Lumineers vs Porcelain Veneers

Veneers vs lumineers: which one should you choose?

Lumineers are more conservative compared to veneers! The reason is, there is no removal of tooth structure vs Veneers which do require shaping of teeth by a dentist. Lumineers are also called “no-prep veneers,” meaning no drilling is required on your existing tooth structure, and another layer of porcelain is added; that addition is the question for you and the dentist to decide if the Lumineers are the treatment of choice for you or the veneers? By definition, if any tooth structure must be removed from the existing tooth, they are no longer considered Lumineers; it will fall into the category of veneers or thin Veneers. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between Lumineers and porcelain veneers.

Are you looking for a way to achieve that megawatt Hollywood smile but are fearful of the porcelain veneer process? Lumineers are a great alternative to traditional porcelain veneers, especially for people who have a fear of the dentist or who want to avoid the dental drill.

Porcelain Veneers vs Lumineers

These categories of veneers or laminates provide a painless way to permanently whiten and align teeth and repair chipped teeth without altering tooth structure.

Lumineers are supposed to be ultra-thin veneers made from Cerinate porcelain, made by DEN Mat corporation, however, nowadays, thin veneers can be done with different kinds of porcelains, such as Emax, which are actually stronger than the original Cerinate porcelain! Their thickness compares to that of a contact lens.

In most cases, this type of veneer requires little to no tooth reduction, and numbing shots are not needed. Lumineers cost less than veneers since there is no preparation by the dentist.

They are not indicated for everyone; the bite of the patient and the existing alignment of your teeth play a major role in determining if Lumineers is the restoration of choice for you.

Lumineers are generally less invasive dentistry procedures compared to veneers (which is a good thing). However, the cosmetic outcome of Lumineers are less desirable compared to porcelain veneers, period.

What are the Benefits and Risks of Lumineers?

Lumineers usually take only two visits to have them completed, just as the veneers. Since there is no preparation to be done, no temporaries are necessary; however, since they will be added to the front surface of the tooth, they might appear chunkier, bulkier, and thicker (you must be a candidate for Lumineers!).

The best thing to do is to have a complete evaluation and wax-up done prior to choosing the procedure. It is a reversible procedure; however, if bonded correctly and permanently, taking them off is not such an easy task for the patient or the dentist.

Lumineers cost less than veneers since there is no preparation required by the doctor; however, if your existing teeth are crowded or crooked, shaping and preparation are required by the dentist to have the final outcome pleasing, straight, and brighter, and that is the category of VENEERS.

Since the Lumineers are .2mm to .5mm in thickness, the color of final Lumineers in most cases is one color (monochromatic), so it may not resemble natural teeth, in which with veneers, depending on the expertise of the dentist, translucency and other natural colors can be incorporated.

Also, placing Lumineers over existing crowns or bridges can be done; however, per Mobasser, the final outcome is compromised, esthetically speaking.

Should I choose veneers or Lumineers to get a fuller smile?

If you are looking to widen your smile so as not to show dark spaces between your teeth and cheek, then Lumineers may work. Most patients want their smile to show fuller and wider, especially if their upper teeth are tipping in, and they want to broaden the smile; in most cases, Lumineers may work depending on the occlusion or the bite of the opposing teeth.

If the bite is tight or one has a crossbite, veneers or veneer overlays are the only choice. Cross-bite cases will require minor shaping from the outer aspect of the teeth in order to give you a fuller smile.

Also, Lumineers overlay can be designed on patients with an open bite to restore function and symmetrical balance force of occlusion instead of making a veneer overlay.

Lumineers or no prep veneers can widen your smile! The result is a more zygomatic broader smile. Of course, again, your bite and occlusion is the biggest factor if you will be a candidate for Lumineers; other important factors are the health of existing teeth, the amount of filling or restorations on the tooth, the color, and the alignment of existing teeth.

Lumineers vs. Veneers, which option gives you the whitest smile?

In terms of color, Veneers will definitely give you a whiter color since the amount of tooth structure removed will be substituted with white porcelain material.

Lumineers is just an addition of porcelain; if you start with a discolored tooth and you do not want your tooth to look bulky and big, the porcelain on Lumineers or no-prep veneer must be as thin as possible, around 0.5 millimeters. This amount of porcelain added to an already discolored tooth will give a little improvement to the color, but do not expect the color you are choosing on the color chart you have selected!

In order to give you a bright white reflective color, the dentist and the ceramist must make the porcelain way thicker on the Lumineers to mask the discoloration, but then your smile will look not natural but bulky! The best is to have a complete evaluation done in regards to the health of teeth, alignment of each tooth, the bite, and many other factors so the cosmetic dentist can provide you with the best choice possible.

A most knowledgeable cosmetic dentist will bleach the teeth before veneers to remove less precious tooth structure; Dr. Mobasser advises patients who are candidates for Lumineers also to have teeth bleaching prior to enhancing whiter color!

What are the Pros and Cons of Lumineers?

Since Lumineers are an additive procedure, basically, there is no discomfort, no need for temporaries, and no need to get numb or get an anesthetic. The limitations are that they will look chunkier or bulkier, the neck of the teeth will be more pronounced, and most dentists will tell you that they do not look natural.

If your teeth are misaligned, to begin with, it is not recommended to get no-prep veneers or Lumineers since they will look extremely bulky. It is highly recommended to get veneers on minor misaligned teeth vs. Lumineers.

A lot of patients inquire about Lumineers versus porcelain veneers.

Although Dr. Mobasser prefers porcelain veneers to Lumineers in most cases, there are some good candidates for the less expensive Lumineers procedure. Lumineers are recommended when your teeth are inverted and there is an open bite, so in that instance, Lumineers are a perfect fit.

Can I get really white teeth with Lumineers?

“If the underlying color of the teeth is yellowish to orange-brown, that discoloration may still show through the thin layer of Lumineers”, so it all depends on what is the original color of your existing teeth and how much whiter you want your teeth to be.

The whiter you want your smile to be, the thicker and chunkier, unfortunately, the Lumineers will look!!

Are Veneers or Lumineers better for my gums?

By far, veneers are kinder to your gums than Lumineers. Lumineers or no prep veneers can cause gum inflammation and redness since a layer must be added to the neck of your teeth, and can cause plaque trap.

Can Lumineers mask my dark front tooth? 

In reality, the answer is no. This is because Lumineers are very thin porcelain layers that compare in thickness to that of a contact lens. Masking of dark discoloration is almost impossible to do with Lumineers. And it will require thicker porcelain to mask the discolorations; then the teeth take on a bulky appearance.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Am I a good candidate for Lumineers or veneers?

It depends on your wants and the end result you have in your mind:

The first question is how much whiter you want your teeth to look; if you want really white, the Lumineers can not mask the yellowing effect so much, meaning we need to add more thickness to the porcelain to block out the underlying shade! If we do that, the teeth will look much bulkier.

Also, do you mind if an additional thickness of porcelain is added to your teeth? Do you mind if they look bulkier? How much depends on how much you change the color and also if the teeth are aligned already. If your teeth have crowding in and out, the bulkier they will look.

If you do not know how bulky or thicker the teeth will look, it is best to ask the dentist to take an impression of your teeth and order a wax-up prior to having Lumineers done. The wax-up helps you determine if Lumineers are for you; at least you see the corrected shapes of your teeth and the thickness; however, you will not be able to see the color.

What can I do to make my smile wider and my teeth longer?

The dentist needs to evaluate your bite beforehand to see if there is room for the additional porcelain to be wrapped to the back of your teeth to make your smile fuller. This is the area in which most people have worn their teeth due to their bite or possible para-functional habits such as grinding or clenching or possible erosion due to acidic food consumption! The narrow arch can be widened by additional of porcelain in the buccal corridor. The dentist needs to evaluate your x-rays before deciding if that will work for you, meaning if the bone and gums are healthy and free of decay.

What to do if my teeth are small and my smile does not stand out?

It is best to schedule an appointment for a consultation and full mouth evaluation with an expert dentist. You will be informed if you are a candidate for Lumineers or veneers. An Expert cosmetic dentist can inform you about the pros, cons, risks, benefits, and costs prior to having treatment done; for more information on a full mouth evaluation, click here:

Are veneers or Lumineers covered by my Insurance?

Veneers and Lumineers are elective procedures, and most dental insurance do not cover elective or cosmetic procedures.

What are the Benefits and disadvantages of Lumineers?

Benefits and Advantages:

  • All individuals like the idea of not touching the existing teeth
  • There is no need for temporaries, and the cost is less
  • In the hands of an expert, the Lumineers bond strongly to enamel rather than dentin; therefore, the Lumineers must stay put for a long time.
  • Lumineers can be reversible by cutting them off if the patient is not pleased.
  • There is minimal damage to the nerve of the tooth.

Disadvantages and Cons:

  • Changes in Esthetics are limited
  • Due to the thin thickness of Lumineers or ‘no prep’ veneers, the color change will be limited. Lumineers will not look as natural as veneers! They might look white, but they are more opaque white!
  • There will be difficulty in the fabrication and bonding of the restoration.
  • Due to the lack of room and thickness, a flat cosmetic look is required to manifest a life-like porcelain restoration.
  • Patients will be complaining about them being bulky vs. Porcelain veneers.

Lumineers can last a long time! However, not everyone is a candidate! Above Lumineers combination with thin veneers was placed in 1988 by Dr. Anthony Mobasser, lasting over 32 years, and as of to-date, they are still looking great, and the patient has no discomfort on any of them.

The Lumineers are a great service for patients if the teeth require additional thickness to their natural teeth. However, the bite must be evaluated by an expert dentist, and patients should know the pros and cons prior to starting treatment!  the bonding technique to the natural teeth is a very sensitive protocol, and that technique makes Lumineers last a long time!

Veneers chosen vs. Lumineers depend on the bite, color wanted, and misaligned teeth.

Before and After veneers

Veneers vs Lumineers | Los Angeles Cosmetic Dentist | Dr. Mobasser

dental reconstruction

If there are misaligned teeth, short teeth, or missing teeth showing, in which you do want them to be lengthened, and you are debating about Lumineers vs. veneers? It is best to choose veneers, which in that case veneers can idealize your bite by raising the bite to the original bite prior to worn dentition, consequently giving it room so the dentist can lengthen the teeth and place teeth in alignment.

If using the Lumineers to accomplish what you want, the result will be bulkier teeth and possibly not being able to lengthen the teeth but keep the lower teeth at the same height. Consult Dr. Mobasser to do a bite analysis before choosing veneers vs. Lumineers.