PROVIDENCE - Dentist Kenneth J. Rawlinson, who practices with
his sister, Robin, in Riverside, is giving his cosmetic dental
patients something to smile about: An alternative to the porcelain
veneers that were, until recently, one of the only ways to improve
the look and length of a person's pearly whites.
|Dentist Kenneth J. Rawlinson goes to work on
model Jayme Lynne Sooby. She said the procedure has made her
more confident and allows her to audition for things she
wouldn't have considered before. |
Called "Lumineers," the process involves very little filing of
the teeth to place a thin covering on each tooth that can rectify
cosmetic imperfections. The old process for putting on veneers
involved heavy filing to put a much thicker covering over the teeth:
Standard veneers were often a millimeter or thicker, whereas
Lumineers are between two and three tenths of a millimeter thick.
Filing teeth to accommodate veneers was a tricky process, as filing
involves exposing inner layers of the tooth, which can put patients
at risk for sensitivity and can also cause the veneers to pop off
after several years, as veneers bond best to the outer enamel of the
tooth, not the inner layers.
Hawaiian Tropic models Cynthia Hasson, of Wales, and Jayme Lynne
Sooby, of Texas, both had the procedure done with Dr. Rawlinson, and
both were happy with the results of what they both described as a
Ms. Hasson is a professional model in Wales who comes back to
America both as a tourist and as a working model. Dr. Rawlinson
approached her after a Hawaiian Tropic pageant in Las Vegas, where
he was a judge, and told her about the Lumineer procedure. Ms.
Hasson, who had always been less than satisfied with her smile – she
said she had issues with spacing and tooth length – booked an
appointment. The process of fitting her Lumineers took approximately
two hours, which Dr. Rawlinson said was a bit longer than usual.
"Dr. Rawlinson is quite a perfectionist," said Ms. Hasson, who
added that she would have sat for 10 hours if that was what it took.
A good smile, she said, can make or break getting a job.
"I've just been smiling non-stop," she said.
"I had very small teeth," said Ms. Sooby, who is Miss Indonesia
for Hawaiian Tropic, thanks to family roots in the country.
"I was called Chicklet teeth."
She had the procedure done to boost her confidence and give
herself what she described as a "healthy smile." Ms. Sooby is not
sure if her previous smile ever cost her a job, but she does know
that she never went to acting casting calls because she did not like
to speak in public, thereby missing out on job opportunities. And
"Now I'm going to pursue everything," she said.
It isn't cheap
The process is about a year and half old, but few dentists
perform the procedure. Dr. Rawlinson, who is the cosmetic dentist
for ABC6's Extreme Makeover, is one of the few in Rhode Island who
use Lumineers instead of veneers. The cost is steep: Approximately
$900 a tooth, which is not covered by insurance, and patients
usually get between four and eight teeth done.
"It's a lot of work," Dr. Rawlinson said, "and these things are
very tricky, to get them right."
"It's almost like putting a puzzle together," he said, of the
exacting positioning process. Of the entire procedure, he said,
"It's a small learning curve, but once you figure it out, it's
good." He expects more dentists will start doing the procedure as it
gets more popular and people start demanding it more.
Though the cost seems prohibitive, it's not a procedure in which
only the rich and beautiful are taking part.
"Far and away, 90 percent of the people who seek this out are
everyday people," said Dr. Rawlinson, who said the process can
change a person's outlook on life dramatically. Many people may be
self-conscious because of how their teeth look, and the procedure
can change that.
For more information on the Lumineer process or to find a dentist
in your area, visit http://www.cerinate.com/.
* Function: To cover the teeth and give a bright,
* Size: Between two and three tenths of a millimeter thick
* Cost: Approximately $900 per tooth; not covered by
* How many: Patients usually get between four and eight
* Info: For more information on the Lumineer process or to
find a dentist in your area, visit http://www.cerinate.com/
by kimberly harper