What are Veneers & Lumineers For?
Veneers and lumineers are used to cover up cosmetic dental imperfections. Patients often feel insecure about chipped, discolored, unevenly sized or shaped teeth, or about having large gaps between teeth. Veneers and lumineers are covers that are adhered to the natural tooth enamel to cover up the appearance of the natural teeth.
What are Veneers?
Veneers are traditionally made of porcelain materials but they can also be made out of composite resin. Porcelain veneers can last for 7-15 years, while composite resin veneers only last for 4-7.
The process of preparing and having veneers attached to your teeth begins by shaving off .5mm of your natural tooth enamel. This is because veneers are .5mm thick and this shaving of the enamel allows the veneers to adhere to your natural teeth and be level with your surrounding teeth instead of sticking out.
Impressions are taken of your teeth to create veneers that look natural and will fit perfectly in your mouth. Porcelain veneers are more light-reflective, look just like natural teeth, and take about 3 visits to fully complete the procedure. Your second appointment will consist of having the veneers fit onto your teeth. Then they will be bonded into place with dental cement.
Composite resin veneers take less time with just one dental visit to complete the process. However, composite resin veneers don’t look as authentic and natural as porcelain veneers. An advantage of composite resin is that they can be repaired if they are damaged whereas porcelain veneers need to be completely removed and replaced.
What are Lumineers?
Lumineers perform the same function as veneers in that they are coverings for the tooth that cover dental imperfections and are also made of porcelain. The biggest difference between veneers and lumineers is their thickness and tooth prep.
Lumineers are like an ultra-thin version of veneers. They are only .3mm thick which means they require very little or no prep work of the natural enamel. Refraining from shaving down the natural enamel makes lumineers reversible, unlike veneers.
Though veneers need to be continually replaced, the permanent alteration to the natural tooth enamel necessitates that the enamel will always need to be covered with veneers or fillings. Lumineers offer more convenience and flexibility in that you’re free to change your mind and decide that you don’t want lumineers anymore.
Removing lumineers can be done with minimal damage to your natural teeth and are just as durable as veneers. They even last longer with an estimated lifespan of 10-20 years. However, lumineers’ thinner and more transparent materials make them ill-suited for patients with severe tooth discoloration.
Choosing Between Veneers & Lumineers
Choosing between veneers and lumineers comes down to what factors are the most important to you and your lifestyle. The advantages of veneers are that they are incredibly stain-resistant and effectively cover damaged or discolored teeth.
However, the procedure is irreversible, because the grinding down of your enamel is permanent and will require that you cover your enamel for the rest of your life. Veneers also do not last as long as lumineers.
The advantages of lumineers are that they’re much thinner which enables them to be bonded to your teeth with little to no prep work of your natural enamel, making them a reversible procedure.
They also feel very natural, last much longer than veneers, and can be applied in a much quicker and shorter process. However, lumineers are more expensive than veneers and do not effectively cover up severely cracked or discolored teeth.
Interested in Veneers? Contact us at McCue Dental Health Today!
Veneers are one of the cheapest cosmetic solutions that address significantly discolored, cracked, crooked, or damaged teeth. Your smile will appear whiter, straighter, and more uniform. Veneers not only restore the appearance of your teeth but also restore our patients’ confidence. To find out if veneers are right for you, contact us at McCue Dental Health or schedule a consultation with Dr. Shaun McCue today.