Veneers vs. Lumineers

Dr. Mike DeldarChipped and Broken Teeth, Cosmetic Dentistry, Smile Dental, Smile Makeover

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Are you considering options for any dental work? Or are you about to see a cosmetic dentist? It’s important to understand the differences between closely related procedures. In this article, we will explain in detail the difference between veneers and Lumineers.

The Difference Between Veneers and Lumineers

Veneers and Lumineers serve the same function. They both mask teeth discoloration, chipped teeth, broken teeth, crooked teeth, and other imperfections that affect your physical appearance and your confidence. Even though veneers and Lumineers serve the same function, there are  important differences in applying them to your teeth. They are also different in nature. In some cases, how they feel and work in your mouth.Veneers can be made of composite material or porcelain.

In most cases, people choose porcelain veneers because they are stronger and longer lasting but composite veneers are a less expensive option. Porcelain veneers also have a more natural appearance than composite veneers. Lumineers are a specialized type of veneers that are always made of porcelain. Lumineers are also a trademarked name so you will always see this word capitalized. Typically, Lumineers are thinner than porcelain veneers, about 0.3 millimeters thick versus 0.5 millimeters thick. To give you a point of reference, contact lenses are about 0.3 millimeters thick, the same as Lumineers. Veneers would be almost double the thickness of a contact lens.

Prep Work with Veneers in Lumineers

The biggest difference between veneers and Lumineers is the prep work before they go on your teeth. With veneers, your teeth must first be contoured, shaped, and shaved before they application. In the process of doing so, a good portion of your protective tooth enamel will be removed and the attached veneers will replace this enamel in protecting your teeth from decay. On the other hand, your teeth do not need to be modified in order to apply Lumineers. Therefore, placing Lumineers is a far less invasive procedure which usually doesn’t even require a shot for pain. Furthermore, with Lumineers you retain your protective tooth enamel. This is especially important if you should choose to remove the Lumineers at some point in the future. In this case, you would still have your protective tooth enamel, unlike with veneers.

Veneers vs Lumineers vs Time

Another major difference between veneers and Lumineers is the time it takes for the complete procedure to be done. Lumineers can be placed in a single office visit because there is no tooth prep required in most instances. However, with veneers, tooth prep is done in one or more separate visits. You may also need to wear acrylic temporaries between visits with veneers.
The choice between veneers and Lumineers really must take into account the specific circumstances you are dealing with. Furthermore, only an in person consultation with a qualified dentist will reveal all the specific details you will need to consider for your specific circumstances. For example, if have discolored teeth, the thinner material of the Lumineers may not adequately mask this. Your bite and the specific placement of the Lumineers may also come into play. The shape of your teeth may also become an important factor.

Another issue to consider is how your teeth in question contour around the edge of the gum line. Since Lumineers cover your existing teeth with no modification, after they are covered with Lumineers, your teeth will be thicker. This could potentially make it harder for you to clean around the gum line. This will be a particularly important issue if you are prone to gum disease. With porcelain veneers, your cosmetic dentist can re-shape the tooth around the gum line to minimize this issue.

Putting it all together with your cosmetic dentist

After examining your teeth, your cosmetic dentist may want to discuss other issues with you as well. For example, if he or she sees any evidence that you grind your teeth, this may make adding veneers or Lumineers problematic in some cases. Your dentist may also discuss other options with you such as teeth whitening procedures or putting on an entire crown instead of veneers or Lumineers.

Everyone and every situation is different. This is important to consider to make the best decision.

If you would like more information about the difference between veneers and Lumineers, please schedule a free consultation.

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