Jenny was building a great career, but with her teeth stained yellow from smoking and certain foods, she wasn’t as confident as she needed to be and often hid her smile. Bob had a couple of chips in his teeth, and they were a little uneven in front. He smiled with his mouth closed, worried about what people would think about him.
Everybody wants a bright smile. When you have clean, unblemished, perfectly aligned and spaced white teeth, it’s easy to flash a nice wide grin and share your happiness with the people around you. But people with damaged teeth hesitate to show teeth they feel are less than ideal.
One possible solution for these people is veneers. Dental veneers are thin shells designed to fit over the front of each tooth. They hide damage and imperfections and present to the world perfect-looking teeth. These can be created for one or more teeth, primarily the ones you expose when you smile.
One type of veneer is called Lumineers®. These are branded products designed a bit differently from typical veneers. Likewise, there are distinct differences between regular veneers vs. Lumineers. We’ll provide some information here to help you decide with your dentist which type will work best for you.
About Veneers and Lumineers®
Veneers are shells that fit on top of your teeth and cover the imperfections you don’t want to stand out—gaps, chips, unevenness, discoloration, and stains. Each custom-made veneer covers one tooth.
It’s possible to get only one veneer for a damaged tooth, but it’s more common for someone to get as many as eight for all the teeth that create a smile. Veneers don’t fix the problem—a chip or substantial yellowing, for example. Instead, they cover it with an aesthetically pleasing shell.
Why Get Veneers?
There are several reasons to consider veneers. You want a permanently white smile, but whitening methods haven’t given you the results you want. Veneers are highly stain-resistant.
The enamel on your teeth has been damaged, and, unfortunately, it can’t grow back. Veneers, however, can provide the cover and protection you lost. Veneers can hide gaps between teeth, unevenness, and chipped teeth. Veneers are permanent additions to your teeth.
Two Types of Traditional Veneers
Most veneers are made of either porcelain or composite resin, although they provide the same function. However, porcelain veneers last longer and are more expensive. Here’s more on how the two types differ:
|More expensive||Less expensive|
|Usually requires enamel removal||May not require enamel removal|
|2–3 appointments||Usually 1 appointment|
|Last around 20 years||Last around 5 years|
|Will not stain||May stain over time|
|Less likely to chip or fracture||More likely to chip or break|
|More difficult to fix||Easier to fix|
Source: Medical News Today
Lumineers are a specific brand of porcelain veneer with a slightly different design than traditional types. Also called “no-prep” veneers, they are thinner and require less invasive procedures to prepare teeth for the veneer application.
Veneers vs. Lumineers
Lumineers are veneers, but there are some critical differences between the Lumineers brand and traditional versions. For example, they differ significantly in the application method, durability, and cost, and there are pros and cons to both.
Traditional Porcelain Veneers. The application of traditional veneers is permanent because of the nature of the application procedure. To prepare the teeth for the veneers, the dentist removes some or all of the enamel, and sometimes more than the enamel. Because enamel cannot grow back or be replenished, you are committed to the procedure once the enamel is gone. This procedure can be painful and may require a local anesthetic.
The dentist will then create a mold either from an impression of your teeth or by creating a digital design and use dental cement to bond the veneers to the teeth. You can eat normally once the anesthetic leaves your system.
Traditional Resin Veneers. In this case, the dentist will scrape the surfaces of the teeth and apply a thin layer of the resin material. This procedure is less invasive, requiring less enamel removal and less grinding of the tooth surfaces.
Lumineers. These are thinner than traditional veneers. The application is the least invasive, requiring little or no removal of the tooth surfaces and no anesthetic. It’s a faster process, and you don’t need temporary veneers while waiting for your Lumineers to arrive because the teeth haven’t been ground down.
Traditional veneers are the most durable; they can last as much as 15 to 20 years before they need to be replaced. Resin veneers can last five to seven years. Lumineers can last anywhere from five to 20 years but are more easily damaged. However, one caution: because Lumineers are thinner, they may not adequately cover severe discoloration. It may show through, but they work just as well to cover other damage.
The cost of veneers varies by dentist, location, and the number of teeth to be covered. It also depends on the type of veneer your choose:
- Traditional Porcelain: $925 to $2,500 per tooth;
- Traditional Resin: $800 to $1,500 per tooth;
- Lumineers: $800 to $2,000 per tooth.
Traditional Lumineers vs. Veneers: Which Should You Choose?
Either type produces great results. To decide, you need to match your dental health and goals with what each type offers. For example, traditional veneers have a more invasive application process and take longer, but porcelain veneers are much more durable. Lumineers are thinner and won’t mask severe discoloration, but they require less alteration of your teeth and take less time to apply.
Consider the features of each and decide which are most important to you. Next, weigh the pros and cons, then discuss it with your dentist and get their recommendation.
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A bright, white smile of perfectly formed teeth is a gateway to increased self-confidence. It opens doors for success in many aspects of life, such as meeting new people, building your career, and getting noticed. To other people, a great smile implies good health, confidence, and personal strength.
Some people are burdened with dental discoloration, unevenness, chips, and gaps that keep a wonderful smile at bay. Veneers are an easy solution that masks imperfections and presents a beautiful smile to the world.
For more information about veneer selection and procedures, we invite you to contact us at Loudoun Orthodontics. We are here to give you a beaming, confident smile! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health!