeth. They will only take a mold or impression.

Then the mold will be sent to a lab. Your Lumineers will be ready in approximately two to four weeks.

Unlike porcelain veneers, you will not put on temporary veneers as you await your customized Lumineers.

Once they are ready, you will schedule another dental appointment where the dental expert will bond your Lumineers to your teeth. During this appointment, the bonding agent might ooze out from beneath your Lumineers. Your dentist will then remove excess bonding with a beveled feather edge margin.

After your Lumineers are placed, the doctor will polish them until they are smooth. The benefit of the smoothness is that staining agents and bacteria can't adhere to your new smile's surface, resulting in more durable surfaces.

The final step is separation. At this point, your Lumineers are attached, where your bite impressions suggest teeth could join naturally. Once your treatment is done, you can enjoy the lovely, bright white smile.

Lumineers are More Translucent than Veneers

Like porcelain veneers, Lumineers are used to treat uneven and discolored teeth. However, they are translucent and thinner than traditional veneers, making them not ideal for patients with severely discolored teeth.

Lumineers are Semi-Permanent While Veneers are Permanent

After getting veneers, your enamel is compromised, and there is no turning back. On the other hand, Lumineers are semipermanent and could be removed with minimal damage to the teeth.

Both cosmetic options make it difficult to reach the gum line when cleaning your teeth. It could increase the risk of developing gum disease.

Lumineers are More Pocket-Friendly

While several factors affect the price, Lumineers are more cost-effective than traditional porcelain veneers. Thanks to the absence of the grinding process.

So, how do you choose between Lumineers and traditional porcelain? Both dental options offer long-lasting and beautiful results if done by a seasoned cosmetic dentist. It is not that one procedure is better than the other. All you have to do is decide which one suits your preference and needs the best.

Additionally, a little patience, research, and following your dentist's advice will guarantee you love your smile with either procedure.

Preparing for Your Application Process

There’s little that you should do as far as preparation is concerned if your natural teeth are flat and small. Nonetheless, some dentists might commend a gingivoplasty, a dental procedure that sculpts your gums to look better. If you undergo the process, you should wait for at least forty-five days for the gums to recover.

The doctor might also light etch or clean and sand to contour the teeth. Then they will make mold before sending it to the DenMat dental lab.

Finally, your dentist might recommend an optional dental visit to preview the smile. They will use temporary adhesive acrylic veneers on the teeth to demonstrate the appearance of the Lumineers. It is an opportunity to make changes.

What to Expect Following the Dental Procedure

The outcome is immediate, and you don't require any downtime or miss work or school.

You could expect redness or gum soreness for a maximum of three weeks following the procedure. Please note that continuous gum bleeding is not common. Therefore, notify your physician if that takes place or if you experience extended gum inflammation.

Additionally, you might experience tooth sensitivity mainly to cold drinks and foods for up to one year. Cutting your food into tiny pieces could reduce the sensitivity.

How to Take Care of the Dental Lumineers

On average, Lumineers can last for up to ten years before being replaced. Their durability could be affected by your oral health. Therefore, the secret to enjoying your beautiful smile for long is ensuring your Lumineers are adequately cared for. Below are some post-op instructions to comply with:

  • Watch what you bite — Other than keeping the Lumineers bright and looking white, you need to ensure they do not break or crack. While the material used to manufacture the Lumineers is durable, they are not like your natural teeth, and biting hard substances could result in damage. Therefore, avoid chewing or biting on objects such as pens, ice, and fingernails.
  • Eat a soft diet twenty-four to forty-eight hours following the placement. Avoid hard foods like raw fruits and vegetables, ice, tough meat, candy, toasted bread, and popcorn. Also, avoid sticky foods like caramels and taffy.
  • Keep regular dental visits — Ensure you visit your experienced dentist at least twice a year. It will help you keep your gums and teeth healthy, and if there are stains on the Lumineers, the dental expert could address them or remove them before they become permanent.
  • Floss and brush your teeth — The answer to keeping your Lumineers feeling and looking good is maintaining proper oral hygiene. That means you should floss between your teeth and brush daily. It assists in removing bacteria and particles that could damage your teeth.
  • Avoid staining liquids and foods — Beverages and foods with dark hues might stain teeth if used repeatedly. Some of the staining agents include fruit juice, coffee, tea, colas, red wine, tomatoes, ketchup, and berries. If you are a daily tea or coffee drinker, you should use a straw. It reduces the time the drink is in contact with your teeth. In addition, rinse your mouth with water after all meals.
  • After applying your Lumineers, it might take a couple of days to get used to it. The way the teeth come together alongside your bite might feel different, significantly if your dentist changed the shape, thickness, or length of the teeth. If the bite is unbalanced, kindly consult with your dentist for an adjustment appointment.
  • It is also best to wear a mouthguard after the treatment to avoid damage to the dental work.
  • Avoid smoking — Tobacco products can not only stain your teeth but can also lead to gum disease. Please remember, unhealthy gums cannot support Lumineers.

What are the Cons of Dental Lumineers?

Although Lumineers have significant advantages, you should understand the risks to make an informed decision.

There isn't a Guarantee That Your Teeth Will Not Require Some Preparation

There are cases where forms of veneers will not work without modifying your teeth. Your dentist will notify you what the process will entail depending on your case.

The Treatment is Irreversible

If the teeth require any preparation to obtain Lumineers, these modifications are permanent. If your Lumineers ever come off, you will need something to guard your teeth and compensate for your lost enamel. That means obtaining new Lumineers or alternatives like dental crowns and veneers.

And if you decide to remove the Lumineers, it isn't as seamless as peeling stickers. The dental expert will drill and grind them away from the teeth, something that could damage your enamel.

Some Patients Feel Lumineers Feel and Look Bulky

Some patients do not like Lumineers because despite being ultra-thin, there is no preparation before adding the additional layer to their teeth.

They Increase the Risk of Gum Inflammation

When Lumineers are placed over your tooth enamel, they could leave a gap near your gum line. The gap may collect debris and plaque, resulting in gum irritation. It can also increase the risk of developing gum disease.

They Cannot Solve All Dental Issues

Lumineers are so thin, making them translucent. That means they are not an ideal option for patients with severe staining.

Not Every Dentist is Proficient at Placing Dental Lumineers

At times this type of veneer does not come out well because the dentist is not knowledgeable enough. Some physicians are more qualified in cosmetic dentistry than others. Simply because your dental practice offers this treatment does not mean they can deliver the same level of results.

How Much Does Dental Lumineers Cost?

Every patient will get a different answer because several factors affect the cost. However, on average, it ranges between eight hundred dollars and two thousand dollars per tooth.

The complexity of your case will inform your final treatment cost alongside:

  • The number of teeth requiring Lumineers
  • Your oral health
  • Other restorative or cosmetic treatment you might require
  • The dental laboratory your dentist uses
  • Your dentist's experience
  • Geographical location

Generally, Medicaid or private dental health insurance does not cover cosmetic dental treatment like Lumineers. Nevertheless, there are numerous options for patients without cash up front. For example, CareCredit is a healthcare credit card that permits you to pay for your treatment upfront and then make monthly payments on the balance.

Questions to Ask Your Proficient Dentist

Cosmetic dentistry is now more cost-effective, permitting many patients to realize the smile of their dreams. Thanks to options like Lumineers. However, this treatment option might not be ideal for everyone. If you're contemplating this option, remember to ask the dental expert the following questions before making your decision.

  • You should know how Lumineers fit on your teeth. If the teeth are very sensitive, the procedure might not be suitable for you. Your dentists will analyze the teeth and determine if Lumineers suit you.
  • Another concern you need to address is that the Lumineers procedure is permanent and irreversible. Lumineers should be cautiously placed and analyzed before bonding. They are natural-looking and lovely because they reflect light. They are also customizable, durable and hide gaps, small cracks, and stains in the teeth.
  • Enquire about any home-care. What form of instructions, if any, do they need? How can you protect the integrity of your results? How long do they last without corrective work? Cosmetic dental work is not cheap, and it's in your best interest to take care of it.
  • How long does the application process take? Typically, the process will take two visits. Your doctor will discuss potential issues and the required steps for the placement. Some patients require more preparation than others.
  • Ask about other dental procedures that could be an alternative or might be used alongside Lumineers. The reality is that your cosmetic goals and needs are unique, and what works for a loved one might not be suitable for you. Your dentist should create a satisfactory dental experience by explaining why they don't recommend this option.
  • Tell the dentist of all existing dental conditions, including temperature sensitivity, clenching, and grinding. Inquire about how these issues will affect your treatment.
  • What are the procedure's goals? Both you and the dentist must have the same goals before your process starts. You should agree on the expected results to avoid misunderstandings later.
  • What are the possible complications? Inquire about the possible complications after and during your treatment procedure.
  • Are there available financing options? Generally, cosmetic procedures are high. Additionally, most insurance providers don't cover them because they are not considered medically essential under normal conditions. Consequently, most dental offices provide financing options to assist patients in footing their medical bills.
  • Ask to see photographs of patients before and after their dental procedures so that you could judge how effectively your dentist performs the process.
  • Ask your dentist the number of successful similar cases. It isn't a physician's fault that they are new to the profession. While every dental profession has to start something, you should not trust an inexperienced person for this cosmetic procedure. Don't restrict this question to the general experience. It guarantees you that you are in good hands.
  • Ask if dental work is guaranteed. If so, remember to find out the duration.
  • Does your quote cover everything? Sometimes dentists might charge for additional procedures, giving you unexpected costs. At Washington Dental, there are no hidden costs. Our team will discuss with you the total procedure fees before the placement.

Alternatives to Dental Lumineers

While Lumineers might look like a perfect fit for all persons wishing to improve their smiles, the reality is the opposite. Fortunately, there are numerous practical cosmetic treatments available to enhance your smile.  To learn if Lumineers or their alternative is ideal for you, speaking with your dentist is the best starting point. They will analyze your oral health condition to determine the option that best meets your dental needs and goals.

Cosmetic Reshaping/Contouring

Cosmetic reshaping can be necessary due to genetics or following an accident. Most dentists recommend contouring because it is cost-effective and less time-consuming for patients. It also improves oral health since tartar and plaque that causes tooth decay is removed.

Dental Invisalign

Is a crooked smile the reason you are interested in Lumineers? Invisalign is a non-invasive tooth straightening alternative. Invisalign are clear aligners used to correct occlusions such as overbites, underbites, and crossbites. Generally, you should wear them for at least a year to achieve a straighter smile. You can put on them after your treatment to prevent your teeth from shifting again.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are ideal for cosmetic and restorative purposes. They fit over your natural teeth, preventing your tooth from decay and offering structure and support.

Teeth Whitening

It is not uncommon for natural teeth to lose their bright appearance over time due to smoking, eating staining foods, and drinking coffee and tea. Fortunately, tooth whitening may offer them a whiter, beautiful smile in one appointment for most patients.

Dental Bonding

Dentists use this procedure to correct imperfections and repair cracks and chips. It is a durable resin that mimics your tooth's shade (identical to the material used to fill cavities). The bonding adhesive could be filed and shaped to accommodate filling and smoothing surfaces.

Find a Competent Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

Recent dental advancements have made inconveniences such as invasive procedures and enduring multiple dental visits to achieve the anticipated outcome a thing of the past. Now treatments such as Lumineers are more straightforward, quicker, and could produce long-lasting results. Lumineers are a thin replacement material placed over the front of teeth to conceal misshaped, discolored, crooked, misaligned, and chipped teeth.

In a calming environment, Washington Dental can work with you to restore and reveal the true radiance of your teeth' functionality, health, and beauty, giving you your dream smile. Integrating our experience in state-of-the-art technology and digital dentistry, we can work to get you a personalized smile that fits your personality, attributes, and oral goals. Call our Carson offices today at 310-217-1507 to schedule your initial consultation and learn more.