LUMINEERSĀ® BY CERINATEĀ® are porcelain veneers that offer the painless way to a permanently whiter and perfectly aligned smile. Dr. Carlos Parajon can apply these contact lens-thin "smile shapers" to teeth without any grinding or shaving, transforming teeth into a naturally beautiful smile that looks perfect for every individual. LUMINEERS can even be placed over existing crown or bridgework without having to replace them.

Lumineers are a brand of Porcelain Veneers made by Den-Mat, a dental materials company in Santa Maria, California. They aren't a lot different from most other brands. Their selling point is that they are stronger than most other brands of veneers, so they can be made thinner. It is generally recommended that porcelain veneers be made a minimum of 0.5 millimeter thick, about the thickness of a fingernail. For Lumineers, they can go a little thinner, down to 0.3 millimeter

There are other brands of ultra-thin porcelain, and from what I have seen, the other brands are much more esthetic. If a dentist uses the Lumineers brand, because of trademark restrictions of the Den-Mat company, they have to be made in the Lumineers laboratory in California. Not only is this laboratory large and impersonal, but many expert cosmetic dentists feel that their work isn't of the highest esthetic quality. Other laboratories with other brands seem to give much nicer results. DURAthin is one of these other high-strength brands that can be made ultra-thin.

To me, the strength, while important, isn't the biggest issue in the choice of brands of porcelain. Lifelike beauty is more important. The reason is that a porcelain veneer gets its strength from being fused to the tooth with bonding technology. If it is bonded properly, it will not crack or break in function.

Thinness, however, makes it feasible to place Lumineers with a "no-prep" technique. In other words, Den-Mat is saying that the dentist doesn't have to shave away any tooth structure in order to place them. So is that a good idea - to not prepare the teeth before placing porcelain veneers?

Placing extra-thin porcelain veneers without any tooth preparation makes the artistry of a new smile makeover more difficult. Adding 0.3 millimeter to the thickness of the teeth can easily make them look bulky. They also have to be made about 2 millimeters longer. And they will end up with a rounded look, because they have to be feathered out on the sides. I haven't seen a case where that was the best look for the patient. So the question becomes, is the tradeoff worth it? Is the idea of not having your teeth prepared attractive enough to you that you will sacrifice the beauty of the smile design?

Another problem with a no-preparation technique is that you will likely end up with a slight ridge at the edge of the veneer. This ridge could attract stains and plaque. Or, it could irritate the gums.

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