Veneers vs. Lumineers: How To Choose

Veneers and Lumineers are both great options to consider for anyone looking to repair cosmetic dental damage and get the bright, white, even teeth they’ve always wanted.

Smile Design Dental Spa has provided both treatments to happy patients across the Tri-state area for decades, and we’re sympathetic to the fact that there’s some confusion over the difference between porcelain Veneers and their ultra-thin porcelain counterparts, Lumineers. So here’s a little guide to understanding the distinction between the two and our approach to helping patients pick the best option for them.

What are Veneers?

Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or composite bonded to the front surfaces of your teeth. They are commonly used to perfect smiles and to correct misshapen, stained, uneven, cracked or otherwise flawed smiles. Dr. Stacie Calian uses porcelain rather than composite in her office because it is more durable and better matches the natural color of your teeth.

For those interested in Veneers, the first step is to consult your dentist to review your needs and goals and develop a plan that meets your budget. The next step is to get a sense of what the treatment will look like. We employ state-of-the-art photographic imaging software to quickly render an image that shows patients what the end-result would like on their teeth. We can also take an imprint of your mouth to get a stent — a 3d model of your teeth — to show patients what their veneers will look like on an exact model of their mouth.

How are Veneers Applied?

Before Veneers can be installed, a dentist needs to perform a minor procedure to remove the upper layer of enamel on the patients’ natural teeth to make room the new material and ensure a proper fit. This procedure is usually performed with a local anesthetic, though we also offer sedation dentistry to allow patients to feel completely comfortable during treatments.

Following surface preparation, temporary acrylic veneers are installed to protect your teeth. The temporary veneers — usually worn for two to three weeks — provide the patient with an opportunity to test-drive their new smile and request changes to the size and shape of the final product if desired.

On the third visit, our dentists will clean and etch the teeth to ensure the Veneers stay on firmly for many years. The Veneers are then carefully applied using a resin that permanently bonds them in place. After a light cleaning and a check-up, patients walk out the door with a brand new smile they can feel good about right away.

What are Lumineers?

Lumineers® is the brand name for a relatively new type of Veneer technology offered by far fewer dentists — Smile Design Dental Spa is one of the few dental practices in Westchester, NY offering Lumineer services.

Lumineers serve the same purpose as veneers, but they’re quick to install, and the process is less invasive. Unlike porcelain veneers that are less than .5 mm thick, Lumineers are much thinner — about the same size as contact lenses. They’re made of Cerinate® porcelain, a solid material that allows them to be much thinner than traditional veneers.

How are Lumineers Applied?

Thanks to their slim figure, Lumineers require minimal tooth surface preparation — there’s no need for extensive drilling and scraping, tooth reduction, or local anesthetic. The process is 100 percent pain-free. Plus, since the natural teeth aren’t damaged during the application process, Lumineers can be removed if a patient decides they no longer want them.

With Lumineers, there’s also no use for temporary veneers, making the entire process much quicker. Most patients can get Lumineers installed in just two quick visits.

What’s the Difference Between Lumineers and Veneers?

Check out the chart below to quickly learn the major differences between these two effective cosmetic dental treatments.

VeneersLumineers
MaterialPorcelainCerinate® Porcelain
ThicknessAbout 0.5 mmAbout 0.2 mm (similar to a contact lens)
Dental Visits Required3 or more2
Time to Finish After First Consultation3 weeks or moreLess than 1 week
Temporary Veneers Needed?YesNo
Surgical Procedures / AnestheticYesRare
Removable?YesNo
How Long Do They Usually Last?10 years20 years
CostLess ExpensiveMore Expensive

Want to Learn More? Ask A Cosmetic Dentist

We’re here to help existing and prospective patients learn more about all of the exciting cosmetic dentist treatments available to them. Schedule a no-pressure consultation with us now to discuss a path to a perfect smile that’s right for you.