Nothing can light up a room like a big smile. As a result, our teeth get a lot of attention. Perhaps that’s why there are so many ways to keep our teeth healthy and our smiles bright these days. From home whitening kits and invisible straighteners to veneers and dental implants, almost any cosmetic issue you might have with your teeth is fixable—and usually in more than one way.
One of the most popular ways to present a mouthful of perfect, pearly whites is with something called Lumineers. Lumineers have been around for roughly 30 years and graced some of the most well-known smiles in Hollywood, as well as more than a million other mouths, both famous and humble. And when the conversation turns to veneers, the name Lumineers is always discussed.
So what are Lumineers, exactly? What makes them so popular? And could they be right for you? Let’s have a look.
The Lumineers Brand
The most straightforward answer to the question, “What are Lumineers?” is that they’re a brand of dental veneer from the DenMat company in central California. Introduced to the market in 1984 under the DenMat name, they were rebranded in 2004 as Lumineers and have grown to become the veneer most often requested by patients.
But let’s take a step back. In order to appreciate the benefits of Lumineers, it’s good to know what traditional veneers are and how they work. Veneers, as the name implies, are a thin layer of hard material—usually porcelain or resin—that fit over your existing teeth to provide a cosmetically pleasing appearance.
There are several reasons to choose veneers for a better smile. Perhaps your teeth don’t respond well to whitening treatments. Maybe you have defects that you’d like remedied like chips and cracks, or a noticeable gap you’d like filled. Whatever the patient’s reason, the result is always the same: a picture-perfect, dazzlingly white smile.
Lumineers vs. Traditional Veneers
So now that we’ve answered the question “What are Lumineers?”, what makes Lumineers different? Is it all in the advertising, or is there something more substantial behind Lumineers’ popularity? In this case, you can believe the hype as Lumineers do provide a few real advantages over traditional veneers.
First, and perhaps most significantly, Lumineers require no resculpting of teeth to apply. With traditional veneers, the outer enamel of the tooth must be shaved down slightly (a matter of tenths of a millimeter) to accommodate the veneers in a way that looks natural. Local anesthetic eliminates potential pain. However, by sacrificing some of the integrity of the tooth in this way, the procedure becomes permanent.
Lumineers are significantly thinner than other veneers, which means no reshaping is necessary. The Lumineer layer slips over the original tooth without modification, not only eliminating a step in the overall procedure but leaving the possibility of reversing the procedure open. If, for some reason, you or your dentist feels it’s necessary to remove your Lumineers, it’s done quickly and easily. And despite being so thin, Lumineers are just as durable as other veneers, up to 20 years.
So what are the drawbacks? Honestly, there aren’t that many. They’re expensive but no more so than other veneers. Plus, they last at least as long. One small disadvantage is that, since they’re so thin, they sometimes can’t cover up the most severe stains. But beyond that, it’s hard to find much on which to fault them.
Are Lumineers Right for You?
Instead of “What are Lumineers?” maybe now you’re asking, “Are they right for me?” The best way to determine this is to ask a professional. At South High Dental, we have the answer. Give us a call or come in for a consultation to learn all about what we can do to make your smile as radiant as possible. Want to be ready for your next close-up? Call us at 614.363.2462 today.