- by Dr. Ravneet Dhillon
- December 18, 2023
Most people need to get their front teeth prepped for veneers. This is true, especially in the case of traditional porcelain veneers. If you want to get veneers as a cosmetic solution to improve the appearance of your teeth, this is your lucky day.
Here, you will learn everything you need about teeth prepping for veneers. No need to be scared of a simple and pain-free cosmetic process that can drastically transform your smile.
What are veneers for teeth?
Dental veneers are thin, tooth-shaped coverings from different materials, including porcelain and composite resin. Getting teeth veneers is popular because it is a great way to correct minor chips, cracks, and discoloration.
Since veneers are always crafted for an individual according to the shape of their teeth, some prepping is done. Each veneer may be shaped differently according to the tooth for which it is created. A little prepping will ensure that the results are positively transformative.
Why are front teeth prepped for veneers?
Veneers are mainly applied to the front teeth to cover problems or imperfections. You will need a little prepping or filing of your teeth to ensure the veneers sit correctly on your teeth and give a natural look. Your smile is going to be transformed completely.
Prepping the front part of your teeth will be a simple procedure. Your teeth may be filed down slightly to ensure a perfect fit. If you are uncomfortable getting your teeth prepped for veneers, you may ask your dentist about other options.
How long does it take to prepare teeth for veneers?
It takes time to prepare teeth for veneers. A skilled cosmetic dentist will remove a minimal amount of tooth enamel from the front surface of your teeth with a diamond bur tool. An experienced cosmetic dentist will remove only the required enamel to fix veneers properly. The amount of enamel shaved completely depends on your case and the nature of your dental problem. When teeth are prepped for veneers, many factors are taken into consideration. However, you should not feel any pain while this is being done.
Is getting teeth prepped for veneers painful?
Getting your teeth prepped for veneers is not a painful process. Most of the time, a skilled dentist can prep your teeth without needing anesthetics. But you should know that if you have sensitive teeth or any anxiety related to dental work, your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb your teeth so that you don’t have discomfort. If you feel any pain during filing, tell your dentist about it.
Some patients may feel sensitivity in their teeth after getting them prepped for veneers. Your dentist may suggest you take mild OTC drugs to manage it. The sensitivity will resolve in 2-3 days.
How are teeth prepped for porcelain veneers?
Before getting into the actual process, let us find out some of the factors that need to be considered before getting porcelain veneers.
A conservative approach is taken in the following cases
- Mild discoloration of teeth
- Teeth with minor enamel defect
- Slightly cracked teeth
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Worn out teeth
- Shortened teeth
An aggressive approach is taken in the following cases
- Multiple teeth with wide spaces
- Malaligned teeth
- Severe teeth discoloration
- Black or grey bands on teeth
- Severely stained teeth
- Multiple problem teeth
How much do teeth need to be prepped for veneers?
Here are two of the most critical factors that your dentist considers before deciding how much prepping is needed
The properties of ceramic veneers
It is believed that even the most robust materials must be at least .5 mm thick to be effective.
- Limitations of the material during fabrication
Even though many brands claim to make thinner veneers than this limit, it is believed that it is difficult to determine the actual sturdiness of the veneer if it is crafted to be thinner than .5 mm. It is certainly possible to make fragile veneers, but their effectiveness is debatable. The thickness of the veneer may also depend on the case and the degree of correction needed.
- Limitations of transparency
The thinner the veneers, the lower their ability to conceal the color underneath them. Many brands claim they have created .2 mm thick veneers that block entirely the underlying color. However, most patients look forward to a complete smile. They don’t want a smile that looks artificially bright. A natural smile is the primary goal behind every cosmetic dental procedure. It would help to get your teeth prepped to get a natural and beautiful-looking smile.
Binding ability to tooth structures
It is generally believed that the strength of the bond with etched enamel is higher than that of the bond with dentin. This is why dentists try to save as much enamel as possible. However, other things are considered. Dentists fix crowns to the dentin frequently and don’t encounter any problems. Today, we have access to adhesives that strongly bond to dentin. Some types of adhesives have the same bond strength with both the enamel and dentin. This is why you must go to an experienced dentist or a dental lab with access to the latest technology.
Your dentist is the best person to decide your treatment course and help you achieve your desired goals.
It is up to the dentist to balance following the clinical requirements and getting the desired results for the patient. It would help if you asked your dentist about the different types of ceramic materials that they offer. Information is the best tool that you can have to ensure the successful cosmetic restoration of your smile.
Is teeth shaving necessary for veneers?
The degree of teeth shaving may differ depending on your case. If you have minor imperfections in your teeth, you may need some shaving. Prepping needs to be done in most cases of veneers. Porcelain veneers are the most durable, so more prepping needs to be done in their case.
If your teeth are severely malaligned or crooked, you may not be the right candidate for veneers. Your dentist may advise you to get other treatments like Invisalign or braces to fix the central issue. Your dentist will decide the course of your treatment based on your initial dental screening.
Each tooth may need a different level of prepping. Each problem tooth may have a different shape and require a certain amount of shaving. Each veneer is different and customized to create a perfect smile. Cosmetic dentistry can work like a miracle and can transform your appearance.
What if you don’t want to get your teeth prepped for veneers?
If you want to get veneers but don’t want your teeth shaved down, you may need to consider alternatives. Today, we have a revolutionary treatment called no-prep veneers. “Lumineers” is the most popular brand of no-prep veneers. They are known to be surprisingly thin compared to traditional porcelain veneers. They are so thin that they are almost unnoticed by others. However, there is one drawback of getting no-prep veneers. No prep veneers are delicate and not as durable as porcelain veneers.
These may not be suitable for everyone since you need healthy teeth for excellent results for no-prep veneers.
Lumineers may be the right option if you don’t want extensive teeth prepping for veneers. Please search for a highly experienced and qualified dentist because it needs incredible skill and precision to handle and place no-prep veneers.
So, shaving veneers is only sometimes required.
Who is the right candidate for dental veneers?
If you asked your dentist whether veneers are the final and best treat for your cosmetic dental issues, it must. Can simple whitening resolve your issues?
Do your teeth have cosmetic issues that completely non-invasive treatments can resolve?
Are your teeth strong enough to withstand such a treatment?
If your teeth are not structurally intact, your dentist may suggest you get other treatments like dental crowns.
It would help if you asked questions like these to clarify this decision. You may be the right candidate for dental veneers if your teeth are strong enough.
Dental veneers can be a transformative treatment if you can maintain them well. You should consult a skilled dentist with access to the latest technology. If you still need clarification, ask for photos of patients who got dental veneers before and after. Most types of veneers are irreversible and may need repair or maintenance.
The decision to get dental veneers can genuinely improve your smile and change your life.
If you have questions about teeth prepped for veneers, contact us at Morgan Hill Dentistry. Our team of skilled orthodontists will be glad to help you in your journey to get a transformed smile. We aim to listen to our patients and help them get the smile they want.