Porcelain and ceramics are materials dentists have been using for more than 200 years. They are stable and they can be made to look like natural teeth. But traditional porcelain is fragile, and if a relatively small amount of pressure is applied, it can crack easily. Decades of development in the dental ceramics field have led up to Lumineers, made of a porcelain-based material that is more reliable and stronger than what came before.
Lumineers are typically made of a type of ceramic, Cerinate, that's not available anywhere else. With Cerinate, particles of leucite, a mineral found in volcanic rock, are mixed into the ceramic base. Lumineers are the only type of leucite-reinforced veneer to use the unique Cerinate formulation. Because of its strength, Cerinate can be shaped into super-thin veneers without increasing the likelihood of breakage.
Traditional porcelain veneers are thicker than Lumineers. This means that if they were to be placed on the teeth without any preparation work, they would be raised up compared to the surrounding teeth. The normal solution with traditional veneers is to grind away tooth enamel, making the tooth itself thinner so the porcelain veneer's surface can sit flush with the teeth next to it. With Lumineers, however, there is typically no need for such prep work. The Lumineers veneers can be as thin as a contact lens, so the dentist usually does not need to remove any of the tooth surface.
Because traditional porcelain veneers are thicker, they are also more opaque than Lumineers, so it's harder to get a good match with the color of the surrounding teeth. Lumineers' thinness means they are very translucent, helping them match the natural color of your teeth.
Are you curious about what makes Lumineers different? Please get in touch with a certified Lumineers dentists to find out more!