The Difference Between Lumineers and Porcelain Veneers

in Teeth

There are lots of reasons why people are self-conscious about their teeth. Oral and dental hygiene equates to health, attractiveness, and even success in modern American culture, where a bright smile is as important as clear skin and toned abs when it comes to "the right look." But some of us simply don't have that bright white smile! Maybe you fell and chipped your front incisor when you were thirteen, and your parents couldn't afford to repair it. Maybe your teeth weren't crooked enough to need braces, but still have that snaggly look – and maybe, no matter how many times you brush and floss, you still have cavities when you go to get your teeth cleaned! If these problems sound familiar and your teeth are holding you back at work or socially, it may be time to consider the alternatives: porcelain veneers and lumineers.
Both these phrases refer to a thin ceramic shell that can be placed over existing teeth to modify their color, shape, and overall look. Porcelain veneers are the older of the two options, and tend to be preferred by most cosmetic dentists for their superior ability to mask existing tooth color. They are also less likely to irritate the gums, as crowns and other methods sometimes do. That said, porcelain veneers have quite a few downsides as well. For a start, they require a filing-down of the enamel of the original tooth for a proper fit, which means that once you choose a veneer you can never, ever change your mind. This is important, because both porcelain veneers and lumineers last about 5 years on average, and can be quite expensive – what will you do if you can't afford to replace them next time? There is also the possibility that the reduced enamel will result in highly sensitive teeth.
Lumineers are an alternative to the traditional porcelain veneers used by most cosmetic dentists. They are also made of ceramic, but are extremely thin – advertised as the same thickness as a contact lens. This thinness means that in many cases they can be applied without enamel removal. Some patients who have very uneven or discolored teeth may not qualify for this procedure, unfortunately, as the lumineers' thin ceramic does not adequately mask severe discoloration. Those who do qualify, however, will find that lumineers are both less expensive and less intimidating – the application doesn't even require anesthesia!
If your mouth needs a new look, talk to your dentist about the possibility of veneers or lumineers. You'll be amazed at what a difference beautiful, straight white teeth can make!

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AraHovsepian has 1 articles online

Fashion photographer Ara Hovsepian knows how much pressure society puts on us to look great – even BEHIND the camera, he wants his teeth to sparkle! For more on cosmetic dentistry and other procedures, visit

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The Difference Between Lumineers and Porcelain Veneers

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This article was published on 2011/07/19