My son is about to graduate. I promised him I’d fix his teeth for graduation. I’d like him to get orthodontics but he went to see someone who suggested he should get 18 Lumineers. That will cost a small fortune. I did agree to fix his smile, but I’m thinking he needs a permanent solution. The dentist told him Lumineers will last 20 years. I know that sounds like a long time to a graduate, but it’s really not and then he’ll have to pay to have it re-done. What do you recommend?
I’m very glad you wrote. I’m afraid whoever your son spoke with is taking advantage of his youthful impatience. Lumineers is a brand of porcelain veneers. We don’t usually place veneers on a bottom arch. Instead, we whiten them to match the veneers. He’s suggesting way more veneers then is necessary, therefore bilking you out of quite a bit of money.
Additionally, many skilled cosmetic dentists don’t feel like the Lumineers brand creates the best smiles. They’re often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists. You shouldn’t trust your smile to this man. First, I don’t feel he’s being honest. Second, I doubt his skills as a cosmetic dentist if he’s suggesting Lumineers.
Smile Makeover Options for Your Graduate
Invisalign and Teeth Whitening
This would honestly be my suggestion for your son if his teeth are otherwise attractive. Invisalign can straighten his teeth permanently. But, it has many advantages over traditional braces. First, they’re invisible, even at a conversational distance. Second, they’re much more comfortable and finally, they can work in half the time of their metal forefathers.
If you combine that with teeth whitening, it’s like getting a smile makeover. But, it will be a permanent solution. Lumineers (or even other brands of porcelain veneers) do not have a guaranteed lifespan. This dentist said 20 years. He has no way of knowing that. Careful maintenance is required. If your son doesn’t care for them, they can last as few as 4 or 5 years. If the dentist is great and your son cares for them impeccably, they could last longer than 20 years.
This would only be a recommendation in your son’s case if there were other things about your son’s smile that needed to be fixed aside from some straightening and whitening. Let’s say, for instance, that the shape or size of his teeth were not attractive. In that case, I can see porcelain veneers being useful to him. But, if you do decide that, choose a different dentist. Also, make sure they have a beautiful smile guarantee.
This blog is brought to you by Kalamazoo cosmetic dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.