One of the hottest topics in dentistry today is Lumineers. Another word for Lumineers is prepless veneers. What are prepless veneers? Prepless veneers have been around for years and just recently have become more of a topic because of dental manufacturing companies have been marketing them quite a bit. You may have heard of the word Lumineers. We have a lot of patients come in to our office and asking about Lumineers and we explain to them what that means. Typically a prepless design truly is where the dentist would not have to alter the natural tooth at all and that the lab technician would have created some laminates or veneers; very, very thin veneers. Sometimes these veneers are as fine as point two millimeters, as thin as that, to directly bind over your natural tooth. To be able to do it this way without altering the natural tooth at all, is pretty rare. It is rare that we find the tooth or the patient that would be a good candidate for the true prepless veneers.
Realistically, when we are seeing a patient we discuss minimal prep veneers, to reduce just a very little bit of tooth structure in order to create enough room to have a more natural looking smile. What has happened in the past was, in order to add depth or translucency or more of a natural aesthetic looking smile, dentists were aggressively preparing teeth so that meant we needed to apply anesthetic, get the numb feeling, reduce enough tooth structures so the lab technician could build back in the porcelain color that you like and the translucency and more of the natural appearance. Now we go to the prepless deigns or minimal prep Lumineers, we are doing a thinner veneer so we do have our hands tied in the way that we can’t build in as much natural translucency but we can change the color may be one whole shade.
Now we need to ask, what does the patient want? What are the expectations and that comes down to communication between patient and the dentist. Dentists want to give you natural looking teeth. We want to have the aesthetic on look and it can be lighter color of course but we want it to look natural. We seem to have a lot of patients come to us that want really white, white teeth, may be opaque looking like a picket fence. But to be honest, that doesn’t look real, so it really comes down to a communication between the patient and the dentist and also between the lab technician. Any good dentist that works with a laboratory technician will have planned your case, planned the case before it is even started. So that means getting photographs, models of, replicas of your teeth and working with the laboratory technician and with communication with the patient to ask how we want the teeth shaped. Are we shaping the shape with the new veneers, the new Lumineers? What are we changing and why are we changing it, how are we changing it? So if our end result is to be successful, all this needs to be taken into consideration with a good communication and discuss expectations.
Lumineers is just a name brand and there are many different name brands of prepless veneers or minimal prep veneers that we have on the market today. So it really comes down to the dentist and the technician they work with and what porcelains they like to work with. We hear the word Lumineers a lot and that is a great company and a great product but there are many others that do just good job and so it really comes down to what you and your dentist decide that would work best for you.
When we are talking about technicians, in our office, we only work with the best technicians. Typically the best comes with a price. You are looking at a little bit more of a cost when you talking about using the top end technicians to recreate a natural looking smile, a white natural looking smile. When we are talking about using a technician or a dentist, we must be careful about price shopping. Technicians that are at this level are skilled. You are really working with an artist that can recreate a smile that is either a natural looking smile or the opaque, ultra white looking teeth. We work with the best lab technicians and the best lab technicians can really recreate the smile with proper porcelains whether it be Lumineers or any other porcelain product and really give us the smile, give us the best end result that we are looking for.
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