Veneers and Lumineers

The two most common and easiest ways to treat crooked, chipped, cracked, discoloured or worn teeth, as well as fixing gaps and stains, are veneers and Lumineers – and both are designed to last for years, being strong and durable, just like your natural teeth.

What is the Difference?

The main difference is that Lumineers are made from a special patented cerinate porcelain that is very strong but much thinner than traditional laboratory-fabricated veneers, and the big advantage is that very little – if any – of your natural tooth structure needs to be removed through shaving or grinding prior to bonding the Lumineers over your natural teeth.

As a result, the procedure is often reversible, since your natural tooth structure is left intact, unlike traditional veneers, where a significant amount of your tooth structure may need to be removed.

Lumineers are so versatile that they can be placed over existing crown and bridge work, without the need to replace them.

So let us take a closer look at the two methods of treatment, starting with veneers, which  are slices of porcelain, made to fit over the visible surface of the front teeth, like a false fingernail fits over a nail.

Veneers – The Pros and Cons

With veneers you can obtain a more symmetrical look and the thin porecelain shell means that there is no added thickness or bulkiness.

The downside is that teeth have to be prepared, which means they have to be drilled, which opens up the possibility of nerve exposure; veneers are non-reversible, which means that once a tooth is prepared there is no going back; and, with traditional veneers, anaesthetic is required.

Lumineers – The Pros and Cons

Lumineers are custom designed and require no anaesthetic. They are placed directly over the front of your tooth and are extremely comfortable for those who have sensitive teeth. In most cases Lumineers can be reversed.

However, it has been known for the veneer to detach itself soon after the procedure and, if the natural tooth is a darker colour, a thin Lumineer may need a block to prevent the darker tint from showing through.

How are They Fitted?

With both traditional veneers and Lumineers the process is quite simple and straightforward, although there are differences.

Both procedures require two visits. After an initial consultation the first visit consists of any preparation work that needs to be done, including impressions. In the case of traditional veneers it is sometimes necessary for temporary fittings until the permanent veneers are available.

The second visit sees fitting, attaching, and checking size, shape and colour.

Once the fitting has been done the traditional veneers or Lumineers, whichever you have chosen, are trimmed and adjusted, thoroughly cleaned and a composite resin attached to bond them to the teeth.

Which is best for you?

That decision can be made only by consultation with a cosmetic dentist, who will listen to your thoughts and requirements and then advise on whether you should go for the traditional veneers or the Lumineers.

Be aware that not all dentists offer the option of Lumineers, but most provide traditional veneers.

Both traditional veneers and Lumineers can transform your smile with a permanently brighter, more attractive and completely natural look.

How long do they last

Porcelain veneers and Lumineers will typically last between five and ten years. To make your veneers last longer, follow a good oral hygiene programme and visit your dentist for check-ups on a regular basis.

What about cost?

The cost of veneers and Lumineers will vary from dentist to dentist, and, in the case of the former, the amount of preparatory work that has to be done. As an approximate guide you will probably be looking at something in the region of £525 for traditional veneers and between $300 and £400 for Lumineers.

The benefits

Whichever treatment you choose it may seem to be on the expensive side, but the improvement in  your appearance, your smile, and therefore your confidence, is immediate – and priceless!