Veneers vs. Lumineers: Which Should I Choose?

Dental veneers are thin shells used in cosmetic dentistry to address minor issues with the size, shape, color, and length of teeth. They are typically applied to the front teeth, since those are the most visible when you are smiling or talking.

Legacy Dental in Salt Lake City offers both traditional veneers and Lumineers. Below, we’ll be discussing the differences between the two and help you determine which is the best for you.

What is the Difference between Veneers and Lumineers?

Dental veneers are thin shells used in cosmetic dentistry to improve the appearance of teeth. They may be made of porcelain or composite resin. They address issues such as cracks, chips, discoloration, crowding, and more.

Lumineers are a type of dental veneer. They are thinner, usually less expensive, and require less prep. While Lumineers are a great option, they may not be the best for all situations.

Are Traditional Veneers Right for Me?

Traditional veneers are thin shells, made of composite resin or porcelain. They are used to correct discolored, misaligned, chipped/cracked, or worn teeth. Veneers are custom-made, so during your consultation, we will take x-rays and make an impression of your mouth. These will be used to fabricate your veneers. Traditional veneers are irreversible.

Preparation

Before traditional veneers can be placed, your teeth must be prepped. The amount of prep depends on several factors. However, the basic process is to remove some of the enamel. This will create room for the veneers to be placed. The amount of enamel removed will be equal to the thickness of the veneer.

Impressions and x-rays will be taken at this time. These will be sent to the lab so that your veneers can be fabricated. Typically, it takes 1 to 2 weeks for the veneers to be sent back to the office.

Application

When the veneers are received in the office, we will schedule your appointment to have them applied. We will evaluate the veneers to determine whether they are the proper coloration, fit, and shape to make sure they are perfect.

Then, we will thoroughly clean your teeth. This will keep bacteria from getting trapped under the veneer, causing decay.

Once your teeth are clean, we will use a grinding tool to roughen the surface of the teeth that the veneers are being applied. This will make it easier for the veneers to stick. Dental cement will be used to bond the veneers to the teeth and UV light will be used to quickly harden the cement.

The second appointment typically lasts less than 2 hours but may last longer depending on how many veneers are being applied and whether or not an anesthetic is used.

Benefits

There are several benefits of traditional dental veneers, including:

  • Improves aesthetics
  • Looks/feels natural
  • Minimally invasive
  • Permanent
  • Easy to maintain

Cost

Dental veneers are not typically covered by insurance because they are considered cosmetic. According to the American Dental Association, the average cost of porcelain veneers is between $925 to $2,500 per tooth. Composite veneers cost between $400 to $2,000 per tooth.

Durability

Every patient is different, but typically, traditional veneers last for approximately 15 years. However, they may last longer with proper dental hygiene habits and preventative dental visits every 6 months. It is important to note that there is a chance the veneers will be damaged if you are involved in a car accident, fall, or collision. If you play sports, the risk of damaging your veneers increases.

Risk

There are a few risks associated with traditional dental veneers, including:

  • Teeth sensitivity
  • General discomfort
  • Gum inflammation
  • Injury to tooth pulp
  • May not be a 100% match

Are Lumineers Right for Me?

Lumineers are a type of no-prep veneer from DenMat LLC. Impressions and images are made of your teeth and sent to the lab so that the shells can be fabricated. The difference is that there is no shaping and grinding before application.

Lumineers instantly correct/enhance the appearance of your smile, and are effective for:

  • Correcting gaps between teeth
  • Irregularities in the size/shape of teeth
  • Minor misalignment/crookedness
  • Discoloration

Preparation

Lumineers are a type of “no-prep” veneer, which means we do not need to remove any of the enamel from your natural teeth. However, we will need to do x-rays and impressions to be sent to the lab.

Some patients require additional treatment, such as gingivoplasty, which is a procedure in which your gums are sculpted to make your veneers look better. If you undergo this procedure, you’ll need to wait another 45 days before the Lumineers can be applied.

Application

When the veneers are sent back to the office, we will schedule your appointment for application. Once we ensure that the Lumineers fit properly, we will apply dental cement to adhere them to your teeth. A UV light will be used to harden the cement and you will leave with a picture-perfect smile.

Benefits

Some of the benefits of Lumineers include:

  • Improves aesthetics
  • More budget-friendly
  • No-prep required
  • Fewer appointments required
  • Minimally invasive

Cost

Since this is a cosmetic procedure, dental insurance may not cover Lumineers. On average, you can expect to pay $800 to $2,000 per tooth. While still expensive, they are more budget-friendly than traditional veneers.

Durability

Lumineers should last approximately 20 years with proper care. However, they are not as strong as traditional veneers and are more susceptible to breakage. The dentist can repair minor damage in most cases. If one of the shells falls off but is intact, the dentist can place it back on the tooth.

Risk

Risks of Lumineers include:

  • May not be a 100% match to natural teeth
  • More susceptible to damage
  • May fall off
  • May need to be replaced

Veneers vs. Lumineers: Pros and Cons

There are advantages and disadvantages for both traditional veneers and Lumineers:

Veneers

The advantages and disadvantages of traditional veneers are as follows:

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Long-lasting
  • More expensive
  • Easily whitens smile
  • Must be replaced if damaged
  • Addresses minor cosmetic issues
  • Irreversible
  • Replaces damaged enamel
  • Increases tooth sensitivity

Lumineers

The advantages and disadvantages of Lumineers are as follows:

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • No prep required
  • Not as good at hiding tooth damage
  • Can be removed if desired with minimal damage to teeth
  • Don’t last as long as traditional veneers
  • Less expensive
  • May not perfectly blend with natural teeth
  • Results are almost immediate
  • Excessive pressure can cause them to come off or be damaged

What to Choose: Veneers or Lumineers?

Both of these options are effective for correcting your smile. The best one for you depends on your personal situation, which the dentist will explain during your consultation. Some of the factors you’ll want to consider include:

  • Severity: Traditional veneers are better at addressing dental issues than Lumineers.
  • Time: Lumineers are a “no-prep” veneer, which means they require less time/appointments to place. Traditional veneers require several appointments.
  • Invasiveness: For traditional veneers, natural teeth must be filed down to create room for placement. Lumineers, on the other hand, are no prep. They can be placed painlessly, which means you don’t need anesthetic.
  • Durability: Traditional veneers are durable and can last 15+ years with proper care. Lumineers may also last as long- but require extra care to avoid staining and discoloration.
  • Cost: The cost of treatment varies substantially between the two. However, since Lumineers require fewer appointments, you may pay less out of pocket. Most dental insurance plans do not cover cosmetic dental procedures. However, our office staff will work with your provider to determine coverage.

Interested in Veneers or Lumineers? Schedule Your Appointment Today

If you are interested in addressing your cosmetic dental issues with traditional veneers or Lumineers, schedule your appointment with the team at Legacy Dental today. We will be happy to restore your smile and confidence.

Legacy Dental blog is proudly run by our Salt Lake City dentists team; We share knowledge about general dental care and practices. Apart from running this blog, we offer various dental services such as general dentistry, emergency dentistry, and dental implants for the community in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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