Lumineers vs Veneers FAQs
Lumineers are a brand of minimal-prep or no-prep veneers, and are incredibly popular because they require little or no preparation of the natural tooth structure.
The difference between Lumineers and veneers is the amount of tooth structure that must be removed. With traditional veneers, anywhere from .3mm to .6mm of enamel must be removed in order to place the veneer. With Lumineers less than .3mm of enamel will be removed. This has created a less-invasive approach to cosmetic dentistry that has patients asking for this brand by name.
Yes, and no. When people ask for Lumineers, what they are really asking for is a minimal-prep or no-prep veneer. While we do not work with Lumineers in our office, we do offer DURAthin veneers, which are also a minimal-prep option. Over time, I have found DURAthin to be the superior brand and offer a more natural looking smile.
Lumineers have been heavily marketed and have become a well-known brand, much like Invisalign. While DURAthin does not have the same level of marketing, the quality in my opinion is much better. They are more translucent and offer a more natural looking smile, where Lumineers are typically stark white and often result in a more manufactured Hollywood smile.
A strong candidate for minimal-prep veneers is someone who lacks tooth volume. Teeth are typically small and the patient has trouble showing them when they smile. In these cases, no-prep veneers are a good choice because very little tooth structure must be removed in order to achieve the desired look.
When no-prep veneers are placed on someone with adequate tooth volume, the result is often a bulky looking smile. Keep in mind, only four of out every 10 veneer cases I see are a good fit for Lumineers or DURAthin veneers.
If you do not fall into the above category, you can still transform your smile with porcelain veneers. However, it will require a more subtractive approach. Keep in mind that you will not be able to tell the difference in the end result.
In my experience, both prepless veneers and traditional veneers have a lifespan of approximately 15 years.