Conservative, Minimal Preparation Veneers
Let’s start by explaining what a porcelain veneer really is. A porcelain veneer is a thin piece of porcelain that is custom made by a lab technician to fit over your teeth. Veneers are indicated for a variety of situations. It can be made to alter the color, shape and size of your teeth. Depending on how much you want to alter where your current tooth position is will determine how much tooth preparation would be necessary to achieve that result. Here is an example in simplistic form: If you have a small, undersized tooth and you desire a bigger or longer tooth then there would be no need to prepare the tooth since the porcelain veneer would only be needed to add more length and width. If you have an oversized tooth and you want to have a smaller tooth then I would need to remove enough tooth structure to allow the porcelain veneer to fit over your tooth and still allow for the appearance of a smaller tooth.
That being said, it is much more technique sensitive for a dentist and lab technician to be able to create and deliver a paper thin veneer than it would to make a thick veneer. It requires proper skill and experience to be able to deliver a minimal preparation or no-preparation veneer. The benefit of these thin veneers other than the minimal tooth preparation required is that the most natural esthetics can be achieved. The reason?? These veneers are thin like contact lenses which allow for the color of your tooth underneath to shine through. So if you have extremely dark teeth that are unable to lighten even after whitening treatments then you would not be a candidate for a thin veneer since the veneer would be too thin to be able to mask the dark color underneath.
I have answered numerous questions on the topic of veneers on ZEEL.com and you can check out all of these on that website.
Here is my latest case of no-preparation and minimal preparation porcelain veneers. The patient presents with old, discolored bonding on her four front teeth.
She desired whiter teeth and to close the gaps she had that were previously treated with bonding. I first did a mild gum lift on the laterals and had the patient whiten her teeth. We were then ready to begin the restorative appointment where all of her old bonding was removed and virtually no tooth reduction was even necessary. The final result was a beautiful, natural smile and fulfilled the patient’s desires.