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Dental Lumineers are thin shells which cover the surface of your teeth to create the brighter and aesthetically pleasing smile.


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A dental lumineer is a veneer-like cosmetic dental procedure used to improve the appearance of teeth. You can learn about what lumineers are, how they differ from dental veneers, costs, risks, and many other factors below. Read from here to know if dental lumineers can help your cosmetic dentistry problem:

What are Dental Lumineers?

Dental veneers are ultra-thin porcelain shells that can be bonded onto your teeth. Lumineers are mainly used in cosmetic procedures.

Lumineers are exceptionally thin. These shells come at less than half a millimeter in thickness. In other words, they are about as thick as a contact lens.

Lumineers are made from porcelain or a porcelain mix material. The material can imitate the color of your natural teeth. However, despite the thinness, lumineers can feel bulky on teeth if the shells are not applied correctly. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to visit an experienced dentist to get the lumineer procedure done correctly.

How Can Dental Lumineers Help You?

Dental lumineers are used to fix damaged or discolored teeth, among other issues. Here’s an overview of how dental lumineers might be able to help you:

Lumineers can Make Your Teeth Look Whiter

Dental lumineers are most commonly used to brighten teeth and improve a smile. Are your teeth yellowed or discolored? Teeth can be stained by certain foods we consume, such as red wine or coffee. Smoking also permanently discolors teeth. In some cases, prescription medications can ruin the shade of your teeth as well.

If you have undergone a root canal treatment, the affected tooth may not be as white as it used to. Dental lumineers can help cover up the discoloration. You can choose a shade of your liking for the lumineers, so your teeth can appear as pearly white as in a toothpaste commercial.

Lumineers can help you even if your teeth are not discolored. If you don’t like the natural shade of your teeth, lumineers can help you attain a brighter shade.

Restore Tooth Damage

Do you have a tooth physically damaged because of a cavity or a chipping, among other reasons? Lumineers might be able to help you restore the original appearance of teeth. Dentists may use fillings, inlays, onlays, veneers, and crowns to restore damaged teeth. A lumineer is one of the least invasive options to consider.

Lumineers can be applied right away to improve the appearance of a tooth. However, keep in mind that lumineers only work when the damage is minor. You may require a crown or a similar procedure for severely damaged teeth.

Lumineers can Help Gaps Between Teeth Appear Less Prominent

Teeth gaps can occur either naturally or because of missing teeth. Protruding or receding teeth may also have unsightly gaps. Lumineers can help reduce the appearance of these gaps in minor cases.

Keep in mind that lumineers don’t eliminate teeth gaps. This procedure can only help reduce the visual appearance of any minor gaps. If the gap is caused by a missing tooth, you may need an implant, not a lumineer.

Your dentist can assess the severity of the gap and design lumineers to for nearby teeth. Once the lumineers are bonded with teeth, the gaps would appear much less prominent. This procedure doesn’t alter the appearance or function of teeth, so the process is much desired to get rid of teeth gaps on a near permanent basis.

Use Lumineers to Make Crooked Teeth Appear Straighter

Have a crooked tooth you absolutely loathe? Lumineers can painlessly alter the appearance of crooked or uneven teeth, there would be no need for braces or surgery.

The lumineer would simply be placed onto the crooked tooth to make it appear less so. The procedure is simple and doesn’t change how the tooth functions. It may even guard the tooth against decay.

Make Old Crowns Look New

Certain restorative dental work, like crowns or bridges, experience wear with time. A dental crown may look discolored or misshaped after about 5 or 10 years in the mouth. Some metal crowns can be polished to improve the looks. But if this is not an option, lumineers might be able to help.

Lumineers can be applied onto crowns or artificial teeth just like with real teeth. because lumineers are very thin, it might not be necessary to remove any part of the old dental work. The results would be immediate.

Align Uneven Teeth

Do you have teeth in a row that is uneven? Uneven or misaligned teeth can distort your smile. You can restore your smile with lumineers.

With its teeth reshaping ability, lumineers can make multiple teeth appear well aligned, like the perfect Hollywood smile. This is the best way to get a better smile without resorting to invasive procedures.

Address Tooth Wear

Lumineers can help you address worn down tooth in old age. A lumineer can be a less expensive alternative for using a dental crown.

Lumineers can visually obscure minor wearing of teeth caused by age or teeth grinding. However, for severely worn down teeth, you may still require a crown.

What is the Difference between Dental Lumineers and Veneers?

It’s easy to conflate dental lumineers with veneers and vice versa. Both types of procedures are designed similarly and address pretty much the same issues. However, veneers and lumineers differ in structure and application.

Lumineers are much thinner than dental veneers, for starters. But more importantly, lumineers are applied differently than veneers. When placing a veneer, your dentist removes about a 5mm shaving of the tooth’s enamel. This removal can make teeth sensitive to hot and cold afterwards. Application of lumineers does not damage the enamel in this manner.

While veneers take longer to place and bond, lumineers can be applied with a single visit. The enamel isn’t damaged. Your dentist will clean and lightly sand the enamel to paste the lumineer, and that’s it. Lumineers don’t cause the sensitive teeth side effect.

You also don’t need to receive an anesthetic to receive lumineers. Your dentist can complete the procedure while you are still conscious. You may experience some mild discomfort, but no pain. Despite the light procedure, lumineers are permanently bonded to your teeth in much of the same way as a veneer.

Veneers, however, are more translucent than lumineers. The thickness of veneers allows the porcelain to reflect light, just like natural teeth do. So you can gain a more natural look with veneers. Lumineers, on the other hand, doesn’t have a wide range of shades available to emulate natural enamel. They are more opaquely white, which may put off some patients.

Here’s a summary of how veneers differ from lumineers:

  • Lumineers are much thinner than veneers.

  • Lumineers are less invasive to apply than veneers.

  • Lumineers can be applied in a day. Veneers take longer to bond.

  • You can undergo the lumineer procedure without an anesthetic, but not for getting veneers.

  • Lumineers are less translucent than veneers, and cannot reflect light like veneers can.

Some patients may not qualify for lumineers, only for veneers. This depends on the shape and orientation of your tooth. You should discuss whether lumineers or veneers are best suited for you’re the condition you want to address.

The Procedure

The procedure for getting dental lumineers is relatively simple and easy compared to most other cosmetic dental procedures. The process is quick as well. It’s quick enough for some dental clinics to offer 1-hour lumineer fittings. However, you may need at least two visits at most clinics to get lumineers.

Step 1

The process starts by visiting the dentist and discussing your desire to get lumineers. The dentist will perform a routine examination of your teeth. He or she will discuss your dental and possibly medical history before determining if lumineers are suited for you.

If you do qualify for lumineers, the dentist will take x-rays of your teeth and possibly photos as well. These would be necessary to construct the lumineers. The dentist may then discuss lumineer brands. You can choose a brand you like.

Step 2

Your dentist would send impressions of your teeth to make lumineers to a dental lab. The lab will then take some time to make the lumineers. This process can vary between labs. You may be able to get your lumineers in a day or two, or it might take a week or two.

When the lumineers are done, you should revisit the dentist for your fitting. This part is easy and would take about an hour. The dentist would clean the teeth receiving lumineers. The surface of teeth might be lightly sanded or etched to prepare for bonding. This doesn’t damage the enamel severely. The dentist won’t scrape off the enamel as is routine for receiving veneers.

The dentist would then bond the lumineers onto the teeth. You will have to pretend to bite and them move your mouth to make sure the lumineers are properly fit in place. The dentist would then show your before and after pictures to compare the results. This is the end of the process for getting lumineers.


You won’t need to seriously recover after receiving lumineers. However, your dentist may have some advice of taking care of your teeth and gums until the lumineers bonding is fully complete. Your dentist may recommend avoiding hard bite foods and sticking to soft foods for a day or two after getting your lumineers.

If you have any concerns, you should relay these to your dentist right away. Getting lumineers is not a risky process and the recovery process should go smoothly.

Associated Risks

All cosmetic dental procedures carry some form of risk and lumineers are no exception. Here are some side effects and risks of getting lumineers you should be aware of in advance:

  • Lumineers are very thin, and that’s why people like them. However, the lack of depth makes lumineers prone to breaking compared to veneers.

  • Though lumineers are really thin, they could feel thick when pasted onto teeth. It might lead to difficulty biting or talking for the patient. The “feel” may cause discomfort as well.

  • While lumineers don’t require enamel removal like veneers do, dentists do perform some moderate etching on enamel. This could lead to dental sensitiveness in some people, though not commonly.

  • Unlike veneers, lumineers are applied without a recessed edge or a margin. This is the so-called “no prep” procedure. This results in a kind of ledge at the edges of the shells, which can trap plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria in your mouth. Trapped plaque can start staining your natural enamel and cause smells, possibly leading to bad breath.

  • Likewise, a poor seal on the lumineers can make holes for bacteria to get inside, resulting in bad breath (halitosis).

  • Lumineers, if not expertly bonded, may have bulky edges that irritate gums. That can put you at risk of gum disease.

  • Over-contoured lumineers can lead to chronic gum inflammation.

You would be mostly be at risk for the above side effects of you don’t choose a good dentist or a clinic for receiving lumineers. You can avoid most post-application problems by finding a reputable clinic with experienced dentists.

Also, don’t buy cheap lumineers made from poor porcelain. Invest in a good brand that guarantees the best quality products.

Affording Dental Lumineers

Lumineers are not expensive as dental implants. But getting lumineers can set you back thousands of dollars. It could cost more if you purchase more than one lumineer.

Most of the costs associated with lumineers come from fees charged by the dentists. If you live in an area where healthcare costs are generally high, then getting lumineers would be costly as well.

You can manage costs by going to a country like Turkey where dental care costs are much lower compared to other developed countries. Turkey has a reputation as a destination for dental tourism.

Alternatively, you can negotiate with your health insurance provider for covering dental lumineers. Most insurers, however, don’t offer coverage for cosmetic procedures of any kind. The best option, therefore, is to seek a low-cost area like Turkey for getting the lumineers fitted by highly qualified dentists.