Enjoying Better Dental Checkups

What Are No-Prep Dental Veneers And Why Can They Be Kinder To Your Teeth?

From a patient's point of view, the preparation work your teeth must undergo during veneer dentistry can be unappealing. Once the veneer shell is bonded to the outward-facing side of your tooth, the entire natural tooth and its restoration cannot be any bulkier than the tooth was before the procedure. This means a layer of your tooth's structure must be removed before the veneer is fitted, and this is irreversible. But is it possible to receive veneers without the need for intensive preparation?

Most Veneers Are for Life

Much like adopting a pet dog, it's important to remember that (most) veneers are for life. Once your tooth's structure has been reduced, the treated teeth will always need to be protected by a restoration. This is likely to be your veneers, but they could conceivably be replaced by dental bonding or dental crowns, if they're ever needed. Without a restoration, your compromised tooth structure will not offer sufficient protection against decay. Your teeth will be sensitive and far more susceptible to cavities. It's perhaps the permanent nature of the preparation work required for traditional veneers that can make some patients hesitate.

The Tooth's Structure

Despite the name, no-prep veneers may still require some preparation work. However, when preparation is needed, far less of the tooth's structure must be prepared. The only affected part of your tooth is the outer layer of dental enamel—but this depends on the chosen veneers, as some models are bonded directly to the teeth, without the removal of any dental enamel. As with traditional veneers, the surface of the tooth must be prepared with an etching solution (generally diluted phosphoric acid) to help the veneer bond. Once applied, the ultra-thin design of the veneers means that the overall tooth and restoration won't look any larger than the tooth was prior to the procedure. 

Permanent But Removable

No-prep veneers are intended to be permanent, but if your needs should change, they can generally be removed. Because only a minimal amount of dental enamel was removed (if any was removed at all), these veneers are considered to be a reversible or removable restoration, which certainly isn't the case with traditional veneers. Just like traditional veneers, no-prep veneers can be made of porcelain or resin, and you care for them as you do your natural teeth. 

If you've been uncertain about receiving veneers due to the irreversible preparation work that's needed, you might want to have a word with your dentist about no-prep veneers.

Reach out to a veneer dentistry clinic for more information.