Don't Panic! - Houston, TX
My Story and The Procedure So I had been...
So I had been contimplating veneers for awhile until I found out that they grind your teeth to stumps. Then I found out about lumineers and the fact the it is just cover which could be removed if you wished to have it removed. I have wanted to get this procedure done for years but, never really committed. My teeth were stained from having braces as a child. My teeth were fine, prefectly straight but, as the perfectionist I am, I absolutely hated the small stains. I finally went in for a consultation and everything began to fall into place. I chose to only do the top 8 teeth as my bottom teeth are not strained and are straight. I was given a substantial decrease in cost for being the first lumineer patient for that month and it seemed all well and good. I was told I was a perfect and easy candidate being that my gums were healthy and proportioned and my teeth were straight. I was given a small gingivectomy above one of my teeth to make my gums perfectly even (a gingivectomy is a process where if you have too much gum or uneven gums, they use a laser to remove it and make them perfect. It is easy and painless). They have you choose the color of lumineer which best suits you and show you the color of your teeth now in comparision. I went for the 2nd shade from the whitest because I wanted them to be natural. Once you get them put on you also choose your color of bonding which can make the darker or brighter. I chose the darker again for the more natural look. They then took pictures and impressions of my teeth to send off to the lab. Normally lumineers can take 4 weeks to get back from the lab. Most dentist offices get a rush package (once a month) and will receive them back in 2 weeks. I was given the rush package. When I scheduled my appointment I also scheduled a cleaning before to make sure that my teeth we cleaned before the lumineers went on, I would also recommend doing that to ensure the health of your natural teeth. The process of getting the lumineers put on was fairly simple. I know that some have explained that their natural teeth were filed down before and so were mine but it was minor and nothing too drastic. It helps the lumineers lay flat and doesn't hurt or alter too much of the look of your natural teeth. Your teeth are coated with some chemical and then each lumineer is applied with the bonding. The dentist will then use a machine which helps tighten and dry the bond. We will clean them up a bit and you are all done. After that process they will take a mold of your teeth for your mouth guard which is much like a retainer which will help your lumineers while you sleep. I was also given bleaching viles and trays for my bottom teeth and was scheduled for an appointment to get the excess bonding removed between each tooth (they let the bond set for a week before removing this). Then they sent on my way.
Now for the harsh reality...
Lumineers are NOT a cover that will look exactly like your natural teeth. The labs do studies for what the most appealing smile is and will make your lumineers just like that down to every milimeter. After I saw myself in the mirror... I cried. I was devastated. I had huge horse teeth which looked like fake dentures in my mouth. It was terrible. It felt like I was wearing a mouth piece. I will not lie I hid my teeth as best I could. I finally gave in and called the dentist and they said that this action is normal and that once they take the bonding out it will feel less solid and more like real teeth. I also mentioned how unhappy I was with the size and length which I was told could be fixed once my bonding was removed. It took me a few days to finally get passed it and go about my life as normal. Once my week was finished and I went in they removed the bonding and filed them down and I could not be happier. They are perfect and so much more natural and better, hence my title, "Don't Panic".
If you do choose to get them done please be prepared for a week of awkwardness and ALWAYS go back and get them filed down to your liking. The lab adds extra to your lumineers for the purpose of shaping and filing.