Lumineers vs Porcelain Veneers

Veneers vs lumineers: which one should you choose?

Lumineers are more conservative compared to veneers ! Reason being , there is no removal of tooth structure vs Veneers which do require shaping of teeth by dentist. Lumineers are also called “no prep veneers”, meaning no drilling is required on your existing tooth structure, and another layers 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 not considered Lumineers any more, they will fall into category of veneers or thin Veneers. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between Lumineers vs 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 category 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 in DEN Mat corporation, however now days thin veneers can be done with different kind of porcelains, such as Emax which are actually stronger than the original Cerinate porcelain! Their thickness compares to that of a contact lens.

This type of veneer requires little to no tooth reduction in most cases, and numbing shots are not needed. Lumineers costs 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 to determine if Lumineers is the restoration of choice for you.

Lumineers are generally less invasive dentistry procedure 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 takes only two visits to have them completed, just as the veneers. Since there is no preparation to be done, no temporaries is 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!).

Best is to have a complete evaluation and waxup done prior to choosing the procedure. It is a reversible procedure, however if bonded correctly and permanently, taking them off is not such easy task for the patient nor 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 is required by the dentist to have the final outcome pleasing, straight and brighter, and that is in the category of VENEERS.

Since the Lumineers are .2mm to .5mm in thickness, the color of final Lumineers in most cases is one color (mono chromatic) 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 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 cross bite, veneers or veneer overlays is the only choice. Cross bite cases will require minor shaping from outer aspect of the teeth in order to give you a more fuller smile.

Also Lumineers overlay can be designed on patients with 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 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 millimeter. 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 white bright 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! 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.

Most knowledgeable cosmetic dentist, will anyway bleach the teeth prior to veneers to remove less precious tooth structure, Dr Mobasser advises patients who are candidates for Lumineers, also to have teeth bleaching prior to enhance 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, no need to get numb or get anesthetic. The limitations is that they will look chunkier or bulkier, the neck of the teeth will be more pronounced and most dentist 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 or Lumineers, since they will look extremely bulky. It is highly recommended to get veneers on minor misaligned teeth vs Lumineers.

A great deal 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 in, and there is an open bite, so in that instances 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 more 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 vs 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?

Depends on your wants, and your end result you have in your mind:
First question is how much whiter do you want your teeth to look, if you want real 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 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, and 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 waxup 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 before hand 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! Narrow arch can be widened by additional of porcelain, in the buccal corridor. The dentist needs to evaluate your x-rays prior to decide if that will work for you, meaning if the bone the gums are healthy and free of any decay.

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

It is best to schedule an appointment for 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 in regards to pros, cons, risks, benefits and cost prior to having treatment done, for more information in regards to what is a full mouth evaluation, click here:

Are veneers or Lumineers covered by my Insurance?

Veneers and Lumineers are elective procedures, and most dental insurances 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 bonds strongly to enamel, rather than dentin, therefore the Lumineers must stay put for long time.
  • Lumineers can be a reversible procedure by cutting it 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 thin thickness of Lumineers or ‘no prep’ veneers, the color change will be limited. Lumineers will not look as natural as the veneers! They might look white, but more opaque white !
  • There will be difficulty in fabrication and bonding of the restoration.
  • Flat cosmetics look , due to lack of room and thickness 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 29 years and as of to-date they are still looking great and patient has no discomfort on any of them.

The Lumineers are 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 patient should know the pros and cons prior to starting treatment!  the bonding technique to the natural teeth is a very sensitive protocol, and it is that technique which makes Lumineers last a long time!

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

If there is misaligned teeth, and 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, in which in that case veneers can idealize your bite by raising the bite to 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 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.

Before and After veneers

Veneers vs Lumineers | Los Angeles Cosmetic Dentist | Dr. Mobasserdental reconstruction