Maybe you’ve been considering a smile makeover for a while. But what procedures will best address all of your aesthetic complaints about your teeth?

If your teeth have a combination of problems, like discoloration, staining, chips, gaps, or crookedness, you’ve probably already been considering porcelain veneers. Veneers can resolve multiple cosmetic problems in one blow, making them a super effective solution for a quick, complete makeover to your smile. Most patients are also good candidates for the procedure too!

There are traditional porcelain veneers, and then there are Lumineers. Let’s break down the differences between these two options.

beautiful woman showing off her smile

Porcelain Veneers

Traditional porcelain veneers have a pretty simple model: Your cosmetic dentist will create and apply thin, highly durable ceramic facades for your teeth. These facades are about 0.5mm thick and are semi-opaque and custom colored to look realistic and match your smile. In short, you keep your own healthy teeth but cover them with a more attractive face.

Since veneers cover up any imperfections, they can resolve a wide variety of aesthetic problems all at once. They can be applied to just one or two problem teeth, or to an entire row of teeth for a dramatic upgrade.

Porcelain veneers are a popular procedure among Hollywood stars because of their immediate, dramatic effects and their highly realistic appearance. If you’ve ever seen a celebrity smile go from drab to dazzling practically overnight, veneers are probably responsible.

Let’s break down what specifically separates porcelain veneers from Lumineers.

Procedure

The procedure for porcelain veneers consists of two visits. During the first visit, our Tulsa cosmetic dentist will remove a thin layer of your enamel to make room for the veneers. After Dr. Hodges is done prepping your teeth, she will take impressions and send them to the dental lab. While you wait for your permanent veneers to return from the lab, you will wear a set of temporary veneers. Once the permanent veneers arrive, Dr. Hodges will bond them to your teeth and your new smile is complete!

Cost

Porcelain veneers tend to cost more than Lumineers because they require more prep and they’re made with a different material. The average cost of veneers in the US range from $950 to $2,500 per tooth.

Durability

Porcelain veneers are made with thick dental ceramic. With proper care including brushing, flossing, regular dental appointments, and not using your teeth as tools, you can expect your veneers to last up to 20 years before they need to be replaced.

Results

Your results with porcelain veneers will look amazing! Since they’re made with thick porcelain, they are stain-resistant and don’t expose your teeth underneath. This means you can enjoy a beautiful white smile all year long without constantly needing a professional whitening treatment.

Permanence

Since we have to remove a thin layer of enamel from your teeth, the procedure is permanent. The good thing about porcelain veneers though is that they’re so long-lasting that you won’t have to replace your veneers very often.

beautiful young woman relaxing in dental chair

Lumineers

Lumineers are a specific type of porcelain veneer that is thinner than traditional porcelain veneers. They’re typically 0.3 mm thick. They can address all the same problems as porcelain veneers but have a few key differences.

Procedure

The procedure for Lumineers is much different than porcelain veneers. Since they are thinner, they do not require any enamel removal. Instead, Dr. Hodges will take impressions of your teeth to send to the lab and you will return once they’re ready to be bonded. There’s no period where you wear temporary veneers. When they arrive from the lab, we will test the fit and appearance and then bond them to your teeth and that’s it!

Cost

Lumineers typically cost a little bit less than traditional veneers. On average, in the US they can cost between $800 to $2,000 per tooth.

Durability

Since Lumineers are made with thinner porcelain, they are not as long-lasting as veneers. On average they last up to 10 years before needing a replacement.

Results

Once again, since Lumineers are thinner than regular veneers, the results will not look the same. The thickness of the veneer also impacts how realistic it looks. Real teeth have a certain level of transparency that a thinner veneer can’t mimic as accurately. For this reason, Lumineers sometimes look slightly less realistic than traditional veneers due to their more opaque appearance.

Permanence

The last difference between porcelain veneers and Lumineers is their permanence. Since Lumineers do not require any removal of enamel, the procedure is entirely reversible. For instance, if the time comes for you to replace your Lumineers and you don’t want to replace them, we can simply remove the Lumineers and your teeth will look like they once did.

Are Veneers or Lumineers in Tulsa Right For Me?

Neither traditional veneers nor Lumineers are “better,” but each has its strengths and weaknesses, and one option may be better suited to any given patient than to another. The question of whether traditional porcelain veneers or Lumineers are a better pick for your smile is ultimately up to you and your needs. For some people, the ease of Lumineers outweighs the realism and subtlety of traditional veneers. For others, a little anesthetic and some tooth trimming is a welcome price to pay for the best-looking teeth you can get.

If you want to speak to an experienced cosmetic dentist about which type of veneer is best for you, call élan at (918) 528-3330 or contact us online to make an appointment.