Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt dissatisfied with the size, shape, color or length of your teeth? If so, you’re definitely not alone. Most individuals wish they could change at least one thing about their teeth, and many individuals are so self-conscious about their teeth, including any size differences or gaps between them, that they actually make a conscious effort to hide their teeth from others. Fortunately, there are many different restorative dental procedures that may be suitable for resolving the issues you have with your teeth, not the least of which is the placement of dental veneers.
Dental veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells that are bonded to the front of your teeth in order to improve their appearance. They can be used where teeth whitening has been unsuccessful in bringing about the desired change, and they can often even be used as an alternative to braces. Different dental veneer materials have unique, specific benefits, but the dental veneer that we recommend to our patients is Lumineers.
While all dental veneers are meant to be thin, Lumineers are ultra-thin. What this means for patients is that whereas traditional dental veneers tend to require that teeth first be reduced through the grinding down of enamel, there is little to no tooth reduction necessary in order to make room for Lumineer placement. Lumineers are therefore reversible, where traditional dental veneers are not. This also means that patients are often able to experience an entirely pain-free procedure, without the need for even a local anesthetic, and the procedure tends to last for only about an hour. Furthermore, Lumineers are incredibly durable, often resisting undesirable wear for more than two full decades.
If you are interested in receiving Lumineers, you should begin by discussing your interest with your dentist. He will help you to determine whether Lumineers are the best option for you, and ensure that you understand the process and the fact that they are not entirely permanent–meaning they will need to be replaced at some future point. Once you and your dentist have determined that Lumineers are right for you, you will schedule the first of two appointments, during which your dentist will:
- Create a mold of your teeth. Lumineers are custom-made in the DenMat dental laboratory, based upon the mold your dentist takes of your teeth. This mold will help to ensure proper fit.
- Determine the proper shade of white for your Lumineers. The entire purpose of receiving Lumineers is to not only correct the size, shape, color or length of your teeth, but also to do so in such a way that looks completely natural. Proper coloration of your Lumineers is therefore very important.
Immediately following this appointment, your dentist will send off your tooth mold and color specifications to the DenMat Lab for fabrication. Then, when your dentist receives your Lumineers, you will return to the office for your second visit, during which your dentist will:
- Temporarily place your Lumineers in order to check their fit. Before your dentist bonds your Lumineers in place, he will temporarily place them on your teeth and check how they fit. Then he’ll remove them before proceeding to the next step.
- Etch your teeth to prepare for Lumineer placement. Etching your teeth helps to texturize the surface so that your Lumineers will adhere better.
- Bond your Lumineers to your teeth. Your Lumineers will be bonded to your teeth, one by one.
- Check your bite. Finally, your dentist will check your bite to ensure that your Lumineers aren’t adversely affecting it, and make any necessary adjustments.
Your Lumineers will not cause you to change your normal oral hygiene or food consumption patterns. That said, your dentist will recommend you avoid excessively consuming those things that can stain your Lumineers, like red wine, coffee and tobacco products. You should continue to brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss your teeth at least once a day and visit your dentist every six months. However, you will not need to avoid chewing gum or eating sticky foods, because Lumineers are incredibly durable and won’t be affected.
For more information about Lumineers, contact Dr. Nurminsky today.