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What are Lumineers?

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Quick Answer

Lumineers are a type of thin porcelain dental veneer designed to improve the general appearance of teeth. Dental professionals apply veneer shells to the front of teeth to increase tooth size, change tooth shape or otherwise enhance the appearance of teeth.

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Full Answer

According to DenMat Lab, Lumineers are made of a combination of Cerinate II, also known as Lucite-reinforced porcelain, and IPS e.max, also known as lithium disilicate. Traditionally, dental professionals prepare teeth for veneer placement by removing some of the enamel on the outside of the teeth. According to the Lumineers manufacturer, Lumineer placement does not always require that a large amount of enamel, if any, be removed from patients' teeth.

Because Lumineers are made of a porcelain compound, they reflect light similarly to real teeth. WebMD states that veneers in general improve the appearance of teeth because they can be used to close gaps and can replace yellowed dental enamel.

According to Shoreline Dental Care, veneers were invented in the first half of the 20th century and were initially used as a temporary way to improve the appearance of Hollywood actors' teeth during movie shoots or public appearances. Permanent veneers were not introduced until the early 1980s, by which time the veneer/tooth bonding process had improved enough to ensure veneer longevity.

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