Veneers and lumineers are very similar cosmetic procedures used to improve the appearance of a patient’s teeth. You might be wondering then, what are their advantages, differences, and most importantly, which one is right for you?
In this blog from Shook Family Dental, we’re going through the pros and cons of both procedures so you can make an informed decision before committing to either one.
Veneers are porcelain or composite resin shells that are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. They are typically only applied to the front eight teeth to correct cosmetic imperfections such as tooth discoloration, gaps, chips or cracks, worn down enamel, or to alter the size and shape of the teeth.
Veneers require filing down .5 mm of your natural tooth enamel (also known as enameloplasty) to prevent them from sticking out. This is because of the thickness of veneers, but this preparation also encourages the bonding process.
The alteration of your natural teeth is permanent and irreversible, so you will always have to keep them covered. Porcelain veneers last for 10-15 years, while composite resin veneers last for 4-8 years.
Lumineers are an ultra-thin version of traditional veneers exclusively made of porcelain. This thinness in the material of the lumineer makes quite a difference because they don’t require any tooth prep before bonding the lumineers to your teeth.
This means we don’t have to file down your tooth enamel, which makes lumineers reversible and doesn’t permanently alter your natural teeth. You can decide later on that you no longer want veneers and simply have them removed without affecting your natural teeth. Lumineers last much longer than veneers because they’re very durable, having a lifespan of 20 years.
Both veneers and lumineers correct cosmetic imperfections by covering up the teeth with porcelain shells. However, because lumineers are so thin, they’re not as adequate at covering up severe and noticeable imperfections like dark discoloration or severe chips. They also are more vulnerable to damage but can be repaired, unlike veneers.
The biggest difference between veneers and lumineers is the preparation involved. Lumineers are considered no-prep veneers because they’re so thin that we don’t have to file down your enamel.
Since veneers require shaving down your natural teeth, you will have to wear veneers for the rest of your life, while lumineers can be removed. Because lumineers require less prep work, they also involve fewer appointments, no need for temporary veneers, and cost less.
Veneers are ideal for patients who are looking for a high-quality solution to severe dental imperfections and understand that they are making a lifetime commitment. Lumineers are great for patients that want a reversible option that doesn’t permanently change their natural teeth.
These are also great for people with less time and who have a smaller budget. The best way to find out which cosmetic treatment is right for you is to come in for a consultation.
Do you have teeth that are stained, crooked, too small, oddly shaped, or have gaps? Lumineers and veneers can cover up these imperfections much longer than other cosmetic treatments. Contact us at Shook Family Dental today to schedule a consultation with Dr. John Shook.