Do I Have to Get Crowns or are Lumineers an Option?

I’m really confused. I have a gap. Not between my front teeth, like most people, but between the next two teeth on top, off to the right. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was in the middle, but with both sides not matching, it just looks odd. I researched online, and I think Lumineers are the best choice, because the dentist doesn’t have to trim down my tooth. But, when I talked to my dentist about it, I tried to keep an open mind, and told him that I was ok with normal veneers. He says he doesn’t do anything like that, and that Lumineers and all types of veneers have issues, so it’s best to just do a crown right away. Then, I asked him if he could do something like a filling, and he said they have the same issues as Lumineers. I really don’t want to get crowns, but if that’s the only way to fix it I guess I have to. Is this correct? — Tim

In a way, it’s sort of true. If your dentist says that his Lumineers and veneers are problematic, they probably are. Not every dentist is skilled enough to do cosmetic work at this level, and it sounds like your dentist fits into this category. Veneers, Lumineers, and other similar ultra-thin or no-prep veneers can last a long time. When done well, they can be replaced with the same restoration the next time around- they don’t always need to be remade into crowns as they age. Your dentist is probably a general dentist, as they tend to want to do crowns from the start. An expert cosmetic dentist, or even a general dentist with additional training and experience in cosmetic dentistry, would not try to dissuade you from having a less-invasive treatment done.

You have two real options. You can go with his recommendation, and get the crowns. Don’t try to get him to do Lumineers or anything else, because, as he said, it won’t end well. Or, you can visit a dentist who is experienced in cosmetic work, and get a second opinion on veneers of some type. Again, it’s advisable that you don’t try to pull a dentist in a direction he doesn’t want to go- you’ll get better results if you go with a dentist’s strengths. You may find that you’re just as happy with another type of ultra-thin veneers or traditional veneers, but be sure to check out photos of the doctor’s cosmetic work before you begin treatment.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Alana Macalik. For more information on the services she provides, visit her Arlington cosmetic dentist website.