young adult woman smiling with teethIf you’ve done any research into cosmetic dentistry, you’ve probably learned about the power of veneers, which can give you an entirely new smile. You might even have learned that there are many types of veneers, including more traditional styles and the Lumineers® brand.

Many patients in Boston want to know how exactly porcelain veneers and Lumineers® differ. They seem to serve the same purpose, after all. However, there are significant differences between these two procedures. While on the surface, they appear similar, they differ in terms of candidacy, what types of dental problems they can solve, durability, and more. Having carefully evaluated the difference, Boston cosmetic dentist Dr. Ryan Clancy doesn’t offer Lumineers. He feels they offer too many negative risks.

What Is a Cosmetic Veneer?

Porcelain veneers and Lumineers® are both thin sheets of dental porcelain placed on the front of a tooth to disguise imperfections and create a more beautiful smile. Veneers are a good choice for patients who generally have healthy teeth but want to correct concerns such as:

  • Severe discoloration
  • Chips or cracks
  • Uneven teeth
  • Worn teeth
  • Mild to moderate crookedness or gapping

Veneers can help with discoloration that teeth whitening won’t improve. That’s because veneers cover your natural tooth enamel. If your enamel is naturally dim or the stains are incorporated into the enamel, whitening won’t help, but veneers will. Teeth whitening results might last just six months; veneers can stay bright for decades.

Your Boston cosmetic dentist can use veneers to repair chips or cracks in your teeth. Veneers can also help when some of your teeth are taller than others. It can help repair worn teeth to give you a bigger smile as well as a brighter one.

Veneers can reshape your teeth to eliminate crookedness and gaps between teeth. We often describe this as “instant orthodontics” because it only takes weeks, compared to the months or even years orthodontic approaches like Invisalign require. However, they can’t do all the things that orthodontics can.

Porcelain Veneers vs. Lumineers®

Your Boston cosmetic dentist will complete porcelain veneers and Lumineers® over the course of multiple visits. Porcelain veneers do require some of your natural tooth enamel to be removed, while Lumineers® do not always require this. However, unless you have naturally short teeth, it is likely that your natural teeth will need to be shortened for Lumineers®.

Porcelain veneers are thicker and more durable and, in some cases, can restore strength and functionality to a tooth.

Lumineers®, on the other hand, are a little thinner. A cosmetic dentist can place them with minimal preparation of the tooth beforehand, but the trade-off is that they are not as durable and cannot correct as wide a range of concerns.

In addition, while Lumineers® are thin, they still take up space in the mouth and might feel bulky since less natural tooth enamel is removed. Porcelain veneers are custom-fit to your teeth for a seamless and comfortable feel. The bulkiness and limited applications for Lumineers are two reasons why Dr. Clancy doesn’t recommend them.

Which Is Right for You?

In general, Boston cosmetic dentist Dr. Ryan Clancy recommends porcelain veneers over Lumineers®. The cost of both procedures is approximately the same, but Dr. Clancy prefers porcelain veneers because they:

  • Achieve more dramatic results
  • Feel better in the mouth
  • Can be custom-fit
  • Look more natural
  • Are more durable
  • Are longer-lasting

Veneers can give better results if you’re trying to cover darkly discolored teeth or want to do more tooth reshaping. Lumineers ® can work for limited cases, such as mild discoloration, closing gaps between teeth, and lengthening short teeth. The custom fit of veneers helps them to feel more comfortable.

Because they’re thin, Lumineers® need to stop light from penetrating, or they wouldn’t be able to whiten. Natural tooth enamel lets light in, so this makes Lumineers look a little less natural than veneers, which are thick enough to allow more light penetration. In addition, the custom fit of veneers makes it easier to get designs that look natural in your mouth.

Lumineers® use a very strong ceramic to compensate for their thinness. However, modern traditional veneers are also strong, and their thickness makes them more durable and long-lasting.

In the end, when you are choosing between porcelain veneers or Lumineers®, you should always make sure to visit an experienced and compassionate Boston cosmetic dentist who will treat you as an individual and give you honest recommendations. Dr. Clancy will carefully evaluate your appearance and your goals. If you are in the rare group of people who might benefit from Lumineers, he may refer you to another cosmetic dentist who offers them.

Your dentist should also be willing to stick with you through the long run and address any concerns you may have. Dr. Clancy understands that life happens, and he offers a 5-year guarantee on porcelain veneers. If your veneers are damaged through no fault of your own within 5 years, he will replace them for free.

Schedule Your Veneers Consultation in Boston

Are you considering cosmetic veneers for a better smile? Boston cosmetic dentist Dr. Ryan Clancy can help you decide which is the better procedure for you.

Please contact Dr. Clancy today at (781) 396-8558 to schedule your consultation at Divine Smiles, serving the Boston area from our office in Horn Pond Plaza, across from Whole Foods.