Porcelain Veneers vs Lumineers: Pros & Cons - Which Are Best?

Porcelain Veneers vs Lumineers: What’s The Difference? Which are Best For Me?

If you’re looking to hide your natural teeth and quickly transform your smile, porcelain veneers and Lumineers are two popular options, but what’s the difference between them and which are best for your aesthetic goals?

Porcelain veneers vs Lumineers - which are best?

Porcelain veneers are thin shells of dental ceramic which are durable, long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing tooth-coloured coverings for the front of the teeth. Many different types are available as they can be made from a range of materials that can all be processed in different ways. They all offer different benefits. Lumineers are an ultrathin type of veneer made in the USA.

Some of the information online about Lumineers and other types of porcelain veneers is out of date and makes researching your options confusing.

That’s why, the aesthetic dentists here at Smiles Stories, want to highlight the pros and cons of Lumineers and other types of porcelain veneers so you have up-to-date information to help you make an informed decision about which is best for you.

A Quick Overview of Porcelain Veneers and Lumineers

Before we get into this topic in more detail, we have put together a quick overview.

What are Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are a type of dental veneers made from a range of dental ceramics that come in a range of materials and thicknesses. They are bonded to the tooth enamel and immediately transform the external appearance of the teeth, covering all gaps, chips, cracks, discolouration, crookedness and other cosmetic flaws.

They can be made from feldspathic porcelain, leucite-reinforced porcelain or lithium disilicate ceramic. Depending on the way the ceramic is processed, they can be made as either thin or ultra-thin (laminate) veneers.

You will come across several types and brands online. These include traditional porcelain veneers (handcrafted by layering liquid Feldspathic porcelain), Lumineers, Empress (no longer made), Mac, Emax, DaVinci, BruxZir® (Zirconia), Vivaneers and Durathin veneers.

Lumineers Are A Type of Porcelain Veneer

Lumineers are a brand name for a type of ultra-thin porcelain veneer exclusively made in Lompoc, California, USA by DenMat Lab or at an authorised dental laboratory. They are made from a patented ceramic material called Cerinate which is a type of leucite-reinforced porcelain. They are the thinnest ultra-thin veneer and are only 0.2mm thick (similar to a contact lens).

Their thinness and application process makes them an attractive option. But these benefits can be drawbacks for some as they can appear bulky on the teeth. They are also not suitable for everyone.

Their selling point is that they require no or less preparation of the natural tooth than other veneers. This was true when they were first marketed but there are now other types of veneers, such as Emax which are more durable, stronger and require minimal tooth prep as well.

Lumineers vs Porcelain Veneers

We take a close look at the similarities and differences in the use, manufacture and application of Lumineers and other types of porcelain veneers.

Lumineers Are Not Suitable For Everyone

Lumineers and porcelain veneers can be used to correct the same issues. These include:

  • Stained or Discolored Teeth
  • Chipped Teeth
  • Spacing and Gaps
  • Misaligned or Crooked Teeth
  • Small or Misshapen Teeth
  • Ageing Dental Work
  • Undesired Smile Esthetics

Lumineers and other ultra-thin veneers may not be suitable for everyone. They are best for people with minor cosmetic imperfections, rather than severely misaligned or stained teeth. They are not suitable for those that grind their teeth.

Thickness – Lumineers are Thinner

This is one of the major differences between the different types of veneers. 

Lumineers are typically 0.2 mm thick – they are the thinnest veneers on the market. Other ultra-thin porcelain veneers are between 0.3 m to 0.5 mm thick and traditional veneers can range from 0.5 mm to 1.0 mm thick. 

The condition of your teeth, your aesthetic goals, and the dentist’s experience and training will dictate which thickness of veneers is best for your teeth and goals. 

Tooth Preparation – Lumineers Need Less Prep

To ensure that veneers look realistic and blend naturally with your teeth and gums your natural teeth need to be prepared. If thick veneers are just bonded to your teeth they will be bulky and uncomfortable. The thicker the veneer the more preparation the teeth need.

The main advantage of Lumineers and other ultra-thin veneers is that they can be applied to the teeth with no preparation, hence the name no-prep veneers. However, in many cases, both require that a tiny amount of enamel will need to be removed in certain areas of the tooth for a better fit.

Find out more about how porcelain veneers are applied to your teeth. 

Application – Lumineers are Quicker To Fit

Lumineers can be fitted quickly in comparison to veneers. Unless the dental clinic has a 3D printer or a lab onsite, fabrication of all veneers takes place in a remote dental lab – this can take 2-3 weeks. As Lumineers require zero preparation your first appointment will be quicker as you would not need to spend time in the chair having your teeth prepared. 

If you want to know more about the process of getting porcelain veneers fitted you might like this post. 

Temporary Veneers – Lumineers Don’t Require a Smile Trial

Another difference between veneers and Lumineers is the need for temporary veneers. As your teeth are not prepared for Lumineers there’s no need for the prepared teeth to be covered up whilst your veneers are being fabricated. 

However, one of the huge benefits of temporary veneers or a Trial Smile, as we like to call it here at Smile Stories, is that it gives you time to get used to wearing veneers before the permanent ones are fitted. You can decide if you need any changes made to the fit or design of your dazzling new smile.

Durability – Lumineers are Less Durable Than Some More Modern Porcelains

Lumineers and modern porcelains are all made from materials known for their exceptional durability and high translucency that allows them to closely mimic the natural appearance of teeth.

The thicker veneers tend to be more resistant to cracks and chips than Lumineers. Those made from lithium disilicate ceramic (Emax), the most advanced dental ceramics are the strongest and the most durable currently in production.

Longevity – Lumineers Don’t Last As Long

Lumineers and pressed porcelain veneers are known for their durability and longevity in comparison to composite veneers.

Porcelain veneers last longer than Lumineers. With proper care, porcelain veneers can last 15 to 20 years. There are claims that Lumineers can also last for 20 years, but these are exceptions to the rule. According to the ADA, Lumineer’s last 5-10 years.

The reason Lumineers don’t last as long as that the thicker porcelain is more resistant to cracks and chips. 

The actual lifespan of all veneers can vary depending on how you look after them and a number of factors, such as your oral hygiene, habits (such as grinding or clenching), and overall dental health. The lifespan is also affected by the quality of the placement and the skill of the cosmetic dentist.


The cost of Lumineers and other porcelain veneers can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the location of the dental practice, the experience and reputation of the dentist, and the number of veneers needed. It’s best to have a dental consultation to get a more accurate estimate of the cost in your specific case.

Ultrathin veneers tend to cost less due to the reduced amount of time required to prepare the teeth. 

However, in general, the price of Lumineers can be higher than some other porcelain veneers. This is because they are custom-made exclusively by the DenMat Lab in Lompoc, California, USA or at a very small number of authorised labs around the world. 

Would you like an accurate cost for transforming your smile with porcelain veneers in Bournemouth? If yes, get in contact with the skilled and highly trained aesthetic dentist here at Smile Stories today!

Which Are Best For You?

Veneers and Lumineers address many of the same concerns but there are some differences. Both require minimal or no preparation of the teeth, however as Lumineers are the thinnest available less prep work is required. This can be disadvantageous as they can appear bulky on the tooth surface, are not able to address as many cosmetic concerns and are not suitable for everyone.

An aesthetic dentist is the best person to help you determine which are best for your aesthetic goals. They can advise you on the latest product available and your suitability for each type. 

Get in touch today and book a FREE consultation and find out whether Porcelain veneers or Lumineers are best for you. 

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