Lumineers are a brand name for a no-prep, porcelain, ultra-thin veneer. No-prep means that the dentist does not have to prepare the tooth before placement of the veneer. Since no shots or drilling are required, an anesthetic is not needed for this kind of procedure.
How Thin Are Veneers?
If you wear contacts, or know someone else who does you can compare the thickness of Lumineers to that of contact lenses, about 0.2 to 0.3 millimeters. A regular porcelain veneer is typically around 0.5 mm, a large difference when it is something that is placed upon the surface of the tooth.
What are Lumineers Made From?
While both types of veneers are made from porcelain, Lumineers are made from cerinate porcelain, a stronger version that allows for them to be thinner compared to regular veneers.
Conventional Placement of Regular Veneer:
- Trimming of tooth with drill
- Administration of anesthetic
- Temporary veneers are placed until next appointment for final restorations
Preparation for Lumineers
When a regular veneer is being placed, the dentist must first prepare the tooth by trimming it. With Lumineers, this part of the procedure is not required and the patient will likely be more at ease knowing that they do not need to receive a shot or any drilling. As the tooth is minimally disturbed, tooth sensitivity is less, compared to those that receive treatment and preparation from the regular veneers.
Although the procedure is quicker compared to conventional veneers, there are a few words of caution about receiving these brand name veneers. Lumineers often need to be thick at the gum line edge in order to mask over the tooth structure underneath. This formation makes it more difficult to remove dental plaque that fills in within the gum-line.
In many cases, the dentist may be able to taper and extend the edge of the veneer underneath the gum line, but this requires pushing the gums back before the impression is taken. This causes a pinching sensation to the patient, as a retraction cord is needed to complete this part of the procedure. So, even if no trimming is required, the patient may still need an anesthetic if they are prone to pain.
The important thing is to talk with your dentist about the differences between regular veneers and Lumineers and decide what would work best for you.