Dental crowns, veneers and LUMINEERS® are three different methods for beautifying a tooth. Crowns are traditional, but require removing a lot of valuable tooth structure. An advantage of veneers is you can beautify a tooth but save and maintain tooth structure. LUMINEERS® can be appropriate if there is very little decay or mal-alignment, and with LUMINEERS®, you hardly touch or shave the tooth at all. The goal is to accomplish a beautiful smile with as minimal amount of tooth reduction as possible, preserving your strong dental enamel.
Many people like to know the difference between a crown, a veneer, or a Lumineer. Well, it's like three different ways to beautify a tooth. So you can go down a continuum. The old, traditional way was simply to crown the tooth. One of the problems with crowning a tooth, completely crowning, is you're going to take away a lot of valuable tooth structure. Then the next thing you can possibly do is do a veneer. What the advantage of the veneer is you can still beautify that tooth, but then you're starting to save tooth structure while maintaining the beauty of the tooth or enhancing the beauty of the tooth. The last procedure, on that same continuum, is you hardly touch or shave the tooth at all and that would be a Lumineer. Many times, that is appropriate if you don't have too much mal-alignment or very little decay. So it depends on the condition. The main thing is you want to accomplish what you want to accomplish, which is a beautiful smile or just an individual tooth, with as minimal amount of tooth reduction as possible. We want to save that healthy tooth structure. God knew what he was doing when he made the human tooth, so we want to preserve that rich, wonderful, strong enamel, dental enamel matrix, as much of that as we can. Many times, that means not crowning the tooth but going with something more like a veneer or even a Lumineer.