If your smile needs cosmetic restoration, and teeth whitening isn’t doing the trick, you might consider veneers. If you are looking at Lumineers vs. veneers of another material, here are some things you should know.
Lumineers vs. veneers: The basics
In general, veneers help restore a beautiful smile to otherwise healthy teeth. Whether you are replacing one tooth or restoring your whole smile, veneers are thin shells (in a variety of materials) that your dentist places over your teeth.
They can help address a variety of dental issues, including:
- Small gaps
- Stains that resist whitening
- Discoloration, on existing teeth or older restorations
- White spots on the enamel
- Cracked, chipped, or broken teeth
It’s important that your dentist treats any underlying dental issues or health conditions before placing veneers, as they are only appropriate for healthy teeth. On the other hand, dental crowns are used when natural teeth cannot be saved.
Examining the pros and cons of Lumineers vs. veneers is important before deciding which is right for you.
Lumineers: Pros and cons
Lumineers are a specific brand and variety of ceramic veneers. They are a beautiful option for a bright smile, but there are important pros and cons to consider.
Lumineers use a thin ceramic material made of leucite crystals. The material is approximately 0.2 millimeters thick, less than half of the thickness of regular veneers. This can create a better feel overall, as we’ll discuss.
In addition, since they are so thin, Lumineers can cover existing dental restorations that are still functionally sound and healthy, but no longer beautiful.
The procedure for veneers of any kind is straightforward. Your dentist will take a mold of your teeth and order the veneers. When they arrive, teeth are prepared and the veneers affixed to the natural tooth.
While procedures for both Lumineers and veneers can be done in two visits, there is less (if any tooth) preparation with Lumineers. This is due to the thinness of Lumineers, which requires less removal of the tooth to make the Lumineers feel natural and not bulky.
Since there is less removal of the natural tooth material, most patients do not require any type of anesthesia for a pain-free experience.
However, due to the placement of Lumineers right up against (or just below) the gumline, people with sensitive gums may not be good candidates. Because Lumineers need to be carefully contoured at the gumline, it’s important to work with a skilled and experienced dentist to get these done.
Lumineers can cost a bit more than other traditional veneers, with the estimated price range depending on a variety of factors, including where you live, the experience of the dentist you choose, your underlying tooth condition, and the amenities offered by the dental practice.
In some cases, your dental insurance may cover a portion of your veneers, so give them a call to learn more.
Lumineers provide a beautiful, natural look for your smile.. The thin material means that they don’t appear (or feel) bulky in your mouth. More light also bounces off the tooth surface, making your Lumineers look more like natural teeth.
However, the challenge of such a thin material becomes apparent if you are trying to cover deep stains or color-match other teeth. Lumineers may not cover teeth with deep stains, and even if they appear to match other teeth, the colors may not be exact.
With proper care, Lumineers can last 20 years or more. If you choose to remove your Lumineers before then, it is typically safe to do so because less tooth material is removed. This is a substantial pro of Lumineers: the preservation of your healthy natural teeth means that teeth do not need to be covered at all times.
It’s important to note, though, that teeth grinding and clenching can shorten the life of your Lumineers. This can cause them to splinter, crack, or de-bond from your teeth. If you have bruxism, talk to your dentist about a night guard or other option to protect your Lumineers from damage.
Your Lumineers are designed to function just like natural teeth. They are strong and durable, save for the cautions mentioned above.
Veneers pros and cons
Veneers come in a variety of materials that have their own set of pros and cons.
From composite material to e-Max to feldspathic veneers, talk to your dentist to see which one suits you, your budget, and your dental needs best.
The procedure for veneers is similar to Lumineers, with one big caveat. When receiving most types of veneers, it is necessary to remove more of the natural tooth material. Some types of veneers can be nearly twice as thick as Lumineers. More tooth material needs to be removed to fit them into your smile without feeling bulky or awkward.
This does mean that veneers are a “permanent” restoration in the sense that they must be kept in place at all times to protect your natural tooth. Put another way, once you get traditional veneers, your teeth must be covered by some sort of dental restoration.
The variety of veneer materials comes with a wide variety of prices.
On the low end are composite veneers that are meant to be a temporary solution. More expensive varieties can cost as much as Lumineers. Again, price fluctuations depend on factors such as location, the condition of your teeth.
As with cost, there is a spectrum when it comes to appearance, with the most expensive options usually giving the most natural look.
A big pro for veneers is that they are a great option for covering deep stains and discolorations. The extra thickness means that cosmetic damage does not show through the veneer as easily.
Additionally, veneers may be easier to color match to natural teeth.
Veneers on the higher end of the cost range will typically last longer than those on the lower end. Composite veneers are temporary and meant to be worn less than two years, but feldspathic, porcelain, and other types of ceramic veneers can last several decades with proper care.
Some of the thicker veneers are less likely to crack under the pressure of bruxism, but it is important to wear a night guard with these as well.
As with Lumineers, properly placed veneers will feel and function just like natural teeth.
What’s right for me?
Are veneers the best fit for your smile? Or, are Lumineers your better option?
Overall, a beautiful smile can help boost your confidence and raise your self-esteem. With a variety of options, cosmetic smile restoration can benefit anyone who needs it.
If you are still weighing Lumineers vs. veneers pros and cons, give AZ Dentist a call. We can help you decide what’s right for you!