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What is the Difference Between Veneers and Lumineers

Lumineers are a brand of porcelain veneer, developed by specialized laboratories and only offered by some Houston dental practices that include cosmetic dentistry.

The primary difference between standard porcelain veneers and Lumineers is thickness. Lumineers are thinner than standard porcelain veneers, to the point that they are partly translucent. The difference in thickness gives Lumineers a different set of properties. For example, standard porcelain veneers are considered a permanent solution, while Lumineers are not.

Comparing the Advantages of Both Lumineers and Veneers

They may be made from the same material, but Lumineers and veneers differ in price, preparation requirements, effectiveness, and longevity. Here is a comparison of each option:

  • Cost of procedure – Lumineers are slightly less expensive than standard porcelain veneers as they require less material to make them and less preparation to place. On average, you should expect to pay between $800 and $2,000 per tooth for Lumineers, and between $950 and $2,500 per tooth for full-thickness veneers.
  • Preparation – To accommodate full-thickness porcelain veneers, a small amount of the tooth’s enamel will first be removed. This will ensure the veneer sits flush with the gums. Your dentist will then take impressions of your prepared teeth and provide a set of temporary veneers until the permanent ones are fabricated. The entire process typically takes around a month.Preparation procedures are not necessary for Lumineers. It still takes two appointments to install them, but the first appointment is shorter. During this first appointment, your dentist will take impressions and send them to the lab for fabrication. The timeline is about the same, but there is no enamel removal required for Lumineers.
  • Cosmetic effectiveness – Full-thickness veneers are an ideal option for severe discoloration or tooth damage. They are also effective for covering up gaps between teeth. As such, standard veneers are the superior option for resolving common cosmetic issues.Since Lumineers are so thin, they are slightly translucent, so while they will improve the tooth’s appearance, they are not effective for badly damaged or stained teeth.Because both options are made from porcelain, a non-porous material, they are stain-resistant compared to tooth enamel.
  • How long do veneers and Lumineers last? – Full thickness veneers are considered a permanent cosmetic procedure. Once the tooth’s enamel is removed, there’s no turning back. Fortunately, veneers are durable and last between 10 and 20 years with proper care.Lumineers offer a similar lifespan, though more research is needed to confirm this. Because they are thinner than standard veneers, they are more prone to cracks if subjected to intense chewing or biting forces. They are also a “semipermanent” solution, meaning they can be removed from teeth while causing only minimal damage.

Still unsure on which option is right for your teeth? A reputable dentist can help determine which option will meet your needs. For most patients, porcelain veneers are the superior cosmetic solution, but composite veneers may be recommended for some.

The Differences Between Composite and Porcelain Veneers

Composite and porcelain veneers are made from different materials, and therefore have different treatment characteristics. Here’s a comparison between the two:

  • Cost of procedure – As mentioned, porcelain veneers will cost between $800 and $2,500 per tooth, depending on whether you opt for standard veneers or Lumineers. Composite veneers cost less, with the average range between $400 and $1,500 per tooth.
  • Preparation – Some composite veneers (direct composite veneers) can be placed with minimal preparation, though this is a case-by-case determination. A small amount of prep work may be required to remove existing restorations or decay. Direct composite veneers may be installed during a single appointment.Indirect composite veneers are installed over multiple visits. A small amount of enamel is typically removed, and impressions are taken. These are sent to a dental lab for fabrication. In all, the process is similar to installing porcelain veneers.
  • Cosmetic effectiveness – Porcelain veneers are better at concealing stains, damage, and tooth gaps. However, indirect composite veneers are precisely color-matched at the lab to blend in with the patient’s teeth.
  • How long do they last? – Composite veneers last between five and seven years before replacement is recommended. They aren’t quite as durable as porcelain veneers or Lumineers and are more likely to fail early.

The Difference Between Veneers and Lumineers Often Comes Down to Personal Preference

If you and your dentist decide veneers are the right choice for your smile, you’ll have a few options to choose from, including standard porcelain veneers, porcelain Lumineers and composite veneers.

Speak with a reputable Houston dentist about what you are wanting to accomplish with your smile and discover whether veneers or Lumineers may be a good option for you.

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