The main difference between Lumineers and traditional veneers is that Lumineers are much thinner, so it is not necessary to shave down the patient's natural teeth prior to application, explains Bonham Dental Arts. The thickness of regular veneers is comparable to a wafer, while Lumineers have about the same thickness as contact lenses.
Patients who receive veneers lose the enamel on their teeth in the tooth-shaving process, while the enamel remains intact when patients opt for Lumineers, notes Bonham Dental Arts. It is sometimes possible to remove Lumineers if the patient desires, while traditional veneers are a permanent restoration due to the loss of a substantial portion of the natural teeth. Lumineers patients also spend less time in the dentist's chair because Lumineers brand veneers do not require as much preparation.
Both Lumineers and regular veneers can help patients achieve a wide range of dental goals, including color correction, fixing minor misalignments, hiding chipped teeth, and perfecting the balance between the teeth and gums, states Bonham Dental Arts. However, Lumineers work best for making minor cosmetic alterations, while regular veneers are often the better option for patients who want to transform their smiles completely, according to Charles Nottingham, D.D.S., F.A.G.D. Lumineers are a conservative option when a patient simply wants to achieve whiter teeth or cover up a small chip in a tooth. Conversely, regular veneers are more durable and, therefore, more effective at filling in large tooth gaps.