Porcelain veneers are one of the most accepted smile enhancement techniques in dentistry. A porcelain veneer is a thin layer of porcelain custom shaped and designed to fit over the front surface of one or more teeth to improve color, shape and overall appearance. The veneer is bonded to the tooth for ultimate strength.
Traditional veneers require tooth preparation. The enamel of the tooth is ground away to allow for the thickness of the dental veneers. Even though traditional veneers are only about .5 millimeters thick, reducing tooth structure is necessary in order for the veneer not to look bulky and naturally blend in with the other teeth.
Minimal prep veneers provide the same aesthetic benefits as traditional veneers, however minimal or “no-prep” veneers are only about .2 -.3 millimeters thick which is similar to the thickness of a contact lens. Because they are super thin they can be placed right over the teeth with little or no preparation needed. Most patients avoid having their teeth shaved down which means they also avoid any discomfort from shots or anesthesia associated with traditional veneers. No-prep veneers are bonded in place like traditional ones and they last just as long, normally 10 – 15 years. Another advantage of the no-prep veneer over its traditional counterpart is that it is reversible. They can be removed at any time since the natural teeth have not been compromised.
Although minimal/no-prep veneers may seem like the obvious choice due to the fact that the tooth structure is preserved, keep in mind it may not be suitable for every case. They are ideal for patients who wish to make slight, subtle changes to their appearance. For more serious corrections other procedures may be more advantageous such as a smile makeover, or orthodontic treatment.
Image Dental Arts is here to help you transform your patient’s smile. We fabricate both traditional and no-prep veneers and we are also a certified Lumineers dental lab. If you have any further questions about minimal prep veneers give us a call at 260-496-8800.
You may be interested in reading another related article, Dental Bonding vs. Porcelain Veneers .