Lumineers® (ultra-thin porcelain veneers) pricing
The cost for Lumineers® usually falls along the same lines as conventional porcelain veneers. Here’s a general price estimate for this procedure.
- $715.00 – $1390.00 per Lumineers® veneer.
Low fee = Small rural city or town.
High fee = Large metropolitan area.
[How we calculate our cost estimates for procedures.]
You could expect DURAthin® and Vivaneers® veneers (Lumineers® equivalents) to be fairly similar in cost.
Costs for similar procedures.
As a basis of comparison, these links provide fee estimates for other types of dental laminates:
a) Prices are typically quoted on a “per-unit” basis.
You’ll usually find that the total cost for a veneer case is calculated at a fixed rate per tooth being treated. There typically isn’t any discount for “buying more” or “in quantity.”
For example, a case involving the placement of Lumineers® on 6 front teeth will typically cost exactly six times the dentist’s fee for placing one.
Lumineers® have a five-year warranty against defects in workmanship and materials.
c) Diagnostic-wax ups.
A diagnostic wax-up is a demonstration technique that’s used to communicate with a patient about how their case is expected to turn out.
- It may be that the fee for this service has already been factored into the cost of your treatment plan. A dentist can learn a lot about how an ultra-thin veneer case needs to be handled from having this type of mockup, so it may be routine for them to have one made (you should be impressed if they do).
Also, showing you a wax-up can be a relatively cheap form of insurance for them, in the sense that they’ll know that you’re on board with what they have planned beforehand.
- If it’s not a regular part of their service, a cost will likely be involved and it may even be several hundred dollars. (Your dentist’s laboratory costs for this service can run on the order of $20 to $50 per tooth “waxed up.”)
A) Does dental insurance cover Lumineers®?
Most dental policies will not provide coverage for procedures whose only purpose is making a cosmetic change for a tooth. The vast majority of porcelain veneer cases (including Lumineer®) fall into this category.
An insurance plan may cover veneers if placing them also provides some important non-cosmetic benefit. This might include correcting some type of dental health issue or the replacement of deteriorated veneers that now place a tooth at risk for dental disease.
If your dentist thinks that your situation may qualify, they can fill out the needed insurance forms to petition your insurance provider on your behalf in the hope of gaining pre-treatment authorization for performing the work.
A veneered tooth.
B) Why Lumineers® don’t usually cost less than conventional veneers.
But this cost-savings is at least in part offset by the fact that the dental laboratory bill for the Lumineers® will likely be greater.
C) Don’t overlook the cost of replacement veneers.
When evaluating the expense of any type of veneering procedure, don’t overlook the fact that the work will likely need to be replaced at some point during your lifetime. (See below for an estimate of Lumineers® longevity and a discussion about replacement considerations.)
You can expect the price for replacement Lumineers® to be the same fee that your dentist currently charges for new (initial placement) cases. There’s nothing about the process of replacing laminates that makes the job easier or quicker, so the full fee is warranted.
It may be possible for your dentist to recement individual Lumineers® that have come off, although this problem might be less of an issue with ultra-thins than with conventional porcelain veneers.
Choosing recementation isn’t text-book treatment, but it can be a very cost-effective solution when possible. The only other alternative would be to remake the restoration. We discuss the various types of scenarios that may play out if a veneer debonds on this page.
How long will Lumineers® last?
Studies suggest that Lumineers® can be expected to have a lifespan that’s on par with conventional porcelain veneers.
Several studies have shown that the lifespan of a Lumineer® can easily exceed ten years. One study found a 94% success rate at 20 years. (Ciancio)
(We discuss the issue of conventional porcelain veneer longevity in detail on this page.)
In terms of restoration survival, placing ultra-thin veneers using a no-drill protocol has the advantage that (in most cases) they are bonded entirely to enamel. In comparison, when any degree of tooth-preparation is involved, there’s always the possibility that some amount of dentin will be exposed (the layer underneath enamel).
Studies have unquestionably documented that the bond strength with tooth enamel is the strongest one dentistry has to offer (Ozturk). And while some amount of dentin exposure in preparations is perfectly permissible without unduly affecting case longevity, the use of a no-drill technique (typically) avoids this issue entirely.
What happens if problems occur?
You must anticipate that your Lumineers® will need to be replaced at some point during your lifetime.
You can’t realistically expect any type of dental restoration to last forever. This is especially true in those cases where its appearance is a critical factor (such as a veneer on a front tooth).
That means that beyond your initial expenses for your work, there will be others. And depending on your age, you may encounter these additional costs more than once.
We discuss this topic in greater detail on our page: What is the true cost of having porcelain veneers placed? This is an important read if you’re considering having them placed as an elective procedure. Alternative procedures should always be considered too.
Can’t Lumineers® just be removed?
As part of the discussion on the page linked to above, we state that once a tooth has been trimmed for a veneer it will always need one. You may wonder if this same statement applies to Lumineers® when a no-drilling protocol has been used.
The idea that ultra-thin veneers are “reversible” may help to create public demand for this procedure. But it seems true mostly in theory only. Yes, they can be ground off. But it’s not necessarily a quick process, nor is it likely that your tooth will be returned to its initial pristine condition.
The bond that’s been created during the placement process is very strong and the cement that’s been used typically remains stubbornly attached to the tooth’s surface.
It can be trimmed and buffed off. But that’s not necessarily an easy task, especially when a number of teeth are involved. And it has to be expected that the surface of the tooth’s enamel will be shaved and scuffed up at least somewhat during the process.
Why don’t all dentists place Lumineers®?
In 2006 we ran across a Den-Mat Corporation website that stated that more than 5000 dentists nationwide used Lumineers® in their practice. In 2006, the American Dental Association’s estimate of the number of dentists in the USA was just over 160,000 (20% of which were dental specialists).
These numbers suggest that only 3 to 5% of the dentists who might place Lumineers® choose to do so. And while no doubt this number has since changed, it probably hasn’t all that drastically.
Why wouldn’t a dentist want to offer this service?
There can be some good reasons why a dentist doesn’t place Lumineers®.
- Some dentists may feel that they simply can’t get the same lifelike appearance with Lumineers® that they can with other types of porcelain veneers.
- This brand is heavily advertised and this no doubt affects the pricing of their product. There are
competing brands of ultra-thins that a dentist can choose.
- The dentist may have a relationship with a dental laboratory that they have cultivated over the years and prefer to maintain.
If it’s a local dental lab, they probably have an opportunity to communicate face-to-face with the dental technician who makes their veneers. Since there are only a few Cerinate® Design Studios (the dental laboratories that make Lumineers®), an opportunity to work in direct contact with the technician is much less likely.
Page references sources:
Ciancio S. Evidence-Based Veneers: Lumineers.
Ozturk E, et al. Shear bond strength of porcelain laminate veneers to enamel, dentine and enamel-dentine complex bonded with different adhesive luting systems.
All reference sources for topic Ultra-thin Porcelain Veneers.