Dental technology has come so far over the past few years. One of the most innovative ways to correct minor dental issues and get a beautiful smile at the same time is with porcelain veneers. Consisting of an extremely thin layer of dental porcelain that covers an existing natural tooth, veneers are an excellent way to repair a variety of problems, including badly stained teeth, cracked teeth, chipped teeth, misshapen teeth, teeth with eroded enamel, and teeth with wide gaps in between. Better yet, the procedure involved in getting new veneers is quick and easy.
So it’s no wonder that dental patients from throughout the Austin, TX, area and all around the US are opting for dental veneers. And one of the most popular types are Lumineers®. In this article, we’ll explore traditional porcelain veneers vs. lumineers: advantages and disadvantages.
Differences Between Veneers and Lumineers®
Conventional porcelain veneers and Lumineers® are similar in many ways. Both consist of a thin layer of porcelain material that covers a portion of the tooth surface. But Lumineers® are made of a special material called Cerinate porcelain, which differs from conventional porcelain. Both traditional porcelain veneers and Lumineers® are very effective in resolving minor dental issues and producing an absolutely stunning new smile for the patient. The difference between porcelain veneers and Lumineers® arises in the procedure involved when they are applied to the patient’s teeth.
The Procedure Involved with Porcelain Veneers
Having conventional porcelain veneers usually requires two trips to the dentist’s office. During the first trip, the dentist will remove a portion of the enamel from the surface of the tooth that will be covered with a veneer. Once the enamel is removed, the dentist will make an impression of the tooth. That impression is then sent out to a dental lab, where the patient’s veneers are made. During the second visit, usually 10 to 14 days later, the dentist will apply the custom-made porcelain veneers using an adhesive and a specially designed hardening light.
The Procedure Involved with Lumineers®
The procedure involved in having Lumineers® applied also requires two trips to the dental office. During the first visit, the dentist will make an impression of the teeth that will be fitted with Lumineers®, after which the impression will be sent out to a dental lab where the Lumineers® will be created. During the patient’s second visit, the Lumineers® are applied to the patient’s teeth. The main difference is that Lumineers® can be directly applied over the tooth surface without the need for removal of enamel beforehand. The surface of the tooth is not changed or compromised in any way, as opposed to conventional porcelain veneers which require removal of some tooth enamel before application. Although the amount removed for porcelain veneers is extremely thin, removal of the enamel changes the structure of the tooth to a certain degree.
Porcelain Veneers: Advantages
Porcelain veneers present many benefits to dental patients, including the following:
- The most obvious advantage to conventional porcelain veneers is their appearance. If you choose to have just a few teeth done, the porcelain material can be made to very closely match the shade of your other teeth. And if you choose to have all your teeth done, the result will be an absolutely perfect, beautiful smile. Porcelain veneers look just like your natural teeth – but much better!
- Veneers are very stain-resistant, making it much more difficult to stain conventional porcelain veneers than natural teeth or some other types of tooth prosthetics.
- Porcelain veneers are durable and long-lasting. Veneers protect the existing tooth underneath, and most last from 10 to 15 years if they’re properly cared for.
Porcelain Veneers: Disadvantages
What follows are a few disadvantages of porcelain veneers that are worth weighing before you decide which is the best option for you:
- The application procedure is more invasive than Lumineers® because the dentist needs to remove a portion of the enamel beforehand.
- Once the enamel is gone, it won’t grow back. That means that once a porcelain veneer is applied to a tooth, that tooth will always need to be covered with a veneer (or some other type of a restoration, such as a crown, for example).
- Porcelain veneers can be pricey, often costing between $925 and $2,500 per tooth.
It’s easy to see why patients with Lumineers® are happy with their choice. Just consider these benefits:
- The application procedure for Lumineers® is less invasive since it doesn’t require removal of enamel on the existing natural tooth.
- Because the tooth is not altered before application, Lumineers® can be removed by your dentist without affecting the natural tooth. This makes Lumineers® a reversible choice, as opposed to porcelain veneers, which are not.
- Lumineers® cost less, often ranging between $800 and $2,000 per tooth.
What follows are some of the disadvantages that come with Lumineers®:
- Lumineers® don’t typically last as long as porcelain veneers; typically only between 5 and 7 years.
- If Lumineers® are intended to cover badly stained teeth, a thicker amount of material may be needed to cover the teeth adequately. This can result in teeth looking bulkier than natural teeth or teeth with conventional porcelain veneers.
- Lumineers® can’t be used to correct some imperfections – for crooked or crowded teeth, for example – where reshaping of the tooth may be needed.
Veneers vs. Lumineers®: Which is the Right Choice for You?
Both veneers and Lumineers® are an excellent choice for repairing minor dental issues. They both have advantages and disadvantages, and the only way to determine which is right for you is to discuss these choices with your dentist. Whichever one you select, it’s important to remember that you’ll need to be in good oral health before having either veneers or Lumineers® applied. So if you have tooth decay or gum disease, for example, those issues will have to be resolved by your dentist before you are a candidate for either veneers or Lumineers®. To find out more about veneers vs. Lumineers®: advantages and disadvantages, contact your Austin, TX, dentist and schedule your appointment today!