There are times that it takes more than whitening to give you a beautiful smile. Sometimes the discoloration or stains on teeth do not respond to whitening, and teeth that are crooked, cracked, chipped, too small, unattractively arranged or have gaps between them can detract from your appearance. While porcelain veneers are the perfect solution for these types of issues, many people do not want to experience the drilling that is required for removing enamel from the original teeth in order to accommodate traditional porcelain veneers. When that is the case, Lumineers are the perfect choice.
Lumineers are made from glass ceramic that contains a high density of leucite crystals which results in a strong, durable veneer. Because these ultra-thin pieces of porcelain are only about one-third of a millimeter thick (about the thickness of a contact lense), they do not require the removal of enamel before they are placed on your teeth. And because enamel doesn't have to be removed, Lumineers can be put on your permanent teeth with a "no-drilling," pain-free placement process. They are also stronger than most of the other types of porcelain veneers, which contributes to their durability and long-term reliability for up to twenty years.
These thin veneers are used for front teeth and can be applied on as few as two teeth to as many as eight or ten teeth depending on the problem or problems the Lumineers are being used to correct. Lumineers can also be a viable alternative to braces when front teeth are slightly misaligned or have gaps between them. Because they are so thin and highly translucent, Lumineers recreate the appearance of natural enamel.
The whole process can be completed in two visits. In the first visit, impressions of your teeth are made and your dentist creates an exact mold of how your teeth will look after the process is completed, and together you and your dentist decide what shade of white is right for you. Once the mold is completed, it is sent to a dental laboratory where the Lumineers are made and shaped to the exact requirements that were determined by the impressions and mold created by your dentist.
Because no enamel is removed from your natural teeth in preparation for the Lumineers, it is not necessary for you to wear temporary veneers while your permanent ones are being created. Once the Lumineers are ready (typically within seven to ten working days), these porcelain wafers are bonded to your teeth in your dentist's office and look, feel and function naturally.
Once the Lumineers are placed, you will not experience any discomfort or sensitivity and your teeth will immediately look and function like your natural teeth. You will be able to drink and eat anything you want, the way you can with your natural teeth.
One of the prerequisites for having Lumineers placed is establishing and maintaining good oral hygiene habits because gum recession or bleeding gums that can occur from poor oral hygiene may interfere with the bonding process and can sometimes cause discoloration under the porcelain at the gum line.