My dentist restored my teeth with Lumineers a few years ago. I remember that he referred to the treatment as bonding. The entire “no-prep veneers” process was completed in his office, and it cost me quite a bit. I notice now that my veneers are discolored, and I did not expect this. Is there a way to remove the stains from them in an affordable manner? I have moved to a new city and cannot go back to the dentist who did this work.
– Tim from Ohio
We can understand your frustration. You wanted to improve the appearance of your smile and now the appearance of your teeth is a source of dissatisfaction. We hope to shed some light on your discoloration issues.
Bonding and no-prep veneers, or Lumineers, are actually two different treatments altogether. Although we do not use the Lumineers brand in our La Jolla practice, we know that they generally do not develop stains like natural enamel does. This is due to the non-porous characteristic of porcelain, which is what Lumineers are made from. Porcelain is also more stain-resistant than composite material, which is often used in the bonding of teeth.
From your description of chairside treatment, it sounds like your dentist did not place Lumineers, but that he bonded your teeth. Because the composite used in the bonding procedure can become discolored rather quickly, most cosmetic dentists consider this a temporary treatment rather than a permanent one. When stains accumulate on bonded teeth, the only solution is to have the discolored material removed and replaced. This may be done with more bonding, or by having veneers affixed. As you have unfortunately learned the hard way, bonding is a repetitive cycle. Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, can last several decades with proper care. Like bonding, porcelain veneers cannot be lightened with bleach, aka teeth whitening. Bleaching gel only works on enamel.
To reinstate a lighter shade to your teeth, you will make another investment into cosmetic dental treatment. Most offices, including ours, offer payment plans that make it possible for patients to attend to their dental concerns. Perhaps this will help you resolve your situation.
This blog is sponsored by San Diego cosmetic dentist Dr. Stephen Doan.