Whether you like it or not, the appearance of your teeth matters — a lot.
The results of a national survey found that a person’s smile is the first thing nearly one-third of Americans notice when they meet someone new. Furthermore, 73% of Americans said that they find people with nice smiles to be more trustworthy.
There are lots of options out there when it comes to improving your smile, but porcelain veneers and Lumineers(R) are two of the most popular.
If you’re on the fence about the best non-invasive way to straighten and whiten your teeth, keep reading to learn why, for most people, Lumineers are a better option than porcelain veneers.
Porcelain Veneers vs. Lumineers
First things first, let’s explain what veneers and Lumineers are.
Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are custom-made to match the shape of your teeth.
If you’re getting veneers to cover up a chipped or discolored tooth, they can be made to match the shade of your natural teeth for a seamless fit. You can also have veneers placed over all your visible teeth for a whiter smile.
Lumineers are a specific type of porcelain veneer that has become very popular in recent years.
Similarities and Differences
There are a number of similarities between these two cosmetic dental procedures. To the untrained eye, they might even seem to be identical.
Both options are made from thin layers of porcelain and are durable and easy to maintain.
Some of the other similarities include:
- Both can be used to make the teeth look straighter and better aligned
- Both can give you the appearance of whiter teeth
- Both can hide cracked or chipped teeth
- Both can cover up gaps between teeth
- Both are comfortable and natural looking
- Both come with similar price tags
Despite all these similarities, there are some important differences between Lumineers and porcelain veneers:
Less Damage and Sensitivity
The main difference between these two options is the amount of damage they cause to the natural teeth.
When porcelain veneers are applied, the dentist has to remove a small portion (about .5 millimeters) of the tooth’s enamel (top layer of the tooth).
They do this to create a more natural appearance when the veneer is placed. The problem, though, is that it leaves the tooth unprotected for a couple of weeks until the veneer can be made and applied.
It might not seem like a big deal to have .5 mm of your tooth removed. But, for many people, even a small slice like that can have a big impact on your tooth sensitivity.
Remember, too, that if the veneer ever needs to be removed, the tooth will be left unprotected until a new veneer can be placed on top.
Lumineers, on the other hand, don’t require any enamel removal.
This is because Lumineers are thinner than regular veneers. They’re about the same thickness as a contact lens, but they aren’t any less durable than traditional porcelain veneers.
Because the procedure is totally non-invasive, there’s also no need for shots or numbing when you have Lumineers applied. This is a major bonus for people who don’t handle pain well.
It usually takes multiple visits to the dentist for porcelain veneers to be placed.
After an initial consultation, you’ll have to make another appointment for the dentist to prepare the tooth or teeth for the veneers — this is when the enamel is removed.
Then, you’ll have to wait several weeks before you can come back again to have the veneers applied.
You can usually have Lumineers applied in just two short visits. The application process is much quicker since the teeth don’t need to be prepped at all beforehand.
Additional Downsides of Porcelain Veneers
In addition to taking longer to apply and requiring enamel removal, there are some other negative aspects of porcelain veneers that you should keep in mind:
- They’re typically more expensive.
- They can cause serious damage to the teeth and bite alignment if they’re applied incorrectly.
- You always have to wear them since your enamel is scraped away during the application process.
This last point is especially important for people who are unsure of having their teeth cosmetically altered.
If you decide you don’t like Lumineers, you can have them removed without any lasting effects on your teeth. With veneers, though, you’ll have to deal with the increased sensitivity that comes with having some of your enamel removed.
What to Expect from Typical Lumineers Procedure
If you’re still on the fence about Lumineers, it might help to know what the application procedure is like.
The typical Lumineers procedure is pretty straightforward. They can usually be applied in just two visits.
During the first visit, the dentist will create a mold to make sure your Lumineers fit properly. They will also work with you to decide the right color for your Lumineers — you’ll either match them to your natural teeth or choose a brighter shade if you’re looking for an all-around whiter smile.
After this visit, the dentist will send the mold to a lab so your Lumineers can be custom-made.
When they receive your Lumineers, they’ll be checked to make sure they’re the right size and shade. If everything checks out, you’ll come back in to have them applied.
Since there’s no drilling, shorts, or enamel removal, the procedure is totally painless and lasts about one hour.
There’s also no downtime after the placement and no need to avoid eating or drinking. You can go back to your normal routine right away. But, you’ll be able to carry yourself with more confidence knowing that your new smile is here to stay.
Interested in Lumineers?
Are you ready to get the straight, white teeth you’ve always wanted? If so, contact us at DentaCare of Knoxville today.
Whether you call us or fill out our online form, we’ll respond to your message and get you in for a consultation as soon as we can. We can’t wait to help you get the smile of your dreams!