You can all achieve a straight, white and perfectly uniform smile by using veneers or lumineers. Both treatments do improve your smile by hiding minor, yet notable flaws.
Veneers and Lumineers can also correct imperfections such as staining, spaces or even slight misalignment.
They can also repair chips, cracks and oddly-shaped teeth. So … how do you choose?
Both treatments …
- only cover the front, visible surfaces of your teeth
- repair minor tooth imperfections
- lengthen and straighten teeth
- conceal stains and discolouration
- are comfortable and easy to maintain
- allow you to eat and drink what you wish
- are stain proof and very resilient
- provide natural looking results
- largely cost the same
The differences in treatments are largely procedural and related to the thickness of the shell.
- Veneers are thin, porcelain shells the dentist permanently bonds to the front of your teeth
- a complete treatment usually takes two visits
- teeth are prepared by trimming down about 0.5mm of the natural enamel, thus accommodating the thickness of the shell (at least 0.5mm), ensuring that the veneers do not look too large or bulky
- the dentist then takes impressions, photographs, and uses a shade guide to confirm the brightness and transparency
- next, everything is sent to a dental lab where the veneers are custom designed
- between visits, temporary acrylic veneers can be used until you receive your permanent set
- lastly, the dentist permanently bonds veneers to teeth and addresses any minor errors to the fit or shape
It is important to note that the dentist must trim the natural enamel for veneers, leaving the teeth unprotected. Your teeth can be quite sensitive for a time after veneers are in place.
Veneers can be removed but most dentists do not recommend it unless it pertains to maintenance or repairs. Your veneers should last you at least 10 years.
VENEERS … THE PROS AND CONS
- are realistic
- are stain-resistant
- are durable
- have more color versatility and cover stains better than lumineers
- do not require extensive shaping as compared to crowns
- are irreversible
- may cause your teeth be more sensitive to hot and cold
- Lumineers are a type of ultra-thin (approximately 0.2mm) veneer that require less preparation with little to no removal of any natural tooth structure
- there’s no drilling so there’s no need for anesthetic
- the process still requires two separate appointments …
- one for teeth’s impressions and photographs and …
- one for the actual placement of the veneers
- the luminaries are bonded directly to the natural surface in a pain-free procedure
- Lumineers can also be made in conventional dimensions (0.5mm or more)
- the enamel is often left unchanged and undamaged rendering the treatment completely reversible
- they are made from an ultra-strong, Cerinate porcelain.
- the durability of lumineers means they can resist normal wear and tear, and remain intact for over 10 years
- lumineers and veneers do cost about the same … the placement for lumineers takes less time than veneers but the difference is made up by the laboratory bill for manufacturing such a hyper-thin product
LUMINEERS … THE PROS AND CONS
- are not as invasive as traditional veneers
- provide a natural and uniform smile
- durable and stain resistant
- when used to treat dental stains, these hyper-thin shells are often too opaque and do not look as natural
- the no-prep technique may make teeth appear over-contoured and bulky
- larger teeth can be cumbersome and can impact speech or bite patterns
- a deeper ledge along the gum line, where the Lumineers end, make it difficult to remove plaque and can sometimes lead to gum disease or decay
ARE YOU A CANDIDATE FOR VENEERS OR LUMINEERS?
The most important factor in deciding between veneers and Lumineers is proper case selection. Only you and your dentist can work out all of the details about which procedure is best suited to you.
Here are some questions to consider to help assist you in making the right decision …
- what is the work for? … anxiety, aesthetic, etc.
- will extensive dental work interrupt your lifestyle?
- what results do you want?
- how many teeth require treatment?
- are your teeth crooked?
- are your teeth stained or very dark?
- do you have gaps?
- how good is your current dental health?
- how good is your oral home care?
If decay, staining, or malocclusion are too prominent on your teeth, you will likely require other cosmetic treatments to achieve the smile you seek. Consult your dentist to determine the best possible treatment plan for your unique needs.