I made the costly investment to have Lumineers made for my top front 6 teeth. I tried them on at the dentist’s office yesterday, but was terribly disappointed with them. The color was great and they were a definite improvement from my own stained teeth where the enamel had worn off. But their shape was so big and bulbous. I expressed my disappointment with the dentist and ended up leaving her office in tears without the Lumineers. She was completely unsympathetic to my feelings and told me that they were perfect. According to her, big rounded teeth are attractive and what I described as a desirable look for my teeth was something she strongly disagreed with. So here I am, $6000 later, with no Lumineers, a dentist that has no regard for my feelings, that I’m in total disagreement with…. yet she got paid and I’m left at a loss. If I insist that the dentist send them back for some “shape adjustment,” I’m concerned that she won’t properly convey my description. I also worry that any further work done on the delicate porcelain might compromise their durability? The dentist actually dropped one of them while she was placing them on my teeth and we had to look around for it on the floor—not sure if that would damage it. With all this information and knowing my discomfort with this particular dentist now, how would you recommend I proceed at this point? Thank you for your time!
—Nancy from California
We’re getting these sad Lumineers stories now. The ads make them sound so easy, but they really require a dentist who is an artist to do them right, and over 90% of the dentists who try these aren’t artists. The first rule for a true cosmetic dentist is to listen to the patient. It is just really low class as far as cosmetic dentistry goes for the dentist to be telling you what shape your teeth should be. But this is typical of the attitude that dentists are taught to have in dental school (see our page about the difference between a general dentist and a cosmetic dentist). A true cosmetic dentist will do some type of mock-up of the proposed shape for your teeth—either in wax or with an imaging computer—and will get your opinion of the shape of teeth you want before even starting a smile makeover. I don’t know if you’ll be able to get satisfaction here or not. But here’s what I’d suggest doing.
Go to one of the dentists on our list. You’re in a part of California where you’re within driving distance of several that we recommend. Pick one that you think you’ll get along with well, and get an opinion there about what can be done for you. Then see if that dentist will help you get a refund from the other dentist. It’s not likely you can get a full refund, but hopefully you can get a partial refund.
Luckily you don’t have the Lumineers placed yet, which means that the dentist hasn’t incurred that expense. That should give you additional leverage.
I’ll also say this. If your teeth are truly stained, it is unlikely that six Lumineers will look good on you. People show either eight or ten teeth when they smile. This is also typical of dentists who don’t have good training in cosmetic dentistry, to think that six teeth are enough for a smile makeover. Also, the Lumineers laboratory is famous for making teeth that look bulky. You may need a cosmetic dentist to go to a different brand of porcelain veneers to get these looking right.
Dental school teaches that the six teeth closest to the front are “anteriors,” and the rest of them are “posterior teeth.” So many dentists think that if they brighten the six “anterior teeth,” they’ve done their job. But then when you smile, you end up looking funny because you have these bright teeth next to the dark ones that show. So you might need to bleach first or do eight or ten porcelain veneers to get it to look right.
I hope this is helpful.
—Dr. David Hall
- Christie in Arizona has eight Lumineers. One is cracked, and another is stained.
- You can promote gum irritation with Lumineers, if they’re not done right.
- Some advertising is proclaiming that MAC veneers are the best. Dr. Hall explains why this isn’t accurate. He advises to pick the dentist, not the brand of porcelain.
- Click here to read Dr. Hall’s blog post about how to ask for a refund from your dentist.
- Some dentists are wanting to put Lumineers over crowns, if the crowns look old and may be showing a dark line at the gumline. Click the first link to read why Dr. Hall thinks it’s a bad idea to cover old crowns.
Click here for referral to an expert cosmetic dentist.
Click here to go back to the frequent questions about cosmetic dentistry page.