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Lumineers for Tetracycline Stains

I went to a cosmetic dentist to get porcelain veneers for tetracycline stains. He said if I got porcelain veneers they would have to grind my teeth down. Instead, he suggested I get Lumineers. Will those work for me or do I need something else? I want a smile I can be proud of. I’ve spent years hiding my teeth.


Dear Katie,

A porcelain veneer being placed

I am going to implore you to get a different dentist to work on your smile makeover. He is drastically under qualified for this. I say this without knowing who he is for a couple of reasons. One, he implied you would have to grind your teeth down in order to get porcelain veneers. That’s is profoundly untrue. The only thing which requires the grinding down of your teeth is if you needed to get dental crowns.

Porcelain veneers are thin wafers of porcelain. Lumineers is one particular brand of porcelain veneers. They’re highly marketed to inexperienced dentists as being easy to place because they’re considered ultra-thin and not requiring any tooth preparation. Truthfully, the amount of tooth preparation is so minimal for traditional porcelain veneers, you’d hardly notice it. Plus, they are a much better option for tetracycline stains for a couple of reasons.

First, for the tetracycline stains to be adequately covered, the veneers need to wrap around to the tooth a little. Otherwise, there will be this dark halo effect. They only way for that to happen is for the veneers to wrap around the tooth a little. That requires some tooth preparation.

Another issue is the Lumineers aren’t thick enough. The tetracycline stains will shine through creating a grayish look or your dentist will have to make them so opaque, they’ll look chalky white and fake.

You should be aware that tetracycline stains are among the most challenging type of cosmetic cases a dentist can get. It requires an expert cosmetic dentist. Yours isn’t one. This will end up as just another cosmetic dentistry horror story.

I’m going to suggest you go to the mynewsmile.com website. This site specifically screens dentists for their cosmetic training, technical knowledge, skill, and artistry. They cannot simply pay to be listed. I wouldn’t consider a dentist who isn’t listed on that site to do your smile makeover.

This blog is brought to you by Naperville Cosmetic Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.