Lumineers are an easy way to give you that perfect smile with the minimum of fuss and the minimum of pain. These incredibly thin coverings have been enhancing smiles for about 30 years now and have proved themselves time and again to be an ideal solution for covering gaps in teeth, correcting chips, and for hiding those unsightly discoloured teeth too. They’re also excellent for correcting the appearance of slightly misaligned teeth.
As mentioned, Lumineers are incredibly thin (think contact lens thin), but that doesn’t mean there is a compromise in strength. They have a track record that shows them to be strong and robust and can even last over 20 years making them a worthy investment.
One of the main advantages of using Lumineers for your teeth is that very little teeth preparation is required so you don’t have to worry about having much of your original tooth structure removed or reshaped. This is very different from having traditional veneers that require significant restructuring of the original tooth. This makes the whole process practically reversible if ever you need to have them removed for some reason, which is very different from the case with traditional veneers. Lumineers can also be placed over the top of existing crowns and bridge work at your dentist’s discretion. They are also highly translucent and are therefore able to mimic the natural appearance of your teeth.
What is the fitting process?
Getting Lumineers fitted obviously starts with a visit to your dentist who will create a mold of your teeth. Then you will discuss together exactly what shade of white is best for you and what will look most natural. Your dentist will send your mold to an authorised laboratory where your personalised Lumineers will be created.
How long does it take to for your Lumineers to be created and fitted?
After a few weeks the authorised laboratory that has your mold will have created your Lumineers and they will be returned to your dentist ready for fitting. After a few simple and painless checks by your dentist to ensure the best fit, the Lumineers are ready to be affixed painlessly. Lumineers have the distinct advantage over traditional veneers in that you don’t have to experience any painful drilling. With just 2 visits to your dentist you will now be ready to show the world your new radiant smile!
Day to day routine
They are applied to your teeth in such a way that you don’t have to worry about what you eat as Lumineers are so durable and robust leaving you free to go about eating your favourite foods and drinks without fear of damage or staining. Of course you still bear a measure of responsibility and will need to clean your teeth regularly as you normally would. Also regular checkups are required (once every 6 months are recommended) in order to maintain their pristine appearance.
Another great thing about Lumineers is that they are painless to fit due to their being so thin. This extra thinness means they are completely comfortable from the very start and the adjustment process is minimal.
Is the process reversible?
Yes the process of having Lumineers fitted is reversible. When a patient receives traditional veneers it is necessary to have the enamel on their teeth removed leaving them unsightly. With Lumineers, however, the enamel remains intact and so it’s entirely possible to remove them if so desired.
Do they look realistic?
Lumineers are made of a porcelain compound that imitates the reflective qualities of authentic teeth giving them that natural look and giving you a smile you’ll want to show off.
How do they bond?
These wafer-thin shells are designed to fit straight onto the teeth and fixed straight onto the enamel which forms a very long-lasting and robust type of bond. During the process of fitting conventional veneers, the enamel is shaved away and sometimes dentin is exposed, which is the layer hidden beneath the enamel. This type of bonding with dentin is less secure than the adhesion that occurs when bonding with enamel as is the case with Lumineers. This makes them a truly secure and robust choice when it comes to long term dental care.
No need to endure shaving and drilling
Lumineers are no thicker than contact lenses hence they are sometimes referred to as ‘contact lenses for teeth’, and the bonding application applied to the teeth requires far less preparatory work. The advantage of this of course is that that there’s no need to endure having to have your teeth shaved down and persevering the drilling process that could involve anaesthetic.
Follow up visits to the dentists are minimised
Follow up visits to the dentists are minimised too, whereas with conventional veneers final restoration visits will be required. In fact, the preparatory work for having Lumineers fitting is usually painless and may only involve polishing the teeth.
Since such minimal preparation is required to fit Lumineers, they are the perfect choice for those who battle with their nerves when contemplating the dentist’s chair.
Can Lumineers be fitted over an existing crown?
Yes they can but your dentist would have to take certain factors into consideration. Bonding porcelain onto porcelain isn’t usually a problem and an excellent bond is definitely possible. But affixing Lumineers onto already existing crowns could result in a slightly bulky look. Your dentist would also have to take into account the age of the crown. If the crown is older than 5 years, then it’s possible it would have to be replaced in the near future in which case bonding a Lumineer straight on top would create complications. Under those circumstances it would be best to remove the crown first.
Your dentist will have to ensure that the underlying tooth is basically sound of course, since Lumineers are only an aesthetic solution. If there is any problem with the tooth to which the Lumineer is to be fitted, then this will have to be addressed first.
How long do they last?
Lumineers have been shown to last an incredible 20 years. It may well be worth bearing this in mind when considering the cost. Although they may be more expensive than other veneers, they last up to twice as long.
Gaps such as those created by small tooth size or unevenly shaped teeth may be rectified by the application of Lumineers.
One common issue that affects the aesthetics of your smile is crooked and overcrowded teeth. Lumineers are ideal for covering those imperfections with the minimum of fuss and pain.
Teeth may grow irregularly over the years somewhat depriving you of a full adult smile. You may have large teeth at the front and smaller ones at the side. Whereas bonding was necessary in the past with plenty of follow up dental visits to fill in those gaps, dental Lumineers can do the job with just 2 visits to your dentist.
The fact that dental Lumineers are so robust, are reasonably easy to fit and don’t require much in the way of preparatory work, makes them well worth considering when it comes to viable and painless alternatives to conventional veneers.