Lumineers Vs. Veneers: What is Right for You?

Lumineers and veneers are essentially a tooth-like coating applied on the frontal surface of the teeth in order to mask dental imperfections. Scroll down to know more about these cosmetic improvements that help correct unsightly teeth and revitalize your smile.
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Use of veneers and lumineers
Did You Know?
Some dentists always prefer veneers over lumineers because they allow greater flexibility to create an optimal smile.

Lumineers and veneers are popular dental procedures used to create a more attractive smile. Both coatings are wafer-thin sheets of white porcelain that are attached on the surface of the teeth. As a result, after the procedure, we notice a complete transformation in the smile that is cleaner, brighter, and more beautiful. The following Buzzle article discusses the difference between these two dental procedures that are the most sought-after methods for improving the smile.

Lumineers Vs. Veneers

Thickness
The thickness of lumineers is what makes them stand out from traditional veneers. Lumineers are so thin that even light can easily pass through them. The thickness may vary from 0.2 mm to 0.3 mm. In short, lumineers are ultra thin, and their thickness is more or less the same as that of contact lenses.
On the other hand, it is observed that traditional veneers are twice as thick as lumineers. They are usually 0.5 mm to 0.7 mm thick.
Placement
Conventional placement of veneers involves altering the shape of the veneers. Before attaching the veener, the tooth is reshaped so that it fits properly. The amount of tooth to be shaved is equal to the thickness of the veneer that is being bonded. This ensures the size of the tooth does not change after placing the veneer.
However, in case of lumineers, trimming the tooth is not required. This is because lumineers are ultra thin, making it unnecessary to trim the teeth. Thus, with lumineers, a proper fit can be achieved even without reshaping the tooth.
Technique
As lumineers do not require any trimming of teeth, dentists employ a no-drill technique to fix the lumineers. No wonder, lumineers are also referred to as no-drill veneers. So, with no drilling required, the procedure of attaching lumineers is far easier than that of traditional veneers.
On the other hand, when resolving dental problems with veeners, drilling is done to reduce the thickness of the teeth. Directly applying the veneers without drilling will make the teeth appear larger than their normal size. Thus, one can say that drilling prepares the teeth for coating with veneers.
Anesthesia
A person who opts for lumineers is not given any local anesthesia because the procedure is non-invasive and offers a painless way to fix minor dental imperfections.
On the other hand, fixing veneers requires local anesthesia, which numbs the area and keeps the patient pain-free during the procedure.
Temporary Veneers
As lumineers require no initial reshaping or trimming of original teeth, the patient does not have to wear any temporary veneers.
In case of conventional veneers, unless and until custom-designed veneers are made at the lab, the patient is advised to wear temporary or removable veneers.
Cost
You will have to spend more money in case you decide to fix lumineers. These ultra-thin coverings are made from special porcelain material, and therefore, they tend to be costlier than conventional veneers. Dental veneers can cost anywhere between $730 and $1300.
In comparison with lumineers, the price of veneers can range between $800 to $1500.

Which One is Right for You?
  • It all depends on the dental problem you are facing. In case you want to fill wide gaps between teeth or straighten extremely crowded teeth, veneers are a better option. Lumineers, on the other hand, are used to correct a chipped, broken tooth and even change the color of teeth.
  • Expert opinions, however, are mixed as far as the usage of lumineers is concerned. Some of the dentists assert that though lumineers are extremely thin, the teeth after application look oversized, which can be observed even by the most casual viewer. The teeth may appear slightly bulkier, causing noticeable loss of natural shape of teeth. If the procedure is carried by an inexperienced dentist, then the teeth may look too bulky and long, resulting in an overbite.
  • Also, fixing lumineers may not be suitable for those with uneven crooked teeth or dark tooth stains. This is because, darker staining of teeth may be difficult to mask with ultra-thin lumineers. In case, opaque material is added to lumineers in order to increase their thickness, they do not appear like natural teeth. So, generally, lumineers are used for concealing minor stains and slightly misaligned teeth.
  • In some cases, it may be necessary to slightly trim the teeth before fixing lumineers so that after application, the teeth do not appear excessively thick.
  • Also, if the procedure is not done properly, it can cause a thicker edge at the gum line, which can lead to gingival inflammation. There have been a few reports of gum irritation, staining, and plaque buildup in people with lumineers.
  • Patients have also complained about lumineer color receding 4 - 8 years after application. So, dentists caution that one should be very particular about oral hygiene to maintain the appearance of lumineers for as long as possible.
As far as the final result of the procedure is concerned, veneers tend to have an edge over lumineers. The initial preparation of teeth required in fixing veneers gives a better opportunity to create a natural appearance to the teeth. The reshaping of teeth actually helps in getting that natural-looking smile.

On the whole, it is best to consult an experienced dentist to know the dental restorative material that works. After examining your dental issue, the dentist will recommend the type of veneer that best suits your purpose.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical professional.
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Published: May 3, 2014
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