Tag Archives: Lumineers

Do I need to go out of town for a smile makeover?

I live in a small town. We do have a dentist and he said he could give me lumineers, but my sister is saying I’d be better off going to Atlanta for the makeover. That’s an hour and a half drive. Is it really worth that?

Amy D. – Georgia


If I were in your place, I would drive to Atlanta. I know it is a drive, but you’d only have to do it twice. I assure you it will likely make a huge difference.

If your dentist is saying he could give you lumineers it has me concerned. Many artistic cosmetic dentists feel that will not give you the beautiful smile you’re looking for. They often prefer other brands of porcelain veneers. Many inexperienced dentists place them because they’re marketed as being easy to place, but they tend to be bulky and opaque.

What you really want is a dentist who has expertise and an artistic eye.  It’s ideal if you can go to a dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

A dentist with that kind of skill will give you an absolutely stunning smile. If you’re ging to spend the money on a makeover, you want to make sure you get a gorgeous one.

This blog is brought to you by Lousiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Treating a huge tooth gap

If I have a large tooth gap. i measured it and it looks like it is a little over half a centimeter. if I wanted to treat that would it be better to do lumineers, dental  bonding, or something else?

Eric S.- Philadelphia


Which treatment you use will depend in part about how you feel about your teeth in general. Are you happy with the shape and color of your teeth, but just want to fix the gap? Do you want to fix your gap and whiten? Or do you not like anything about your teeth and want a complete smile makeover? The only thing you mentioned that I would definitively say no to is the dental bonding. It is just too large a gap for that to be an attractive solution.

If you’re happy with your teeth and just want to fix the gap, then I would recommend Invisalign. These will straighten your teeth in less than half the time of traditional braces. The best part is the aligners are invisible. Even at a conversational distance people will not be able to tell you are wearing them.  It is also possible to do teeth whitening at the same time.

However, if there are other things, such as the size and shape of your teeth, that you want to change, then you might want to consider porcelain veneers. I know you mentioned Lumineers. I don’t know if you are aware that they are just a brand of porcelain veneers. Most expert cosmetic dentists are not happy with the quality of their product. Let me give you a word of caution. A gap the size you mentioned is large enough to fit another tooth into. Because of this, if you choose any type of porcelain veneers you had really better make sure you are going to an expert cosmetic dentist. I wouldn’t go to anyone who wasn’t accredited (which is different from just a member) by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Only about the top 1% of dentists reach the level of accreditation. They’ll be able to handle a complicated case like yours.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Choosing between Lumineers and porcelain veneers

I’ve been thinking about getting my teeth fixed for a long time, and have started looking into what that will involve. My top middle teeth are poorly shaped, with one being really thin and almost triangular, and one that looks as if it had a big chip out of it, though it hasn’t. My other top teeth are not as noticeably weird, though I think if I get the middle ones done, they will look really bad in comparison.

I haven’t talked to my dentist about this yet, and have just started trying to look stuff up on the internet. There is so much information! I am having a hard time even figuring out what to look for.

As far as I can tell, probably Lumineers or porcelain veneers would work for me. But I read a lot of criticism about Lumineers, and wonder if I should maybe chose porcelain veneers. What would you suggest?

Philip in Louisville, KY

Dear Philip,

For best results, you’ll want to change your thinking a little bit. First, Lumineers are a brand of porcelain veneers, so it is kind of like asking if you should buy a Dell or a laptop. There are many brands of porcelain veneers, and trying to figure out what would work best for you would be both time-consuming and ultimately a little pointless. Rather than focusing on the materials you want for your smile makeover, concentrate your energy on choosing the right dentist.

Cosmetic dentistry is not a legally recognized sub-specialty, so anyone can say they do cosmetic dentistry procedures, regardless of training. Check references and credential carefully, and look for evidence of specialized training beyond dental school in the procedure that you wish to investigate. Look for before and after pictures on the dentist’s website.

Though we do want you to focus on choosing the dentist and letting the dentist choose the materials, we do have a word of caution about Lumineers. Many cosmetic dentists refuse to use them, because they can appear pasty and opaque, and the no-prep technique can result in a bulky look and feel. That being said, some dentists have used them to create really beautiful smile makeovers. The choice will be up to your dentist.

One of my teeth is turning dark

When I was a kid I got hit in the mouth by a wooden swing. It chipped the corner of my tooth off, and for all these years I’ve had a small filling that was apparently very well done, according to all the dentists I have seen. Now that I am considerably older, though, that tooth is starting to get dark. I noticed it starting several years ago and it has been happening very slowly, but now it is quite noticeable.

This is making me pretty self-conscious. I talked to my dentist about Lumineers, but he said there have been problems with that kind of porcelain veneer. He also said that he was reluctant to do a porcelain crown, because the canal has calcified and the structure wouldn’t be strong enough.

He really told me all about what he didn’t want to do, and didn’t offer a solution. Do you have any suggestions?


Cody in Los Angeles, CA

Dear Cody,

From the sounds of it, your dentist is uncomfortable with cosmetic procedures. It is actually a good thing that he is not offering to do procedures that he is not comfortable with, as that could have an unhappy result. Ask your dentist to refer you to a cosmetic dentist, one who has the training and experience necessary to do a really beautiful job for you.

A single porcelain veneer or even direct dental bonding would be very viable solutions to your problem, in the hands of the right cosmetic dentist. There is no reason you can’t go to a different dentist for this cosmetic procedure, and stay with your regular dentist for cleanings and regular care.

Lafayette Louisiana cosmetic dentist Dr. Mike Malone’s office provides this blog as a courtesy.

My porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are ugly

For more than twenty years I have had crowns on my two front teeth. They are porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, as was normally placed back in the day. They have never looked all that great, but in recent years they have really started to look terrible. There is a dark line right where the crowns meet my teeth, and it is really noticeable because  I have a really big smile.

Is there anything that can be done to get rid of that line? If I have to replace the porcelain crowns, do you think Lumineers would work for me?

I appreciate your help with this.

Mallory from New Haven, CT

 Dear Mallory,

There really is not anything that can be done to disguise that black line, which as you have pointed out is one of the major drawbacks of porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. You also touched a little on the other issue with porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns when used for front teeth — they don’t look very good. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are too opaque to look realistic in the front teeth.

You will need to get them replaced with porcelain crowns, and Lumineers might be an option. But the best advice I can give you is to see an experienced, artistic cosmetic dentist for this procedure. Any dentist can claim to do cosmetic dentistry, but you’ll want one who has training, experience and talent. Smile makeovers require a rare balance of artistry and science, and only a small percentage of dentists have it. Make sure you choose the right professional, and you may have a smile you love for the first time in many years.

This blog brought to you courtesy of Dr. Mike Malone, Lafayette Louisiana cosmetic dentist.