If you have noticeable flaws in your smile, such as chips, cracks, or discoloration, you might be thinking about getting a cosmetic treatment to makeover your pearly whites. Porcelain veneers are famous for their power to disguise imperfections and create a stunning look, but Lumineers are becoming ever more popular as an alternative to traditional veneers. What is the difference between these two treatments, and how can you choose the one that’s best for you? Your cosmetic dentist is here to discuss these important questions.
Traditional veneers are ultra-thin pieces of porcelain that are custom made to cover imperfections in your teeth. Normal dental porcelain works well for the treatment because the material is very strong — in fact, it is stronger than normal tooth enamel. It is also resistant to stains and reflects light in a manner that is similar to natural teeth. A variety of different colors of porcelain are available, so you and your dentist can pick out a color that will help your smile reach its full potential.
Dental porcelain does, however, come with a minor caveat. While veneers are extremely thin, they are still thick enough to make it necessary for your dentist to remove a bit of enamel (less than a millimeter) from your teeth. This filing process helps to ensure that your new smile does not look bulky or unnatural. Because your enamel will never grow back on its own, porcelain veneers are essentially a lifelong commitment. You’ll always have to wear them in order to protect the teeth underneath.
Lumineers have a lot in common with traditional porcelain veneers: both treatments use custom-made tooth covers to disguise cosmetic flaws in teeth. Lumineers are even made out of porcelain — but not traditional dental porcelain. Rather, they’re constructed of a patented material called Cerinate porcelain. It is very strong and natural-looking, but it is also incredibly thin; while a traditional porcelain veneer is about half a millimeter thick, a Lumineer may be just 0.2 millimeters thick (that’s about as thin as a contact lens).
Because Lumineers are so thin, they don’t require your dentist to remove any of your natural tooth enamel. Therefore, if you change your mind about your treatment in a few years, your dentist can gently take the Lumineers away, and your teeth will not be worse off for it.
How Can You Choose?
When you visit your cosmetic dentist for your consultation, they can answer all of your questions about Lumineers and traditional porcelain veneers. After you discuss such things as cost, longevity, care, and more, you can make an informed and confident decision about your smile makeover.
Both porcelain veneers and Lumineers are remarkable treatments that can give you a gorgeous grin. Whichever one you choose, we hope you love your new look!
About the Author
Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury has been practicing dentistry for over 40 years. Throughout the decades, he has helped countless patients to achieve smiles that are both healthy and beautiful. If you would like to talk to him about porcelain veneers, Lumineers, or any other dental treatment, contact our office at 903-561-1122.