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Dentist Stained My Lumineers

March 13, 2018

dental patient smilingWhat do you do if your dentist does the opposite of what you asked for with your smile makeover? One of the things he and I discussed ahead of time is that I wanted a really white smile. Yet, when my Lumineers came back, it turns out he put a stain on them. I didn’t realize that until he’d already bonded them on because I didn’t get to see them. When I asked him why, he said it was so they would look natural. When I reminded him that I wanted a very white smile he told me that I had to trust as the dentist he knew what he was doing. I’m just not happy with this and I paid quite a bit of money to get the “smile of my dreams”. What do I do?

Catherine M.


Did Miley Cyrus Get Lumineers?

December 28, 2017

person smiling next to dental itemsMiley Cyrus seems to have a new smile that’s really pretty. Her old smile wasn’t bad, but this is much better. I was wondering if you could tell me if it’s Lumineers because I’ve been thinking of getting these.

Misty C.


Help! My Lumineers Don’t Match Each Other

August 29, 2017

Can you help me? I specifically decided on the Lumineers brand of veneers for my smile makeover because I didn’t want my teeth ground down. I’m worried I have a defective batch. When the dentist placed them on my teeth, I noticed two of the teeth didn’t match the others. They seemed a bit darker than the others. I mentioned it to the dentist right then, but he assured me it was just the lighting in his office. However, even when I got home they looked darker. I don’t know if it’s my imagination, but it seems like they’re still getting darker. What do I do?

Paula M.

Dear Paula,

Oklahoma City Lumineers

I don’t think the batch is defective. Instead, it sounds to me like the dentist didn’t get the bonding correct on the two that look discolored. Bear in mind that I haven’t actually examined you. I’m basing this on your description.

If the bonding wasn’t done properly a couple of things can happen. First, things can get trapped behind the veneer between that and your tooth. Lumineers are very thin. If there’s discoloration underneath it will show through. Secondly, whatever’s trapped behind the veneer will be a haven for bacteria and will lead to decay. Plus, without a secure bond, you risk the veneers coming off. Though in this case, falling off is a good thing, so they can be properly bonded.

It doesn’t sound like you have a highly skilled cosmetic dentist. Not only was the bonding not done properly on two of them, but he didn’t take your concern seriously enough in my opinion. A skilled, artistic cosmetic dentist will ALWAYS make sure the client is thrilled before permanently bonding on their work. Additionally, they allow the patient to look at the veneers in several different types of lighting to ensure they’re pleased with the results. Many also have a beautiful smile guarantee.

In this case, because they’re new and the dentist made an error (If my thoughts are correct) then he should be willing to replace them free of charge. They’ll have to be removed and new ones made if they break in the process of trying to remove them.

If he balks, you can get a second opinion from another cosmetic dentist. Don’t tell the second opinion doc who your dentist is, in case they’re buddies. If the second dentist agrees with my assumption then it will be easier to put pressure on your dentist to make things right.

There’s something I wanted to clear up. You mentioned you specifically chose the Lumineers brand over other porcelain veneers because you didn’t want your teeth ground down. Porcelain veneers, no matter what brand you use, do not require your teeth to be ground. You’re thinking of porcelain crowns. Because they surround your entire tooth, your teeth have to be ground down to almost nubs in order to make room for the crown.

Porcelain veneers only require very minimal shaving, about the depth of your fingernail. There is no visible difference between a shaved and unshaved tooth.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Don Swearingen.

Groupon for Lumineers

June 24, 2017

My wife grew up in a very abusive and neglectful family. While her mother was busy shooting herself up, my sweet wife took care of her siblings. From the time she was ten years old, she’s been an adult. Combine that with the fact that her family was very poor, you can imagine she has a hard time spending money. Her teeth have always embarrassed her. I love her smile, but I know it bothers her. I want to do something really special for her which she’d never do for herself. I’d like to get her a smile makeover. I think if I tell her it’s a Groupon, she’d do it. She thinks Groupon makes it okay to get something, because you’re saving so much money. Is it possible to do that? How does it work? I keep hearing about Lumineers on the television. I looked it up and they have a Groupon. I don’t know anything about cosmetic dentistry, so I’m not sure if Lumineers is what would make her feel as beautiful as she is.

Richard P.

Dear Richard,

What a fantastic way to honor your wife. Just from the short bit you’ve written, I can tell she’s an amazing woman. The type of woman who deserves to feel like a princess. However, I’m glad you wrote first. We’ll start with Groupon.

I’m certain the Groupon would require you to use a certain dentist. You’d want to research that dentist before you purchase anything. Is he (or she) a skilled cosmetic dentist? What type of results do they get? Maybe they’re new to smile makeovers. They could be using Groupon as a way of drawing in cosmetic patients to give them practice. There have been many smile makeover disasters where people spent thousands of dollars and wound up with a smile which looked worse than the one they came in with. You don’t want that happening to your long-suffering wife.

Next, let’s discuss Lumineers themselves. I’ll be honest with you. Lumineers are often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. So, many unskilled cosmetic dentists use them. In fact, some of the best cosmetic dentists do not like the Lumineers brand. This particular company requires dentists to use their lab. The skill of the lab is equally important to the skill of the dentist. I’ve known quite a few highly skilled dentists who feel this lab is sub-par, at best. She’d be better off with a different brand. Choosing a great dentist is the key. They’ll know which brands will fit your wife’s smile design best.

In your place, I’d research great cosmetic dentists in your area. Check out their smile galleries to see if you like the results they get. Do they offer a beautiful smile guarantee? If not, use someone else.

Then, bear in mind not everyone is a candidate for porcelain veneers. Your wife will need a consultation with the chosen dentist to 1. determine her candidacy and 2. discuss and design her dream smile.

She may not even need veneers to get a gorgeous smile. Maybe her teeth just need some straightening and whitening. In that case, I’d combine the Invisalign and teeth whitening procedures. These are fantastic treatments which don’t cost as much as veneers.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Don Swearingen

The Emergency Dentist Gave Me an Ugly Crown

April 14, 2017

I’m not sure what to do. I had a dental problem while my dentist was out of town. I went to an emergency dentist. The dentist and office were extremely kind, they worked me in without issue and were gentle the whole time. The only problem I have is the dental crown they gave me is horribly ugly. It doesn’t come near to matching my other teeth. It wouldn’t be a huge deal except it shows when I smile. Is there anything to be done?

Miranda M. – Georgia


It sounds like the emergency dentist is a decent family dentist, but not necessarily very good at the cosmetic side of things. It’s obvious he cares about patients, based on the way you described your office visit. Plus, he obviously makes time for non-established patients which also shows he cares.

Unfortunately, there is no way to change a crown once it has been bonded in. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with mismatched teeth. It can be replaced. The first thing I’d do is return to the dentist who initially did the work. Explain your concern. They’ll want you to be satisfied and may agree to replace it free of charge.

If they’re not interested in replacing it, then unless there is a functional problem with the crown, you may be out of luck in getting it changed for free.

Another option is to have your regular dentist look at the work. He may put pressure on the emergency dentist to make it right. Dentists do care about what their peers think. However, even if you don’t get any assistance from your dentist, you could go to another dentist and have the crown re-done.

Make sure whomever you go to the second time around has a good track record with cosmetics. You can look at the smile galleries they have on their website to get an idea of how beautiful (or ugly) their results are. Some dentists even have a beautiful smile guarantee.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Don Swearingen.

Will Lumineers Look Fake?

December 3, 2016

I want a smile makeover. I suggested Lumineers because you don’t have to remove any tooth structure. He told me it was a bad idea because everyone would know they were fake teeth. He said porcelain veneers were a problem and never look natural. Instead, he wants me to get dental crowns. He said they’ll look more natural. I don’t want an unnatural smile, but one of the reasons I suggested Lumineers was I didn’t want to remove healthy tooth structure. Dental Crowns remove even more tooth and my teeth are healthy. Is there another option?

Melissa – Michigan


The problem isn’t with porcelain veneers. The problem is your dentist. He is likely a very decent family dentist, but an absolutely horrible cosmetic dentist. He can work with crowns but has no real experience with porcelain veneers. So, instead of referring you to someone who can give you a gorgeous smile, he suggests a treatment he knows how to do. But, do you have any guarantee that it will be beautiful? I’d be willing to bet it won’t be. So, you’ll remove healthy tooth structure and end up with a subpar smile.

So, what do you do? I’d suggest you find a different dentist for your smile makeover. One who has a great deal of experience doing porcelain veneers. It doesn’t have to be Lumineers. In fact, you will likely get a more beautiful smile with a different brand. Ask to see before and after photos of their work. It would also help if they had some form of a beautiful smile guarantee.

I’m not suggesting you leave your dentist completely. Just don’t use him for cosmetic work.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Don  Swearingen.

My dentist stained my Lumineers

January 14, 2014

I’ve spent $15,000 on Lumineers and I hate them. My dentist and I went over what I wanted before he ordered them, but for some reason he put a stain on them. When I told him I didn’t like the stain, he said that was the only way they would look normal. Why would he do this?

Wendy S. – Pennsylvania


I can tell you why he did this, but it won’t help you fix it. Many dentists who “practice” cosmetic dentistry don’t really understand it. In dental school dentists are taught that the dentist knows best and that for a smile to look “natural”  there must be some stain on them.  However, true cosmetic dentists understand that what looks natural is the look the patient is striving for. If you wanted a bright white smile, you should get one.

Unfortunately, the only way to fix this is to have them re-done.  I know it probably makes you sick to hear that.

When you do get your Lumineers re-done, make sure you go to a dentist who listens to you.  Some dentists, like Dr. Swearingen, have what is known as a beautiful smile guarantee, where the Lumineers are not permanently bonded onto your teeth until you’ve had a chance to try them on and are sure you like them.

This blog is brought to you by Oklahoma City Dentist Dr. Don Swearingen.