Are you looking for a way to achieve that megawatt smile, but are fearful of the porcelain veneer process? Lumineers are a great alternative to traditional porcelain veneers, especially for people who have a fear of the dentist or who don’t want their teeth drilled on.
These veneers provide a painless way to permanently whiten and align teeth and repair chipped teeth without altering tooth structure. Lumineers are ultra-thin veneers made from Cerinate porcelain. Their thickness compares to that of a contact lens. This type of veneer requires little to no tooth reduction in most cases, and numbing shots are not needed.Written by Dr. Sokolina
Call Harmony Dental Arts today at (973) 777-2731 if you would like to learn more about Lumineers.
A great deal of patients who visit Harmony Dental Arts in Clifton with Dentist Dr. Maria Sokolina inquire about Lumineers versus porcelain veneers.
Although Dr. Sokolina, a cosmetic dentist for more than 15 years, prefers porcelain veneers to Lumineers in most cases, there are some good candidates for the less expensive Lumineers procedure, she said.
Determining which procedure best suits the patient is done through a consultation with a dentist who specializes in cosmetic dentistry, Sokolina said. Patients who tend to be good candidates for Lumineers have their natural teeth intact and their teeth are fairly white and straight.
“If the underlying color of the teeth is yellowish to orange-brown, that discoloration may still show through the thin layer of Lumineers,” Dr. Sokolina said.
The reason for this is because Lumineers are very thin porcelain layers that compare in thickness to that of a contact lens. Masking of dark discoloration is almost impossible to do with Lumineers. And if thicker porcelain is placed, the teeth take on a bulky appearance.
“The teeth might look like Chicklets,” Sokolina said.
Lumineers still can be a good option for candidates with slightly yellow teeth, if they are willing to allow the cosmetic dentist to remove some of the tooth structure, which eliminates the discoloration.
The ideal Lumineers patient also has space between their top and bottom teeth, said Sokolina, who performs cosmetic dentistry in Clifton.
Patients with a “tight bite” are not good Lumineers candidates because applying Lumineers to the tooth surface slightly increases the biting surface in the mouth, and can change the patient’s bite pattern, he said.
Other patients who are not good candidates for Lumineers are those who frequently grind or clench their teeth. This is because they are used to their existing bite and could fracture the edges of the Lumineers by grinding or clenching them.
At Harmony Dental Arts, we also don’t recommend placing Lumineers over existing crowns, caps or bridges.
“Doing so can result in over-contoured porcelain that could irritate the gums,” she said “Also, masking the underlying black color that shows through the crown is very difficult. It would not be ideal in the cosmetic dentistry world.”
For those patients who don’t make ideal Lumineers candidates, porcelain veneers almost always are the best alternative.
“The natural color of the veneers is much superior to Lumineers,” Sokolina said, adding that due to the small layer of porcelain to work with on Lumineers, it is difficult to make a dramatic color change if necessary. That is not the case with porcelain veneers.
When considering the benefits of porcelain veneers over Lumineers, the cosmetic dentist’s artistic ability, preparation procedure and overall experience “is of utmost importance”.
One common misconception is that porcelain veneers always result in tooth sensitivity.
According to Dr. Sokolina, “If done properly, there should be no sensitivity”
Porcelain veneers also produce more natural looking teeth, and the contour is kinder to the gum. If the doctor is preparing the veneers well, he or she is adding an amount of porcelain that mirrors the amount of natural tooth that was removed, resulting in a natural look.
Before undergoing either procedure, it is important to have proper records taken, which include, but are not limited to x-rays, preoperative impressions and bite analysis.
Patients also should undergo a thorough consultation with a well-respected cosmetic dentist to go over the options, pros, cons, risks and benefits of the procedure in question.
If you would like to learn more about Lumineers or porcelain veneers or you would like to schedule a consultation at Harmony Dental Arts with Dr. Maria Sokolina, please call: (973) 777-2731.
Contact Harmony Dental Arts today to learn more about this advanced teeth straightening system.