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Can I Whiten Lumineers?

October 1, 2016

I recently got Lumineers. I’m mostly happy with them. They look good, but are not as white as I’d expected. My dentist says that’s because they’re intended to look natural and that’s as white as they get.  Is there a way I can whiten them? I know it sounds vain, but I got these because I wanted more of a Hollywood smile. It matches that in everything except the color.

Dania L. – Pennsylvania


You have every right to want your smile to look Hollywood. It’s not vanity. It’s about confidence.  Unfortunately, you went to the wrong dentist. It’s obvious from what you’re telling me that he doesn’t truly understand cosmetic dentistry.

We see this a lot in dentists who do Lumineers. They’re marketed to dentist’s who are inexperienced in the cosmetic procedures as being easy to place. Place, yes. Make beautiful, no.

While the shade he gave you may be the whitest “natural” shade. Lumineers, along with any other brand of porcelain veneers can look as white as you want them to look. There are a bunch of shades a cosmetic dentist works with that a family dentist dabbling in cosmetics would be unfamiliar with.

I wish I could tell you that you could whiten them, but any color changes would have had to been made before they were bonded on. Only natural tooth structure responds to teeth whitening. The Lumineers are stuck the color your dentist made them.

You could try to get a refund and then have them done by a more experienced cosmetic dentist. The fact that he told you they’re as white as they get, might give you some leverage.

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

Are there thin veneers besides Lumineers?

December 31, 2015

I want to get porcelain veneers. I don’t want Lumineers because I’ve heard so many bad things about them.  My dentist said if I don’t get them, my teeth will have to be ground down. I don’t want that either. Are there other thin veneers?

Miranda R. – Benton, AR


Your dentist is misleading you.  Your teeth don’t have to be “ground down” for porcelain veneers. That is what needs to happen for dental crowns. With porcelain veneers, there is only mild shaving; about the thickness of a fingernail. In fact, there is no real visible difference between the shaved on unshaved teeth.

I suspect your dentist is saying that because he doesn’t have the skill to do other brands. Lumineers are marketed to dentists as being super easier to place because they “require” no shaving. Unfortunately, that’s just not true in every case. Often they end up looking bulky.

There are other brands of ultra-thin veneers, but your best bet is to find a great cosmetic dentist. He’ll be able to give you the most suitable porcelain veneers to give you a gorgeous smile.

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