I met with a cosmetic dentist and he was telling me about porcelain veneers and how great they are to fix minor imperfections. When I left I did some research and I found Lumineers. They look awesome too! Can you tell me the differences between the different types of porcelain veneers?
-Jess in California
Porcelain veneers are a wonderful way to transform your smile. They are very thin shells of porcelain that adhere to the surface of your teeth. When porcelain veneers are done by an expert cosmetic dentist, they will blend in beautifully and look lifelike. They can be used on one tooth that has imperfections or they can be used on multiple teeth. When they are placed across all the teeth that show when you smile, the transformation is incredible.
It’s great that you have been doing some research beforehand. You mentioned Lumineers, which are an ultra-thin brand of porcelain veneers. And the other type is traditional veneers. Here is some more information about the differences, so you can make the best decision for you.
Types of Porcelain Veneers
Traditional Porcelain Veneers
Traditional porcelain veneers are very thin, approximately one-half of a millimeter. To compare, that is about the same thickness as your fingernail. Many excellent cosmetic dentist will recommend traditional veneers because they present a seamless transition between your natural tooth and the veneer. A tiny portion of your natural tooth is shaved down so there is no gap when the veneer is placed to create that seamless look.
The cosmetic dentist will talk with you about the exact color, translucency and look you are trying to achieve. Then, he will apply them to your newly prepared teeth. You should have multiple opportunities to see exactly how they look. And once you give the go-ahead, they will be permanently bonded to the surface of your teeth to create a stunning new smile.
Ultra-thin veneers may not require any tooth preparation. Lumineers is an example of a popular brand of ultra-thin veneers. The company (DenMat corporation) has invested a great deal in marketing them. The no-prep feature is very appealing to many people.
However, the Lumineers brand also comes with strict trademark restrictions and must be created in the DenMat laboratory. Also, what you may not realize is that by skipping the tooth preparation step, the dentist may not be able to achieve that seamless look. What you are not seeing on all the sites that promote Lumineers is that many patients are unhappy with the end results. Many complain that they look bulky and too long. This ends up giving a look that isn’t as natural-looking as traditional veneers.
What is right for you?
The best piece of advice we could give is to pick the best cosmetic dentist you can find. Doing your own research is great. However, spend time looking for a cosmetic dentist in your area that has extensive cosmetic dentistry credentials and experience. Instead of going to them and telling them what treatment you want, have a consultation and listen to their recommendations.
James T. Gavrilos, DDS is a cosmetic dentist in the Barrington, IL area. He offers complimentary consultations for patients that are interested in porcelain veneers. This gives patients an opportunity to meet with him, ask a few questions and get a feel for the office atmosphere.
Most excellent cosmetic dentists will be willing to do the same. So, make some phone calls, schedule several consultations and then you should have a better idea about the best cosmetic dentist for you.