Lumineers For Your Teeth

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Medically Reviewed
by Dr. Lara Coseo
Michael Bayba
Written by
Michael Bayba
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Evidence Based
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7 sources cited
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What Are Lumineers?

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. They take less time to apply and can be removed or replaced with relative ease.

Lumineers are made from 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 from 10 to 20 years or more with proper care.

What Does the Lumineers Process Look Like?

Dental Lumineers vs. Veneers

Dental veneers are cosmetic coatings that are attached to your natural teeth. Lumineers are technically a type of dental veneer. Traditional porcelain veneers (1.5mm) are thicker than Lumineers (0.3mm).

While this doesn’t seem like much, it is 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 thin shells of porcelain to be applied.  

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

Preparation and Application

Traditional veneers require more preparation and dental work compared to Lumineers. Veneers will require at least three appointments, while Lumineers can typically take two visits.

For both types of services, the first visit will be a consultation. Your doctor will examine your teeth, tell you if you’re a candidate, and explain the procedure to you. For Lumineers, your dentist can take a mold of your teeth during this appointment and send it to the lab that will make them. The Lumineers will be applied at the next appointment about two weeks later.

At the second visit for traditional veneers, your dentist will perform a tooth reduction and trim about 0.5-1.5  millimeters off your natural teeth. Once this enamel has been removed, the dentist will take molds and send them to the lab. The prepared teeth must be covered with temporary plastic veneers. Your veneers will be applied at the third appointment once your doctor receives them from the lab.

The application process is similar for both treatments. The dentist will apply an adhesive to your teeth, then 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 make sure your veneers are appropriately placed.

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

Cost

  • Traditional Veneers: $1,000 to $2,500 per tooth.
  • Lumineers: $800 to $2,000 per tooth.

Most insurance plans will not cover either of 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 eight to ten years, and with proper care can last up to twenty 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 – tooth sensitivity 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. For example, a tooth’s nerve may have been irreversibly inflamed during the procedure, causing an infection. Contact your dentist for treatment options if sensitivity lasts too long.
  • Tooth damage – there is also a risk of dentin damage after veneer placement, but it is less common. 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.

Are Lumineers Right For Me?

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

  • Crooked Teeth
  • Tooth Discoloration or Staining
  • Chipped, Fractured or Broken Teeth
  • Old Dental Work
  • Spaced or Gapped Teeth
  • Small or Misshapen Teeth

In order to find out if you are a good candidate for lumineers, find a certified lumineers dentist near you, and schedule a consultation. 

Lumineers: Common Questions & Answers

How much do Lumineers cost for teeth?

Lumineers range in price from $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.

Are Lumineers more expensive than traditional veneers?

It depends on a variety of factors including how many teeth are being treated, the difficulty of your case, your geographical location, and the dentists' pricing. Lumineers typically cost between $800 and $2,000 per tooth, while traditional veneers range from $1,000 to $2,500 per tooth.

Do Lumineers ruin your teeth?

Lumineers usually do not have any effect on your original teeth. Often, Lumineers do not require any modification of your original teeth. However, this is determined on a case-by-case basis. Removing Lumineers is safe and effective, but there is always a risk for damage when veneers of any kind are removed from the teeth.

Do Lumineers have side effects?

Lumineers are generally safe and have few minor side effects. They may make it more difficult to clean your gum line, making you more susceptible to gum disease. You may also experience slight tooth sensitivity.

Are Lumineers an alternative to braces or Invisalign?

Sometimes. Lumineers can treat teeth that are slightly crowded, crooked, or spaced apart. Only a certified lumineers dentist is qualified to determine whether your case can be treated with Lumineers. In general, Lumineers are capable of covering only minor orthodontic problems.  Severe crowding or spacing would require orthodontic treatment, like braces or Invisalign.

Does insurance cover the cost of Lumineers?

It is highly unlikely that any insurance plan with dental care will cover Lumineers as they are considered an elective cosmetic procedure.

Is financing available for Lumineers?

Yes. Most dentists provide flexible monthly payment options. You can also receive financing through GE Care Credit. If you want to find out if you are a qualified candidate, find a certified lumineers dentist near you, and schedule a consultation.

Resources

Borges, Erica De Andrade, et al. “Study of Lumineers' Interfaces by Means of Optical Coherence Tomography.” Biophotonics South America, 2015, doi:10.1117/12.2180979.

Ivankova, 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, no. 3, 2020, pp. 8–11., doi:10.33667/2078-5631-2020-3-8-11.

Krikheli, N. I., and M. V. Ivankova. “The Experience with the Application of Lumineers in the Clinical Practice.” Rossiiskaya Stomatologiya, vol. 8, no. 3, 2015, p. 22., doi:10.17116/rosstomat20158322-25.

Zlatanovska, Katerina, et al. “Minimally Invasive Aesthetic Solutions - Porcelain Veneers and Lumineers.” Defect and Diffusion Forum, vol. 376, 2017, pp. 111–120., doi:10.4028/www.scientific.net/ddf.376.111.

Blue Ocean Publishing Group. The Million Dollar Smile, Changing Lives with Cosmetic Dentistry. 2018.

Hollins, Carole. Basic Guide to Dental Procedures. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2015.

“Dental Veneers.” Aspen Dental, www.aspendental.com/dental-services/cosmetic-dentistry/dental-veneers.

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