If your smile is not as even or white as it could be, you may be ashamed or feel embarrassed about your teeth. Traditional dental whitening options will not whiten badly stained teeth, nor can they fix misshapen teeth, slightly crooked teeth, or poorly spaced teeth. The most effective, and most economical option for fixing these dental problems is often applying dental veneers or Lumineers.
Dental veneers are a porcelain shell that fits over your teeth, giving them the appearance of being whiter, better shaped, and more even. Lumineers work in a similar manner, except that they are much thinner. Each of these options has advantages and disadvantages.
No matter which option you choose, the process for being fitted for the dental veneers of Lumineers is the same. First, your dentist will x-ray your teeth to make sure that you do not have any underlying cavities or problems that must be addressed first. Then, the dentist will make a cast of your teeth and send the cast to a dental laboratory that will create your veneers or Lumineers. When your dentist received the device, they will schedule an appointment to apply them to your teeth.
This is where the similarities end however. The process for applying them is different. Dental veneers require that the dentist gives you a local anesthetic and then reduces the enamel on the fronts of the teeth. This makes the teeth thinner, allowing room for the veneers to fit in your mouth. In addition, the roughened surface forms a better bond to the dental veneers, helping to hold them in place for a longer period of time. If they are cared for properly, dental veneers can last up to 20 years before they need to be replaced.
Lumineers are thinner, so the dentist may not need to reduce the tooth enamel at all, or give you an anesthetic. Because your enamel is left intact, your teeth do not need to be altered. This means that you can have the Lumineers removed at a later date. Dental veneers, on the other hand, are usually permanent because the altered enamel must be covered to prevent the tooth from being harmed.
Your dentist may still recommend that you opt for dental veneers over Lumineers however, if you have certain dental problems. For example, because Lumineers are so thin, they may not be able to cover teeth that are stained very dark brown or grey because the color will show through. In addition, Lumineers may not be appropriate for teeth that are displaced or spaced far apart. In these instances, dental veneers may be a better choice because they are thicker and form a tighter bond to the teeth.
Ask your Los Angeles dentist which option is right for you. They will examine your teeth and discuss your options with you. In some cases, you may even be able to explore other options, such as dental bonding, dental whitening, braces, or Invisalign aligners to fix your problem.