When it comes to Veneers vs. Lumineers, which option is better? Unfortunately, the answer is not black and white, and many factors must be considered. Below is everything you need to know about these procedures and how they differ.
Do you have damaged or discolored teeth? Are you looking to cover minor imperfections? Veneers are custom-made shells placed over darkened or broken teeth, resulting in a glossy, pearly white smile.
Usually made of porcelain, these babies are beautiful and durable. However, they can require a considerable amount of prep work before placement.
There is another brand of veneer called lumineers. Not all dentists use this brand, but it does cost less, and the procedure is quicker.
Facts about Veneers
Veneers are tooth-colored shells that your dentist can place over your damaged or broken teeth to provide a perfect bright smile.
The duration of treatment is Lengthy.
There is a lot of prep work that goes into placing veneers. First, you will need an initial consultation with your dentist, who will reshape the teeth, preparing them for the shells’ placement.
After reshaping, your dentist will cast your teeth, and you will receive a temporary set of veneers while the lab makes your permanent ones; it will take 14 days to a month to manufacture.
Once they are ready, your dentist will schedule your placement appointment. This appointment is lengthy, especially if you apply multiple veneers, and can take several hours. Next, your dentist uses a special adhesive to place and cement the veneers.
What Problems Veneers Can Fix
There are multiple issues veneers can fix:
- Discolored teeth are caused by root canals, medication, big resin fillings, and excessive fluoride
- Gaps between the teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Teeth that have deteriorated
- Misaligned and uneven teeth
They are Less Susceptible to Staining
Veneers perfect your smile, and one of their many benefits is that they are less likely to stain than other alternatives. So they honestly do give you a flawless, white smile.
However, after a few years, you might notice discoloration where the veneer and natural tooth meet and you will have to consult with your specialist about what treatment is needed to correct that. You might even need to have new veneers fitted.
Veneers are Permanent
An important question for those who want to do veneers is, are the veneers permanent? One downside is that your dentist will remove much of your enamel during the preparation process, so there is no way to change your mind once treatment starts. Veneers also make it tough to clean your gum line, making you more susceptible to gum disease.
The Cost of Veneers
Many factors influence the price of veneers. For example, it will depend on how many teeth are affected, your location, and the condition of your teeth.
Generally, traditional veneers cost between $900 – $2,500 per tooth. However, most dentists will offer a discount if multiple teeth are corrected.
Dental insurance won’t cover this procedure as it’s a cosmetic treatment, but it is always good to check your plan first, as they might cover a portion.
The Lifespan of Veneers
Veneers have approximately ten years; however, if you take good care of them, they can last up to 20 years.
Facts about Lumineers
Lumineers are often advertised as “no-prep” veneers because they require less preparation when compared to traditional veneers. However, unlike the latter, made from porcelain, lumineers consist of laminate.
Lumineers Treat Minimal Discoloration
Because they are made from a thinner material, lumineers are more translucent than porcelain veneers, rendering them unsuitable for extreme discoloration.
Minimal Grinding Required
Because lumineers are thinner, your dentist will not have to grind your teeth before placement, making them more appealing and reversible if necessary. Lumineers are also custom-made to cater to your unique requirements.
Preparation and Application
You will need to go for a couple of appointments after your initial consultation. During your first appointment, your dentist will inspect your teeth and decide if lumineers are the right option.
If you are a suitable candidate, your doctor will mold your teeth to create customized lumineers.
Your mold gets transported to a lab, where manufacturing will take 14 days to a month. Once they are ready, your dentist will schedule a placement appointment. The lumineers are applied to your teeth during this appointment using an adhesive.
Lumineers are Semipermanent
Because your teeth weren’t reshaped, lumineers can be removed without causing too much damage to your natural teeth.
As with veneers, lumineers make you more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease, as cleaning where the shell meets the gum line is hard.
Lifespan of Lumineers
Lumineers are said to last up to 20 years. However, their life expectancy is usually only ten years. The key to long-lasting lumineers is an excellent oral hygiene routine and regular dental check-ups.
The Cost of Lumineers
Typically lumineers cost as little as $850 – $2,500 per tooth, depending on your teeth and location. But, again, most dental insurers won’t cover this procedure because it is elective.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Veneers vs. Lumineers
Advantages of Veneers
- More durable and can last up to 20 years
- Not as translucent as lumineers, providing a pearly white appearance
- Can treat severe discoloration
Disadvantages of Veneers
- They need to be replaced but are permanent, so you cannot reverse the procedure.
- Very costly
- Need more preparation before placement
Advantages of Lumineers
- No grinding of the teeth needed
- More affordable
- You can remove it with minimal damage to the natural tooth
Disadvantages of Lumineers
- Not as durable as veneers
- It can’t hide severe damage or discoloration
Alternative to Veneers
You may not be a suitable candidate for veneers or lumineers, but don’t let that worry you, as there are alternative options.
A crown can be a lifesaver if you have extensive damage to just one tooth. Braces are incredibly effective for misalignment, and there are ways to hide them if you are worried about their appearance.
Always ask your dentist which options will work with your specific situation to make an informed decision.
Below is a list of alternative treatments that may be able to help you:
- Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is a fantastic alternative if you don’t want to change your teeth’ structure permanently. During this procedure, your specialist will apply composite resin to the surface of your teeth.
The resin can be custom-made to match the color of your natural teeth and shaped to align with the rest of your teeth.
However, it is more susceptible to staining when compared to veneers and doesn’t quite compare to porcelain.
In saying that, they are more affordable and offer almost the exact solutions as veneers. Opting for bonding is easier and more practical if you have small chips.
- Teeth Whitening
A much cheaper alternative is teeth whitening to improve your discolored teeth. Professional whitening done by a dentist is very effective and is suitable for most people.
Whitening products chemically dissolve stained molecules that penetrate your enamel, making both professional and at-home treatments effective and lighting your teeth up to eight shades.
The one disadvantage of these products is that they can only lighten superficial stains caused by coffee, red wine, soda, berries, and smoking. If you have discoloration caused by medication, root canals, or tooth decay, these solutions will not work for you, and your only alternatives are crowns, veneers, or dental bonding.
Like veneers, crowns cover the entire tooth up to the gum line. Often used after a root canal to add strength, crowns can cover any discolored or damaged tooth.
Crowns are a fantastic choice if you have one damaged or discolored tooth. However, for cosmetic purposes, veneers are a better alternative.
- Corrective treatments
Veneers and lumineers can hide minor misalignment issues. However, orthodontic treatment is the only option if you have severe dental imperfections. Most adults don’t want a mouth full of metal; however, this is not your only option.
Tremendous advances have developed in orthodontics, and there are several options you can choose from:
Invisalign Discreet clear plastic trays that correct minor misalignment issues.
You can choose white or translucent brackets for your braces to make them less noticeable.
Lingual braces have taken the world by storm as your orthodontist places them behind the teeth, hiding them from sight.
Choosing between veneers vs. lumineers will come down to personal preference. Some people don’t like veneers’ finality and prefer a reversible treatment.
Others won’t be able to afford veneers. However, it might be worth investing in this option as it lasts longer and doesn’t damage as easily. Whether you choose veneers or lumineers, the results speak for themselves, and you won’t be disappointed.