We like our patients to have every available option when it comes to improving their smiles. Dr. Frey now offers Lumineers, a thinner form of veneer that doesn’t require removal of the underlying tooth enamel. In cases where preservation of tooth enamel is very important, Lumineers offer a great option compared with traditional porcelain veneers.
What Are Lumineers?
Lumineers are veneers. But compared with traditional porcelain veneers, Lumineers are thinner (approximately 0.3 mm) and highly translucent. This allows them to replicate the natural appearance of enamel. Applying Lumineers doesn’t require removal of the existing tooth enamel before placement. They are simply bonded over natural teeth, or existing crowns and bridges. This makes the procedure painless, fast, and reversible, should the patient opt to make a change later in life.
What Are The Benefits Of Lumineers?
Like porcelain veneers, Lumineers can provide a cosmetic solution to many problems with the teeth. It’s important to remember that, like porcelain veneers, Lumineers are only cosmetic solutions. They don’t solve underlying problems such as decay or gum disease; those issues must be addressed before Lumineers can be applied.
Lumineers have many benefits. They can:
- Improve the appearance of crooked, misaligned teeth
- Cover cracked or chipped teeth
- Cover gaps between teeth
- Whiten stained teeth
- Improve misshapen teeth
- Make uneven teeth even
How Is The Lumineer Procedure Performed?
Dr. Frey places Lumineers in two visits.
On the first visit, a precise mold of the patient’s teeth will be created. Then Dr. Frey and the patient will determine the desired share of the Lumineers (it may be wise to whiten your teeth prior to applying Lumineers if you want whiter shades). The mold along with photos of the patients teeth are then sent off to the DenMat Lab. DenMat is the only fabricator of Lumineers. Because no enamel needs to be removed, there is no need to place temporary veneers while you wait for your Lumineers to be made.
When we receive the custom Lumineers, the patient will return for the second visit. Dr. Frey first checks the color match and fit of the Lumineers. Once both Dr. Frey and the patient are satisfied, he permanently attaches the Lumineers to your teeth. The procedure of fitting and placing Lumineers is painless and takes around one hour. Plus, there isn’t any post-placement sensitivity or discomfort.
How Long Do Lumineers Last?
Lumineers have been improving smiles for 30 years, and over one million sets have been placed on patients’ teeth. Research has proven that Lumineers provide long-term aesthetic smile improvement without discoloration or degeneration. Clinical testing has shown the average lifespan of a set of Lumineers to be 20 years, with no special maintenance required.
This is longer than Porcelain veneers, which generally last from 10 to 15 years. Since the underlying enamel is not removed for the procedure, the natural tooth is usually intact and strong, allowing the Lumineers to be removed if necessary.
How Long Does The Lumineers Procedure Take?
Having Lumineers placed takes two appointments with Dr. Frey. The first appointment has two goals: create a precise mold of your teeth to send to DenMat to create your Lumineers, and to select the shade of your Lumineers. This process takes less than an hour.
The second appointment is where Dr. Frey places your new custom-made Lumineers. He first checks the color match and fit of each Lumineer. Once everything looks right, he permanently attaches the Lumineers. This is painless and takes about an hour.
What Should I Expect During My Consultation With Dr. Frey?
Dr. Frey is a Certified Lumineers Dentist, giving him the extensive experience and knowledge for proper fitting and application of this alternative to traditional porcelain veneers. Still, when you come in for your consultation, Dr. Frey doesn’t seek to push patients toward one or the other. This is the time for a complete back-and-forth exchange of information between the two of you.
Lumineers aren’t right for everyone. Some people don’t like the feel of the added bulk created by Lumineers because they don’t require removing much of the tooth enamel prior to placing them.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both Lumineers and porcelain veneers, and Dr. Frey’s goal during your consultation is to find which option is best for you. That’s why we provide both of these smile-beautifying options at our office.
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Schedule A Consultation
Dr. Frey has had extensive training in fitting and applying these ultra-thin veneers to become a Certified Lumineers Dentist. Because he is experienced with both porcelain veneers and Lumineers, he can help you decide which works best for you. If you are interested and would like to see if you are a good candidate, contact our Beverly Hills office at (310) 276-4537 to schedule a consultation.
Dental Lumineer FAQs
What Is The Difference Between Veneers And Lumineers?
The application of porcelain veneers requires removal of some of the existing enamel — usually about 5 mm — on the front of the teeth receiving the veneers. This makes room for the veneer. Because the enamel is removed, the patient will need a veneer on the tooth for the rest of his or her life.
Lumineers cover the same flaws and offer the same cosmetic improvements as porcelain veneers, but the procedure is much less invasive. The original tooth is left unchanged and the enamel is not damaged. This is possible because Lumineers are thinner than traditional veneers (about as thick as a contact lens), but they still are incredibly strong and durable. In some cases, patients may feel that Lumineers may look or feel slightly bulkier when compared with porcelain veneers. That’s why Dr. Frey offers both options for his patients.
Are There Risks Associated With The Lumineer Procedure?
Lumineers are generally a very low-risk option for giving you a beautiful smile. There are some risks, but these are often the result of a lack of expertise on the dentist placing them. Dr. Frey offers both Lumineers and traditional porcelain veneers because he knows each patient has unique needs.
The main risk with Lumineers is over-contouring, or the teeth with Lumineers appearing bulkier or larger than normal. This is a result of not removing as much tooth enamel (0.2 mm versus 0.5 mm) with Lumineers.
Also, because Lumineers don’t remove much too enamel, lesser applications can leave a ridge at the top of the veneer. This can be a place for bacteria to accumulate, which can lead to decay and chronic bad breath.
If the Lumineers are placed slightly above the gumline, this can lead to gum irritation and possible gum disease. Again, this is a problem with poor placement by the dentist.
Is The Lumineers Procedure Painful?
Receiving Lumineers is completely pain-free. It’s not necessary to remove the amount enamel necessary for porcelain veneers, which can lead to tooth sensitivity and some discomfort during the tooth preparation. Lumineers are so thin, that’s not necessary. There isn’t any pain in any part of the process.
What Is The Recovery From Lumineers?
There isn’t any recovery after having Dr. Frey place Lumineers on your teeth. As mentioned above, this is a painless process. The teeth receiving the Lumineers usually only require a minor etching before placement. That is painless and doesn’t create any post-placement pain. Immediately after Dr. Frey places your Lumineers, you can get right back to your normal life and show off your beautiful new smile to the world.