Dentistry
Cosmetic
Product Reviews
Updated on January 9, 2023
5 min read

Lumineers Dental Veneers: How are They Different?

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What are Lumineers for Teeth?

Lumineers are a brand of veneers manufactured by DenMat Dental Laboratory and used in cosmetic dentistry. They are often referred to as “no-prep” veneers.

Lumineers are thinner and less expensive than traditional veneers. The shells take less time to prepare and can be removed or replaced relatively easily.

They are made of cerinate feldspathic pressable porcelain. This porcelain is about 0.3mm thin (about the same thinness as a contact lens) and is very strong. 

Lumineers require little to no tooth grinding or reduction and can last many years with proper care.

What Does the Lumineers Process Look Like?

The placement process for Lumineers is pain-free and takes between 1 and 2 hours. Your dentist will use a bonding material to attach the Lumineers to your teeth. Once they are successfully placed, your dentist will polish them until smooth.

Dental Lumineers vs. Veneers: What’s the Difference?

Dental veneers are cosmetic coatings that are attached to your natural teeth. Lumineers are technically a type of dental veneer, though they differ from traditional veneers in several ways. 

Traditional porcelain veneers (1.5mm) are thicker than Lumineers (0.3mm). While this doesn’t seem like much, it can make a big difference. 

With conventional veneers, some of your natural tooth material will need to be removed to create enough space and an even surface for the shells of porcelain to be applied.  

One of the most significant differences is that Lumineers are “reversible” and can be removed with little to no effect on your natural teeth. Traditional veneers are permanent, as your tooth structures must be altered before applying them.

There are also removable veneers, which are a cheaper and temporary solution for people who do not want to commit to Lumineers or veneers.

Preparation and Application

Traditional veneers require more preparation and dental work compared to Lumineers. 

The process for Lumineers looks like this:

  • Initial consultation — Your dentist will examine your teeth, tell you if you’re a candidate, and explain the procedure. They’ll take a mold of your teeth and send it to the lab that will manufacture them.
  • Application — Your dentist will apply your Lumineers two weeks later.

The process for traditional veneers includes:

  • Initial consultation — Your dentist will examine your teeth and discuss the procedure and what to expect. 
  • Tooth reduction — At your second visit, your dentist will trim about 0.5-1.5 millimeters off your natural teeth. Once they’ve removed the enamel, they will take your molds and send them to the lab. You’ll need to wear temporary plastic veneers until you get your permanent ones.
  • Application — Your dentist will apply your permanent veneers at your third appointment.

The application process is similar for both treatments. The dentist will apply an adhesive to your teeth, attach the veneers, then shine a blue light on your mouth to harden the adhesive quickly. 

They may schedule an appointment for a couple of weeks after the application to follow up with you. 

Effects

Traditional veneers come in a variety of shades. Their thickness allows them to be completely opaque, so they can create that perfect "Hollywood smile" that many celebrities have.

Lumineers are thinner and, therefore, slightly translucent. Their appearance is much closer to that of natural tooth enamel. They provide significant cosmetic benefits and give most people a beautiful smile but may not be able to whiten teeth that are severely stained or discolored.

Cost

  • Traditional veneers — $1,000 to $2,500 per tooth
  • Lumineers — $800 to $2,000 per tooth

The total cost will depend on the difficulty of your case, the size of your teeth, where you are located, and your dentist's pricing program.

Most insurance plans will not cover these treatments, as they are considered cosmetic procedures. However, you may receive discounts if you are having several teeth treated. 

Most dentists have payment plans so that you can pay off your treatment over time.

Durability

There is some debate over which procedure is more durable. However, both treatments will generally last at least 8 to 10 years and, with proper care, can last up to 20 years or more.

Risks

As with any dental procedure, there are risks. The risks are not life-threatening, and with proper care, they can be avoided.

Common conditions and side effects of veneers may include:

Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitivity in the teeth is common during the first 3 weeks after veneer placement. If sensitivity to cool or hot liquids lasts longer than 3 to 6 months, a more serious problem may be present. Contact your dentist if sensitivity lasts too long.

Tooth Damage

There is also a risk of dentin damage after veneer placement, but it is less common. 

Gum Disease

Just like natural teeth, veneers need to be kept clean to prevent gum disease. 

Changes in Alignment

A poorly fitted veneer can also change the alignment of a patient's bite, resulting in tooth sensitivity, bruxism, or jaw pain.

Future Veneer Replacement 

People with untreated dental conditions before veneer placement, such as enamel erosion, are more at risk of veneer failure. Alternative restorations, including crowns or cosmetic bonding, are often recommended to replace a veneer.

Pros and Cons

Both traditional veneers and Lumineers have their pros and cons.

Pros Cons
Traditional Veneers -Long-lasting
-Opaque, so they’ll cover severe discoloration
-Stain resistant
-Have the look of natural teeth
-Can be expensive
-Require tooth reduction
-Need costly replacements if damaged
-Can’t be removed
Lumineers -Easily removable
-Much less expensive than traditional veneers
-Can be replaced
-No tooth reduction required
-Transparent, so less thorough at hiding discoloration or damage
-Not as durable as traditional veneers

Are Lumineers Right For Me?

Lumineers can help treat a variety of common dental issues, including:

To find out if you are a good candidate for Lumineers, find a certified Lumineers dentist near you, and schedule a consultation. 

Summary

Lumineers are an alternative to traditional veneers. Made from porcelain, they are painless, easy to care for, and can last for up to 20 years. Applying your Lumineers is a simple process with a low risk of developing side effects.

Last updated on January 9, 2023
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on January 9, 2023
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Borges, Erica De Andrade, et al. “Study of Lumineers' Interfaces by Means of Optical Coherence Tomography.” Biophotonics South America, Research Gate, 2015Ivankova, M. V., and N. I. Krikheli. “Analysis of Results of Treatment of Patients with Discolored Teeth Using Different Types of Lumineers and Composite Veneers.” Medical Alphabet, Research Gate, 2020.
  2. Krikheli, N. I., and M. V. Ivankova. “The Experience with the Application of Lumineers in the Clinical Practice.” Rossiiskaya Stomatologiya, Research Gate, 2015.
  3. Zlatanovska, Katerina, et al. “Minimally Invasive Aesthetic Solutions - Porcelain Veneers and Lumineers.” Defect and Diffusion Forum, Research Gate, 2017.
  4. Blue Ocean Publishing Group. The Million Dollar Smile, Changing Lives with Cosmetic Dentistry. 2018.
  5. Hollins, Carole. Basic Guide to Dental Procedures. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2015.
  6. “Dental Veneers.” Aspen Dental, www.aspendental.com/dental-services/cosmetic-dentistry/dental-veneers.
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