If you wish to change the shade or shape of your teeth, there's no better solution than veneers. Veneers are small, porcelain pieces that fit onto your teeth, changing their appearance. In recent years, an alternative veneer-type product, known as "lumineers," has also become popular. Here are the differences between veneers and lumineers and how you can decide between the two.
Lumineers vs. Veneers: What's the Difference?
First, let's start with veneers. When you get veneers, porcelain teeth are fitted over your existing teeth, to completely alter their appearance. Before the veneers are placed, your teeth will be shaved down and shaped so that the veneers will better adhere to your existing teeth. Since veneers completely cover your teeth, they can change the shade and appearance of your teeth.
Lumineers are a relatively new technology that are meant to be less invasive than veneers. With lumineers, you don't need to get your teeth shaved and shaped beforehand. Lumineers just fit over your teeth. However, because they just fit over your teeth, they can't be used to dramatically change the shape of your teeth—they are used primarily to change the color of your teeth.
Both veneers and lumineers have an advantage over pulling teeth and replacing them, because you're still left with your existing teeth and their root structure.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Lumineers?
Lumineers will be less invasive and easier to install. They also have a lower likelihood of potentially causing tooth sensitivity. If you just want to change the color of your teeth (and you need to lift the color of your teeth several shades), lumineers are a good solution.
However, lumineers are considered less invasive when compared to veneers, when they really should be compared to whitening solutions, as whitening is their primary use. Lumineers are still more invasive than whitening treatments, and they don't have the durability or the functionality of veneers.
Further, lumineers can't be effectively used if your teeth are already closely spaced together, because they can only make your teeth larger, rather than smaller.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Veneers?
Rarely, patients who have acquired veneers may experience heightened tooth sensitivity. Often, this will go away over time, but it is possible that it may be persistent. The risks of this can be discussed with a specialist. Apart from that, the only major disadvantage of a veneer is that it's a slightly more involved process.
The advantage of veneers is clear—you can radically change the look of your teeth immediately after the procedure. It's especially useful for those who have under-sized teeth or those who have teeth with incorrect spacing. Due to the way that the teeth are shaved and shaped during the procedure, it's very difficult for a veneer to come off.
Veneers vs. Lumineers: the Bottom Line
If you need to change the appearance of your teeth dramatically while retaining your natural teeth, veneers are likely to be the best (and only) option. While it may be a little more invasive than lumineers, it's a more significant change. You can completely alter the shape and spacing of your teeth when using veneers, and veneers will last a much longer time.
If you need to change the color of your teeth and you have only minor physical alterations you want to make, then lumineers may be a good solution. Keep in mind that lumineers are more likely to come off and need to be reapplied due to the way that they are placed directly to the surface of your teeth—otherwise, they can be a fast way to lighten your smile.
When it comes to lumineers and veneers, which is the right option for you? It depends on your mouth and your needs. Visit our experts at Dynamic Dental in Mansfield, Massachusetts to find more information about the best option for you.