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.
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
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.
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.
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.