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Veneers vs. Lumineers: What’s the Difference?

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A man sitting in a dentist's chair, holding up a mirror and smiling with his dentist in the background

Your smile is one of the first things someone notices about you. And if you need more confidence in your smile, it can be challenging to feel confident in other areas of your life. But thankfully, modern dentistry offers many ways to support your smile, such as veneers and Lumineers.

But what exactly is the difference between the two? 

Veneers are thin shells custom-made to fit over your natural teeth. At the same time, Lumineers are a brand of veneers that are ultra-thin and semi-permanent.

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite resin material bonded to the front of your teeth. They’re an option to address a range of cosmetic concerns, such as:

  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Discolouration
  • Gaps
  • Misshapen teeth

Getting veneers involves removing a small amount of tooth enamel from the front of the teeth to make room. Your dentist can take a mould of your teeth. However, CEREC technology allows us to scan your teeth instead.

With this innovative technology, you can avoid the hassle of taking messy impressions and even get some cosmetic solutions completed on the same day.

In whatever way your dental impressions are taken, the veneers are then customized to fit your teeth and match your natural colour. Once the veneers are made, your dentist cements them in place using a composite resin.

What Are Lumineers?

Lumineers are similar to veneers but are made of a specialized dental ceramic and are much thinner. Because Lumineers are thin, they require less tooth reduction than veneers. This means for most cases, Lumineers can be placed without drilling or removing tooth enamel. 

Much like traditional veneers, Lumineers also provide natural-looking results. They’re ideal for those seeking a minimally invasive option that addresses chipped, discoloured, or misshapen teeth. Plus, the noninvasive nature of Lumineers means they can be reversed later if desired.

Comparing Veneers and Lumineers

Choosing between veneers and Lumineers depends on your dental needs and preferences. Here are some things to consider when weighing your options:

A Bright Appearance

Veneers look bright and shiny and are large enough to disguise yellowed teeth. They’re more resistant to staining since they’re less porous than natural teeth.

Lumineers can similarly treat misshapen and discoloured teeth. However, they’re a bit thinner than traditional veneers, so they may not be a good option for severely discoloured teeth that could show through.

The Preparation Process

Veneers take more time to prep, and the process is more invasive. Your dentist needs to grind down your teeth’s surface to thin the enamel, then use an acid to roughen the surface, which helps the bonding process.

Lumineers are sometimes referred to as “no-prep” veneers. Since they’re thinner, your dentist won’t need to grind your teeth before preparation. They’ll simply have to get your dental impressions, and soon you can enjoy the appearance of your custom Lumineers.

A Permanent Option

Applying veneers requires removing a section of your natural tooth enamel. This means you can’t turn back once veneers are applied. If they get damaged, you’ll likely have to replace them since you’ll be leaving your teeth exposed otherwise.

Lumineers are semipermanent. Your dentist can bond them to your teeth to help them fit comfortably, but they don’t need to remove the enamel first. They could be a good option for people unsure if they want to commit to traditional veneers. However, minimal damage is possible if they get removed.

A Long-Lasting Solution

Both traditional veneers and Lumineers are considered to be long-lasting cosmetic procedures. Veneers can last 10 years, though some research has shown porcelain veneers can last up to 20. Caring for your veneers like they’re a natural set of teeth is one of the ways to extend their lifetime.

Lumineers don’t have as many long-term studies regarding their lifespans. Still, some studies report they could last up to 10 years before needing a replacement.


Individual costs can vary depending on your area and are typically per tooth. However, veneers are generally more expensive, while Lumineers can be considered the more affordable option.

A male dentist in blue scrubs  explaining a dental treatment procedure to  a woman sitting in a dentist's chair

Discover Your Smile

Both veneers and Lumineers are excellent cosmetic dental options, and it’s simply a choice. It takes consideration. It takes time. However it shakes out, you have Viceroy Dental’s support.

Our expert dental team is focused on helping you toward your oral health goals. We can help assess your situation and recommend an option suited to your needs.

Don’t hesitate to book a consultation to discuss your smile goals and explore your future. A bright smile is on the horizon!

Written by Dr. Anikumar Madivalar Gopi

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