Facts about Lumineers/No-Prep Porcelain Veneers
Manufacturers claim that no-tooth-preparation porcelain veneers, “prepless” dental veneers, can be a permanent solution to your aesthetic flaws: a painless solution from your dentist that can reshape, brighten, and whiten a smile. This type of dental veneer has a popular trade name known as Lumineers, but the truth is that any dental veneer lab or company has an ultra thin porcelain that can be used for prepless porcelain veneers. The difference between these and regular dental veneers placed by your dentist lies in the “no tooth preparation” part. So, unlike with regular dental veneers, removing part of the existing tooth is not necessary. Sounds good, right?
The problem is that—unless you have very specific circumstances like lots of gaps, or teeth that slant inward and need to built outward—you usually end up with bulky, fake-looking teeth. With porcelain veneers from Dr. Eshom, he can remove as little as half a millimeter from the existing tooth and replace it with porcelain so it looks natural. Typically, unprepared dental veneers simply look fake. This is not to say it should never be done, but dental veneer case selection is critical for success. That is where Dr. Eshom’s experience plays a priceless role.
Dr. Eshom has completed thousands of porcelain veneer cases, and his cosmetic dentistry is a testament to itself. His critical eye can discern where tooth structure would best be removed for a regular porcelain veneer and where no tooth structure removal would work just fine for your dental veneers. Dr. Eshom spends time with you to understand the final result you expect. He then calculates the exact teeth and surfaces needing recontouring to result in your expected smile. Many times, patients will come in needing dentistry that calls for some teeth that do not need tooth structure removed, but are combined with teeth that need reduction. Seldom can the whole smile be done with absolutely no tooth structure touched. Dr. Eshom knows that tooth structure is priceless and we pride ourselves in saving our patients from needless tooth structure removal.
Am I a Candidate for No-Prep Veneers?
There are certain instances where prepless, Lumineers-style dental veneers are definitely not advisable. For example, if you have dark teeth, the veneers will be too thin to block out the dark underlying color of the natural tooth, If attempted, prepless veneers will appear opaque or chalky. If you’ve ever seen a friend’s new veneers and noticed that they look like “Chicklets,” this is the reason why, and such choices give cosmetic dentistry a bad name. Unnatural-looking veneers are completely avoidable by going to an experienced and accredited dentist like Dr. David Eshom.
Another unadvisable condition is teeth that appear “bucked” or is angled outward from the mouth. Attempting prepless veneers on this type of smile would result in teeth that angle even further out of the mouth. If you’ve ever seen “Billy Bob” teeth at a novelty store, this gives you a good sense of how goofy prepless veneers would look on this type of smile. This, again, can be avoided by seeing an experienced cosmetic dentist like Dr. Eshom.
Common Problems with No-Prep Veneers
A common problem with prepless, Lumineer-type veneers is over-contoured or fat-looking teeth. Since there is no subtraction of tooth structure with prepless dental veneers, an addition is done with porcelain, and that often leads to unnaturally thick looking teeth. Letting an experienced dentist like Dr. Eshom look at your teeth before committing to this type of veneer is imperative.
Another common and artificial-looking mistake that is often committed by less experienced dentists is not paying attention to the separations of the teeth at the edges. These separations are called embrasures, and they are v-shaped notches between the teeth. These embrasures separate the teeth to make them look individual, rather than one big wide band of teeth. Dr. Eshom is trained in these nuances and makes the teeth look natural by placing the notches properly.
“Black triangles syndrome” is another common error in use of prepless dental veneers. This problem results when, in an attempt to save tooth structure, an inexperienced dentist does not cover the natural tooth at the gum line between teeth – leaving unappealing dark areas between the new porcelain veneers.
Lastly, and most importantly, is the error of not meeting the expectations of the patient. Inexperienced dentists will do prepless dental veneer cases and not make temporaries for the patient thinking they don’t need them. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Nothing can be further from the truth with porcelain veneer treatment. The temporaries communicate to the patient what the final result will look like. Patients need to see the “trial smile” in temporaries to evaluate the look, length, color, and feel. It is a nightmare for a patient to envision their smile one way and the dentist to bond the porcelain veneers, only to have the patient hate their appearance. Temporaries are vital to proper doctor/patient communication. Dr. Eshom never does a porcelain veneer case without his patients approving their temporaries.
The biggest problem with prepless dental veneers is that some dentists are overusing them and getting less-than-stellar results, due to poor case selection. Inexperience is a major contributing factor to poor dental veneer results. Talk to someone like Dr. David Eshom before you decide on a treatment that seems too good to be true. It will be a priceless decision on your way to your ideal smile.
Call our San Diego dental office today at (858) 455-9151 for a prepless porcelain veneers consultation or second opinion. With a choice this big, you’ll want to know you are in good hands.