Veneers Vs. Lumineers – What is the Difference?

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Dr Sukanya Goswami
Sukanya has done BDS. She is a dentist, a blogger, an extrovert, and a travel enthusiast. She is also a spiritual believer. When she is not working, you can find her reading books.

Veneers and lumineers are one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments that offer a natural-looking smile. Traditional veneers are usually made from porcelain and require minimal tooth preparation. On the other hand, lumineers are a type of veneers that are thin wafer-like shells of porcelain. Lumineers do not require any tooth preparation. (1)

Both of these dental procedures are well known to cover discolored teeth, bridge the gap between teeth, and a correct crooked smile. However, there are some benefits and side effects of both the procedures. This article will highlight the difference between veneers and lumineers.

What are veneers?

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Veneers are small porcelain shells that are used to cover the tooth surface to provide a natural-looking smile. Typically, veneers require minimal tooth preparation. The dentist then makes a mold of the prepared teeth and sends it to the lab for fabrication of the veneer. (2)

It usually takes around 2-4 weeks to make a set of veneers. Once the veneers are made, the dentist places the veneers over the prepared tooth surface and bonds it with dental cement. Some of the critical features of veneers are as follows –

Suitable for severely broken or discolored teeth

Veneers are most commonly used to cover teeth with intrinsic stains that are hard to be covered by a tooth filling. Additionally, veneers are ideal for broken or chipped teeth, unusually shaped or smaller than average teeth.

Stain-resistant

Veneers are made of porcelain, which is a porous material similar to the tooth enamel. Porcelain has an excellent stain-resistant property, which makes it durable and more natural-looking. However, in some cases, the edges of the veneer near the tooth contact may start to stain over five years or more. (3)

Durability

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Veneers are one of the most durable cosmetic dental treatments that can last for 8-10 years. Some traditional veneers even have a success rate of 20 years.

What are lumineers?

Lumineers are a brand of veneers that are typically thin and wafer-like shells of porcelain. They are also referred as no-prep veneers as they do not require tooth preparation for placement. Lumineers usually require a shorter dental appointment, and the treatment can be completed in two visits. Since tooth preparation is not necessary for lumineers, the dentist takes an impression of the dental arches and sends the mold to the lab. (4)

It takes around 2-4 weeks for the lumineers to be prepared and customized correctly. Once the lumineers are made, the dentist places them directly on the tooth surface and bonds them to the teeth with the bonding agent.

Translucent than veneers

Lumineers usually treat discolored teeth or unusually shaped teeth that require mild smile corrections. Lumineers are smooth, slick, and more translucent as compared to traditional veneers. Therefore, they provide better results and a more natural-looking smile. (5)

No tooth preparation

Because of the thin design, lumineers do not require tooth preparation as compared to traditional veneers. They are customized and placed directly on a clean tooth surface.

Durability

Lumineers typically claim to last for 10-20 years, which is longer than the longevity of traditional veneers.

Choosing between the two

The selection of lumineers and veneers depends on the needs of the patient and the type of dental problem. Moreover, the properties of both the veneers and lumineers are crucial for decision making.

Additionally, the cost of each procedure is the deciding factor for most people. Usually, traditional veneers may cost between $950 – $2500 per tooth. While the cost of lumineers may typically range between $800 – $2000. (6)

Insurance usually does not cover the cost of veneers or lumineers. However, you can always contact your insurance provider to check with the plan. Moreover, you can consult your dentist to look for a discount plan or offers.

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