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Veneers or Lumineers: What’s the Difference?

added on: July 31, 2017

If you’ve ever wondered how it’s possible for every celebrity and movie star to have perfect smiles, well, it’s not because they all continued to wear retainers after getting their braces off. (Although the responsible ones, with the best smiles, wear their retainers!) The truth is that a lot of those movie stars didn’t have perfect smiles at the beginning of their careers, but thanks to either veneers or Lumineers, now have amazing smiles on the big screen.

Even though most of us don’t have our teeth scrutinized by strangers for a living, finally achieving that Hollywood smile can be an incredible source of confidence. Although you’ve probably heard of veneers before, you might be wondering what Lumineers are – and then, what’s the difference between the two?

Veneers and Lumineers are a lot alike

Veeners – technically called “dental porcelain laminates” – have been around for almost 100 years, although the science and technology has advanced a lot in that time. Basically, veneers are thin, porcelain shells that are bonded to the front teeth to mask imperfections. Lumineers are a certain type of veneer. Veneers and Lumineers can be used to correct the following issues:

  • Tooth discoloration that can’t be fixed with whitening treatments.
  • Chips, cracks and worn down teeth: Whether it’s bad luck or nightly grinding and clenching, veneers and Lumineers can cover chips and cracks, and even out uneven teeth.
  • Gaps: Although braces are still necessary for some people, veneers are a less invasive, more affordable alternative to correct gaps between teeth.

What are the Differences between Veneers and Lumineers?

Lumineers are ultra-thin veneers that don’t require drilling or anesthetic shots for placement. By ultra-thin, we’re talking about .2 or .3 millimeters. Or, about the same thickness as a contact lens! Dentists call this “no-prep” placement because the Lumineers can be bonded directly to teeth, unlike regular porcelain veneers that are about .5-1 millimeters in thickness.

In order for veneers to be placed, your dentist will have to alter your teeth to fit the sculpted veneers. Lumineers can be more convenient since they don’t alter the structure of the tooth, but aren’t an option for everyone because they can only fix very minor problems.

Do I Need Veneers or Lumineers?

Since everybody’s teeth are different, you should have a personalized consultation with your dentist to figure out what’s best for you. It usually takes about three trips to the dentist to complete the procedure. First, you’ll need to diagnose the problems and settle on the right treatment. Then, there will be an appointment to prepare for the bonding and, finally, the veneers or Lumineers will be bonded to your teeth.


If you want that perfect smile, and think veneers or Lumineers could be the answer you’ve been looking for, come talk to Dr. Blaine McLaughlin and the team at Dental Touch Associates in Cedar Rapids.