Veneers are a restorative dental service offered by many dentists throughout the Cedar Park, Texas area and throughout the US. This remarkable technology results in absolutely beautiful smiles, and is an effective way of treating a variety of minor dental issues, including restoring teeth that are chipped, cracked, worn down, misshapen, or badly stained. Veneers are not only a great way to improve the appearance of your smile – they also protect the patient’s existing natural teeth from further damage. Generally speaking, there are two types of veneers available: veneers and Lumineers. In this article, we provide information on both of these, as well as the pros and cons of veneers vs. Lumineers.
The Differences Between Veneers and Lumineers
Traditional veneers are made from an extremely thin layer of dental porcelain that is applied directly over the patient’s natural tooth surface. In most cases, this requires removing a very thin layer of the tooth enamel first, making a physical impression of the patient’s teeth, sending that impression out to a dental lab that manufactures the veneers, then having the patient return in 10 to 14 days when the permanent veneers are applied using adhesive and a curing light. In some instances, the dentist may choose to apply temporary veneers to the patient’s teeth after removing the enamel, since the “trimmed” teeth can be somewhat more sensitive than normal and might feel rough to the patient.
Lumineers is the brand name of a type of veneer created by DenMat laboratory. Although similar to traditional veneers in many ways, Lumineers consist of an even thinner layer of laminate, and they don’t require removal of tooth enamel before they are applied. They are also typically less expensive than traditional veneers, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the best choice for every patient.
Both of these types of veneers have advantages and disadvantages, which we detail below.
- Improve appearance of teeth: When it comes to approving the appearance of teeth, nothing comes close to veneers. These amazing restorations produce absolutely stunning results, making teeth appear whiter, pristine and perfectly shaped.
- Resistant to staining: Veneers not only make your natural teeth look whiter – they keep them looking that way since the porcelain material guards against the natural tooth surface becoming stained.
- Permanent: Veneers are permanently bonded to the tooth surface, so there’s no chance that the veneer will slip out of place or accidentally come off of the tooth.
- Long lasting: Traditional porcelain veneers usually last 10 to 15 years, but can last as long as 20 years if they’re properly maintained.
- Longer, more invasive application process: Traditional veneers usually require that the dentist remove a portion of the natural tooth enamel. And it typically takes 10 to 14 days for an outside lab to create the permanent veneers. That means two trips to the dental office for the patient, and the first visit can last for several hours.
- More expensive: Veneers are usually more expensive than Lumineers. Depending on the dental provider’s fees, and a variety of other issues, prices can range between $1,700 and $2,500 per tooth.
- A commitment: Because the patient’s natural teeth usually need to be “trimmed” (i.e., enamel removed), once a person gets traditional veneers on a tooth, that tooth will always require a veneer. In other words – there’s no turning back once you opt for traditional porcelain veneers.
- Less preparation required: Lumineers are often called “no prep” veneers because they don’t require that enamel be removed from the patient’s teeth prior to application.
- Lumineers are “semi-permanent”: Unlike traditional porcelain veneers, which are a commitment that you’ll need to make for the lifetime of the treated teeth, Lumineers can be removed with little or no damage to the teeth.
- Less expensive: Lumineers are usually less expensive than traditional porcelain veneers. These restorations typically range between $800 and $2,000 per tooth.
- More translucent: Lumineers aren’t as effective at covering imperfections in teeth and are generally more translucent than traditional veneers. This means that Lumineers may not be a good option for people with badly stained teeth, for example.
- Not as long-lasting: Lumineers don’t last as long as porcelain veneers. Although the manufacturer of Lumineers claims that their product lasts up to 20 years, many patients report that these restorations usually last no more than 10 years before they need to be replaced.
- Bonding can loosen over time: One downside of being able to remove Lumineers more easily than traditional veneers is the fact that they are also more susceptible to slipping out of place. For this reason, patients are advised to avoid twisting and tearing food, which can loosen the bonding material used with Lumineers.
There’s no doubt that both traditional porcelain veneers and Lumineers offer patients advantages and disadvantages. But if you suffer from minor dental issues that are preventing you from achieving the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted, either of these options can produce beautiful results! And having an attractive smile isn’t just an exercise in vanity. In fact, research shows that having a beautiful smile increases your self-confidence, boosts your self-esteem, and helps others see you in a more positive light. So improving your smile with either traditional veneers or Lumineers can quite literally improve the quality of your life!
It’s important to remember that veneers (and Lumineers) may not be the right choice for everyone. If you have other oral health issues – such as tooth decay and gum disease, to name just two – your dentist will need to resolve those problems before applying either veneers or Lumineers. And both of these types of restorations make it more difficult to thoroughly clean around the gum line, which can increase your risk for developing gum disease. For more information about the pros and cons of veneers vs. Lumineers, and to find out which would be the best choice for you, contact your Cedar Park, Texas dentist today.