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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.

Help! My Emergency Dentist Thinks I am Crazy

February 13, 2017

I don’t know what to do. I went to an emergency dentist because of tooth pain. He decided I needed a root canal, which I agreed to. However, it’s a month later and it still hurts. I went back to see him. He did an x-ray and said nothing is wrong. I insisted I was in pain and he suggested I see a neurologist. Can you believe that?

Abbey – Baltimore


It might not be that the emergency dentist thinks you’re crazy, though certainly his chairside manner needs some work.

It might be that he thinks you have some nerve damage. A neurologist could help determine that. However, before you do that I’d take two other steps.

First, get a second opinion. It may be that this dentist missed something. It’s common for a root canal treatment to need more than one go. Have your regular dentist take a look to make sure the emergency dentist didn’t miss anything.

The next thing I would do before seeing a neurologist is to see your primary care physician. Your sinuses are very close to the roots of your teeth. It’s possible you have sinusitis and the pain is referring to your teeth.

If neither of those reveal anything then a neurologist might be your next visit.

Hope this puts your mind at ease.

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

Being overtreated

July 16, 2013

I had some dental bonding done on two of my front teeth in order to whiten my teeth. It’s been a few years and I’ve moved. The bonding has worn out and started chipping.  My new dentist said I really need to get porcelain crowns to fix the teeth. I know I am not a dentist, but that seems like a real overtreatment.

Alexis M.- New Mexico


Your gut instinct is right. Though, I am a little confused as to why your previous dentist did bonding to whiten your teeth. Why not just do professional teeth whitening?  Is there something specifically wrong with your case? Have you had root canals on those teeth? Are they tetracycline stained?

Whatever you do, don’t do porcelain crowns. In order to fit crowns over your teeth, they will have to be ground down almost to stubs. Why do that to healthy teeth?

IF there is some reason why you can’t just do teeth whitening, it is very possible you can have porcelain veneers placed on the teeth. I recommend you have an expert cosmetic dentist look at your teeth and give their recommendations.

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