Applications for no-prep Lumineers®.
Success has a lot to do with proper case selection.
Most people who know about no-drill, no-shots Lumineers® placement do so because of the advertisements they have seen. Advertising can, however, lead a consumer to form unrealistic expectations.
Most people understandably draw the conclusion that the use of this technique can be used with them. And while in theory this may be true, any dentist can tell you there's often quite a bit of difference between what's technically possible and what's in the patient's best interest.
When does this option make a good choice? / Who makes the ideal candidate?
The following topics explain issues associated with making the decision to have no-prep Lumineers® placed.
- Ideal pre-treatment conditions.
- Not being the perfect candidate doesn't mean you can't have veneers placed.
- Resurfacing existing dental work.
- Potential complications associated with no-prep veneer placement.
- Bulky teeth.
- Inability to create a life-like result.
Initial conditions that favor the placement of Lumineers® using "no drilling" technique.
The difficulty associated with placing a veneer without trimming the tooth back first is that the tooth will end up being some degree larger.
In order to avoid the situation where this change is enough to create problems, the dentist looks for applications that:
- Only require the thinnest veneer possible.
- Use this size increase as an asset.
Favorable pre-treatment conditions.
In general, here's the kind of situations that make the most ideal applications for no-drill Lumineers® (and an explanation why).
A) Teeth that just require minor cosmetic or color improvement.
The whole premise associated with placing a veneer is that it's opaque enough to mask (hide) the cosmetic imperfections of the tooth underneath. Here's how this is accomplished:
Option #1: Translucent veneers.
If a veneer is made out of relatively translucent porcelain (doing so will give it a more life-like appearance), it will need to be comparatively thicker. (This is the approach used with conventional veneers.)
Option #2: Opaque veneers.
If the veneer must be ultra-thin (like needed for no-drilling applications), the only way to get the needed masking effect is to use porcelain that's relatively opaque.
More opaque veneers, however, typically look more artificial. (This is a criticism of Lumineers® in general. We discuss it here.)
By limiting the use of no-drill technique to just cases where only a minimal change is needed (such as making a small color change or masking minor cosmetic imperfections), the Lumineers® can be both ultra-thin yet comparatively more translucent (win-win).
B) Teeth that are already fairly straight.
Veneers can be used to improve the apparent alignment of teeth. But doing so may require relatively thick veneers, which may create problems. (We illustrate and explain this issue here.)
By choosing cases where the teeth simply need to be resurfaced, as opposed to being reshaped, the veneers can be as ultra-thin as possible.
C) Tooth gaps. / Small or inclined teeth.
Since placing no-prep Lumineers® will increase the size of the patient's teeth, dentists look for applications where this can be used to an advantage.
Patients who have relatively small teeth, especially those that have gaps between them, often make ideal candidates for no-tooth preparation veneers.
The same goes for people whose teeth are slightly lingually inclined (tip inward somewhat as opposed to being bucked). In these cases, the added thickness of the veneer helps to create the change that's wanted.
Just because you're not the ideal candidate doesn't mean you can't have veneers.
Even if your dentist determines that your situation really isn't the perfect one for a no-drill approach, that doesn't necessarily mean that you can't have porcelain veneers placed.
Option #1: Traditional veneers.
It may just mean that conventional veneers make the better choice, in terms of creating a more natural appearance or one that makes maintaining proper dental health easier.
Option #2: Going ahead with no-prep Lumineers®.
For some people, the convenience or dental-fear benefits of no-drill technique may outweigh a slightly less-than-ideal outcome. This can be a reasonable trade-off when it comes to cosmetic appearance. Lots of people seem to make this choice.
With other types of problems, placing no-prep veneers when less-than-ideal conditions exist can be rationalized. But discuss this matter thoroughly with your dentist. It probably doesn't make the best choice.
Rejuvenating the appearance of porcelain dental work with Lumineers®.
Lumineers® can be used as a way to extend the life of porcelain-surfaced crowns and bridges that are no longer cosmetically pleasing.
The idea is simply one where the veneer is bonded onto the front surface of the restoration, thus giving it with a rejuvenated look.
Since the Lumineer® will only provide a cosmetic change, the dentist must examine the dental work in question and determine that it is otherwise intact and clinically satisfactory.
Is using this technique a good idea?
One needs to keep in mind that this is patchwork dentistry. Instead of having a restoration that's just a single entity created in the controlled environment of a dental laboratory, you'll have "a restoration placed on a restoration" that's been put together in your mouth.
a) Dental Crowns
If your dentist suggests this repair for an individual crown, ask about their rationale. They may have good reasons but in many cases your costs and number of appointments needed may be about the same for either approach, with the crown remake having the more predictable long-term outlook.
b) Dental Bridges
It's easier to see the potential benefits of this technique when bridgework is involved. Veneering just one or a few teeth that spoil the appearance of an extensive bridge might offer a reasonable solution, at just a portion of the cost of replacing it.