Definition and Overview

Lumineers is a brand name for porcelain veneers manufactured by Denmat Lab, one of the biggest creators of dental appliances or devices.

Veneers are thin wafer-like shells that are attached to the surface of the teeth to correct problems such as chipping and cracking. They can also be used to close the gap in between teeth and restore teeth’s whiteness.

In a traditional setup, at least a millimeter of the tooth’s enamel has to be removed to accommodate the veneers, which are often bulky. Other steps also include getting an impression, drilling, and then etching the tooth’s surface to ensure that the veneers fit the size and shape of the tooth. Traditional veneers therefore require several visits and time-consuming processes.

Lumineers are an example of no-prep veneers. This means they don’t need intensive preparation, and usually, the process of getting them requires only two visits.

Veneers come in many different forms. Lumineers are made from porcelain and are tough. In fact, they can last for around two decades, provided, of course, adequate dental hygiene and care is carried out.

Some experts also call them “reversible” veneers since they can be safely removed and modified without changing much of the teeth’s structure.

Although these veneers are convenient than the others, only certified Lumineers dentist are allowed to perform the procedure. Anyone, therefore, who wishes to have these dental appliances, should look for a dentist with proper training and certification.

Who Should Undergo and Expected Results

Lumineers can be recommended for people who:

  • Don’t like intensive dental processes – With Lumineers, there’s no need to reduce the thickness of the enamel as these porcelain veneers are already very thin. Depending on the shape and size of the tooth, there will also be less drilling and preparation.

  • Like very strong veneers – Porcelain veneers like Lumineers are not cheap, but they still provide good value for money since they are tough and are therefore less prone to chipping and cracking.

  • Have chipped or cracked tooth – The tooth is one of the strongest parts of the body, especially since it’s coated with enamel. As proof of its durability, it doesn’t immediately get damaged despite the mouth’s acidic environment. However, certain situations including an underlying gum disease or trauma (e.g., accident or a fall), can lead to chipping and cracking. As long as there’s enough of the tooth structure remaining, Lumineers can be used to restore its original appearance.

  • Want to close a gap between teeth –Lumineers may be attached to serve as a “bridge” between two distant teeth.

  • Fix crooked teeth – These veneers may be recommended to individuals who want to achieve straight teeth without braces.

  • Wish to whiten the teeth – If there’s minor discoloration or staining of the teeth but the person doesn’t want to go through with teeth whitening procedures, Lumineers can offer the patient's desired results.

On the other hand, Lumineers may not be the best option if:

  • There’s an existing dental problem such as a root canal infection or decay – These issues should be dealt with first before the dentist can recommend the veneers.

  • The patient has bruxism – Bruxism refers to the grinding of the teeth. Porcelain veneers are strong, but their lifespan can be significantly shortened due to excessive grinding, which may result in chipping and cracking.

  • The discoloration or crookedness is severe – Lumineers are very transparent, and so extensive discoloration can still show. The patient may prefer to undergo teeth whitening first before choosing Lumineers. For severely misaligned teeth, dental appliances such as braces are needed to correct the problem properly.

How Does the Procedure Work?

In general, Lumineers requires only two visits. During the first visit, the dentist, who should be certified to perform the procedure, will conduct a thorough consultation. This is to determine if the patient is a right candidate.

If the dentist sees the patient is suitable for Lumineers, he or she proceeds with obtaining impressions of the lower and upper set of the teeth. The molds are then delivered to a laboratory where the veneers are produced.

It may take a few days or weeks before the veneers are completed. Throughout this time, however, the dentist doesn’t have to remove a part of the enamel or attach temporary veneers.

Once the Lumineers are prepared, the patient returns to the clinic for the fitting and attachment. First, the teeth are prepped to ensure they are of the same cut and size as the veneers. Using a bonding agent, the veneers will be attached one by one onto the tooth’s surface.

After all the veneers have been attached, the patient’s bite will be examined. Otherwise, asymmetry can result to possible premature chipping or cracking of the veneers.

Possible Risks and Complications

One of the chief complaints against prep-less veneers such as Lumineers is over-contouring. This means that the teeth appear bulkier or larger than they should be due to non-drilling or removal of a part of the enamel. The now-large teeth may affect a person’s speech and bite. They may also be a cause of embarrassment or reduced self-esteem.

Sometimes in an effort to fit the Lumineers to the surface of the teeth, they are placed just above the gumline. The gums may then become irritated, which can lead to irritation and gum disease.

The veneers may also result in tooth decay. This happens when the veneers that are too thick change the contours of the teeth, creating a “ledge.” Because of the ledge, it’s more difficult to clean the teeth, and so plaque can build up. The accumulation of such deposits over time may cause the gradual deterioration of the teeth.

Financially, Lumineers can be pretty costly for an average person. Since they’re often treated as cosmetic appliances, they are usually not covered by dental insurance, although many clinics these days provide financing.

Reference:

  • American Dental Association
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