Veneers vs. Lumineers: What’s the Difference?

    veneers vs. lumineers
    1024 682 Golsen Family Dentistry

    Is your smile sending the right message about you?

    More Millennials aren’t smiling for that reason–a recent study found that bad teeth hinder 28% of young people in their job search. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be a Hollywood superstar to afford teeth that put your best foot (er, smile) forward.

    If you’re looking into cosmetic dentistry, veneers and Lumineers offer an easy solution to your smile self-esteem. But first, you have to know the difference between veneers vs. Lumineers to understand what you’re getting. Here’s what you need to know.

    What are Veneers?

    Veneers are often confused with crowns or dental implants, but they’re actually an entirely different animal. Crowns and dental implants are designed to cap or entirely replace a damaged tooth, but veneers, as the name implies, are more about appearance correction.

    Veneers are thin, custom-made shells bonded to the front of your teeth to hide flawed or damaged teeth. They’re designed to perfectly mimic the appearance of natural teeth while improving the aesthetics of your smile by making your teeth appear whiter, straighter, and more uniform.

    Veneers can be made of porcelain or resin. Either can mimic the light-reflecting properties of natural teeth, though porcelain veneers are more resistant to stains.

    What are Lumineers?

    Lumineers (not to be confused with the band of the same name, though you can certainly jam to their music during your procedure) are a specific brand of veneers. It’s the same basic premise: a wafer-thin shell covering your tooth for cosmetic purposes.

    Lumineers are a unique brand because of the procedure itself, not the shell. They’re less invasive than veneers and don’t require you to have your teeth shaved or reshaped prior to bonding. However, this also means that Lumineers can’t be used to dramatically change the shape of your teeth.

    Veneers vs. Lumineers

    When weighing veneers vs. Lumineers, you’re looking at two similar options. Either way, you’re getting a permanent mask for your teeth, used to hide minor imperfections such as:

    • Chipped teeth
    • Discoloration
    • Misshapen teeth
    • Irregularly shaped teeth
    • Reduce gaps and spacing
    • Renewing old dental work

    They’re not used like crowns or dental implants, which can entirely replace a damaged or a rotting tooth or retain the structural integrity of your jaw. Veneers and Lumineers are both purely cosmetic.

    Which option is right for your smile? Here’s how they stack up.

    How They’re Similar

    Veneers and Lumineers have more in common than most people realize.

    Whether you get Lumineers or veneers, you’re getting a quick, effective, permanent cosmetic solution to fix whatever concerns you about your teeth. The procedure used to bond them is also pretty similar. You can get prepped and have the procedure finished in just two visits.

    They’re not necessarily a must-have, but they are an option. If you’re trying to find confidence in your smile, both offer a way for you to fix imperfections and go out in the world to make a splash (without dramatically altering your teeth).

    How They’re Different

    The biggest difference, as we’ve noted, is the procedure itself.

    In order to prevent your teeth from looking unusually large with the veneers overlaid, your dentist will shave and shape your teeth, taking about 5mm or so off your teeth. It’s not much and won’t dramatically alter the shape of your teeth, but it will remove the protective enamel.

    As long as your veneers remain in place, your teeth will be protected. But if there’s ever a situation where your veneers have to be removed, your teeth will be unprotected. Some patients are concerned about veneers as a long-term solution for this reason.

    Unlike veneers, Lumineers don’t require your dentist to shave and reshape your tooth, which leaves your enamel intact. This is why Lumineers are so much thinner than veneers–they have to be in order to keep your teeth from looking oddly large. They’re only about as thick as a contact lens.

    That said, there is still a layer added over your teeth without shrinking the tooth first, which can make Lumineers feel a bit bulky to some patients. You have to find a dentist who really knows what they’re doing to make Lumineers look flawless and natural in your mouth.

    Advantages and Disadvantages

    Veneers have a clear advantage over Lumineers: you can dramatically alter the appearance of your teeth with a relatively simple procedure. People with under-sized teeth, incorrect spacing, or chipped teeth find them especially useful for that reason.

    On the other hand, because Lumineers don’t require your dentist to shave or reshape your teeth, they’re much less invasive and the procedure is easier to perform.

    That said, Lumineers should be viewed as a whitening solution more than anything else. They don’t change the shape of your teeth, which means they’re not practical for issues like spacing or chipped teeth.

    Some patients experience minor tooth sensitivity after getting veneers, but otherwise, the only real disadvantage to veneers is that the procedure is more invasive.

    Choosing the Right Dental Option for You

    The choice between veneers vs. Lumineers is mostly a question of what you’re hoping to fix. If you want a permanent tooth-whitening solution that leaves your tooth enamel intact, turn to Lumineers. If you’re looking for a more extensive fix, veneers are the way to go.

    Either way, we’re here to offer cosmetic dentistry solutions┬áthat work for your smile.

    If you’re a new patient, click here to take a look at our new patient forms. Or, if you’re ready to take the next step toward a brighter smile, schedule your appointment today.