Lumineers or porcelain veneers?

by Dr. Fred Peck, DDS 3. August 2014 21:21

What are the differences between a porcelain veneer and a Lumineer? A Lumineer is a brand name for a prepless veneer, where no tooth structure or minimal amounts are removed. There are many types of porcelains on the market, but the company took the process and applied a "brand" name to it. The more important question before committing to veneers is, what experience does the dentist have with various veneer options, who is the lab technician making the veneer and what are the characteristics of the porcelain. Different porcelains are used in different situations.

The more important question is, which is best for the patient and which will give the desired result long term. The reason that tooth structure should be removed, assuming the teeth are healthy is to allow room for the porcelain to be applied to the front of the teeth, without making the tooth too big or stick out too far. A tooth that can accept additional porcelain being placed on top would be best served with a prepless veneer.

Another reason to reduce tooth structure is for color change. A prepless veneer by nature is very thin. Any underlying color will show through. Therefore, minor color changes can be accomplished, but a dark tooth will show through a thin layer of porcelain. The more the color of the tooth needs to be changed or completely blocked out, the thicker the porcelain needs to be to remain natural.

The last item to consider is the shape and position of all of the teeth. If a tooth is sticking out too far, the tooth will need to be reduced so the final veneer matches with the rest of the teeth. Once a tooth is reduced, a prepless veneer no longer applies. A prepared tooth also will have a different color than an unprepared tooth. Will all of the veneers match in color when the treatment is complete? These are just some of the questions that should be included in your discussion with your dentist prior to undergoing this type of cosmetic treatment.

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