Understanding Dental Lumineers
Who doesn’t want that perfect smile?
You know, the kind that turns heads when you walk into a room. The kind of smile that is contagious and brightens the day of those around you...
While we all want a large, bright, and elegant smile, the natural imperfections in our teeth can get in the way of that as you age. Through wear and tear, teeth become darker in tone due to staining and less glossy in texture due to wear and tear on tooth enamel as the years go on. This is perfectly normal, however, it might leave you feeling less attractive and approachable, especially if you received compliments on your smile in your youth.
This is why many are turning to dental accessories such as Lumineers.
What are Lumineers?
These are a special kind of veneers, second-generation veneers if you will. Taking things back a step further, veneers are tiny covers that hide undesirable aesthetic issues. Veneers have been around for quite some time, but many dentists refer to 'Lumineers' as the next-generation of veneers.
Here’s more on that and why they have proven a better alternative to laser treatments, whitening gels, and the original veneers:
How Lumineers are similar to conventional veneers
Let’s first start with the similarities. The major similarity between the original alternative and Lumineers is that they both remedy the same issues.
These include cracked, uneven, widely-spaced, tiny, crooked, and deeply stained teeth. The most common reason patients select this procedure is to cover the appearance of deep discoloration that can’t be done away with by bleaching or whitening.
Additionally, both alternatives offer excellent longevity in the region of two decades with proper observation of dental hygiene practices. Further, Lumineers can set you back between $800 and $2000 per tooth, and you can say the same about traditional veneers. Factors that may affect the cost of your veneers or lumineers are case by case, these can include the difficulty of your specific procedure, size of your teeth, the location where you have the procedure, and more.
Lumineers vs Veneers
Although many websites use the terms interchangeably, there are major differences between traditional veneers and lumineers.
The most significant difference has to be the difference in the thickness of the material. When it comes to Lumineers, a girth of 0.3mm is about average. This is about half the thickness of porcelain veneers.
That difference might seem inconsequential, but in actuality, it is critically important. Due to the thick nature of porcelain veneers, your dentist might need to remove some of your tooth enamel to create space for the cover. That means you’ll always need veneers, and have to update them every decade or so.
Unlike veneers, lumineer placement is minimally invasive. Given the fact that they are super-thin, you won’t even need anesthesia during the installation procedure. It’s a quick and painless process that requires just two visits.
More Information on Choosing the Best Option for You
With veneers, you're virtually replacing the exterior of your teeth with a natural-looking, protective cover. In other words, the result of having veneers placed over your teeth is a permanent and irreversible aesthetically perfect smile.
On the other hand, lumineers can slot in seamlessly without the need to make any adjustments. Thanks to their ultra-thin nature, lumineer placements are reversible. You risk a little less with this aesthetic approach because if you don't like them or damage them, you don't have to have them replaced. These are removable and easily attach to the exterior of your teeth. Should you decide you’ve had enough of them later on, they can be taken out leaving all of your tooth material still intact.
When are Lumineers ideal?
You might find Lumineers appealing if:
- You don’t fancy teeth whitening procedures but would still like to achieve similar results.
- Teeth whitening no longer works on your teeth due to deep staining.
- You want to fix crooked teeth but aren’t too keen on braces.
- You don’t like comprehensive dental procedures.
When are they not a good idea?
If you have bruxism.
Bruxism is a condition where there’s a lot of grinding between the teeth. In this case, these may not be a viable solution. Lumineers are unfavorable in patient's with bruxism since the grinding can interfere with the integrity of the lumineer material, thereby shortening durability and longevity.
When you have an infection or decay in the root canal.
This will have to be treated first. If you have poor oral hygiene before getting lumineers, you may have to have them removed, treat the infection, and then replace the lumineer which can be very costly and painful.
If you have severe crookedness and or blue/black teeth.
This might necessitate additional treatments and dental visits. Since lumineers are much thinner than veneers, deep flaws are visible through them. They can be quite transparent and fail to hide the issue you're attempting to cover up with them.
Your dentist will advise accordingly on what has to be done first to make Lumineers a possibility, so worry not. This is the main reason lumineers must be installed in two visits and not one. It's a simple and easy procedure, unlike getting veeners installed, but the consultation is the most important part.
Your Consultation & Procedure
In your initial visit we can determine if there are any issues that need to be addressed before placing your lumineers, and the follow-up visit will bring everything together. You'll have them placed during the next visit and you can drive your self home the same day.
You won't need a guardian, prescriptions, or anything like that. Yet, you might want to take over the counter pain medication to remedy sensitivity following the procedure. This is completely optional, however, and most patients don't take any medication at all. They continue with their normal daily life, unable to eat or drink for a short window after the lumineers are put in place.
We might request that you come in for a follow-up visit a few months after your procedure, but other than that it's business as usual.
So will it be Veneers or Lumineers?
Both are effective, and you can’t go wrong with either. Since the two alternatives are incredibly durable, remedy similar dental issues, and come at a similar price, the decision may be left up to you. If you have smaller teeth, it may be best to opt for standard veneers.
However, lumineers are usually the route we recommend to the majority of our patients. Similar to recommending the newest iPhone, this is simply because lumineers offer a more modern alternative to traditional veneers.
The primary benefit of getting lumineers is that you will maintain the integrity of your original teeth. You'll also avoid the long-term commitment, additional pain and expenses of having a traditional veneer installation procedure.
Whether you choose our practice or not, be sure that your Miami dentist has the necessary qualifications and expertise to help you realize the optimal smile within your budget.