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The Truth About No-prep Porcelain Veneers

Written by Ross Nash, DDS   Last modified on July 31, 2018

Porcelain veneers are a great solution to a variety of dental concerns including wear, tear, chips and cracks of the teeth, uneven tooth alignment or spacing, deep discoloration, and more. However, traditional veneers often require permanent alteration (preparation) to the underlying tooth structure in order for the most natural fit. Not everyone is keen on this sort of permanent “prep” work. Enter minimal or “no prep” porcelain veneers.

The woman featured here is Danyele Gardner, a patient of mine and Mrs. South Carolina 2012. Danyele wanted to enhance her smile to make it fuller and whiter before her next competition. In addition to representing the great state of South Carolina, Danyele was also a dental hygienist, and therefore maintained excellent dental health and had flawless tooth alignment. She was also keenly aware of her smile makeover options, and did not want any sort of tooth drilling.

We opted to go with thin veneers that were custom-made to cover her 10 upper teeth and bonded into place with no anesthesia. She was ecstatic with the results and anxious to show off her smile at her upcoming event.

No-prep veneers are a great option for patients like Danyele with very specific smile goals. Given their popularity, I get a lot of questions related to this type of veneer. Here are a few of the questions I tend to field most frequently.

Q. Do I Have to Get My Teeth “Drilled Down” to Get Porcelain Veneers?

A. Not necessarily. Certain situations may not require the removal of natural tooth structure to apply porcelain veneers. The dentist simply makes a mold of the existing teeth and then fabricates porcelain films to give the teeth new surfaces.

Q. Who is a Candidate for this Non-invasive Technique?

A. People who have teeth that are fairly well aligned with good dental health who want a change in the color or contour of the tooth surfaces are excellent candidates for no-prep veneers.

Q. Is There a Need for Anesthesia with this Procedure?

A. There is often no need for anesthetic injections or temporary restorations with no-prep veneers. However, such a determination is made on a case-by-case basis.

Q. Are No-prep Veneers More Costly than Regular Veneers?

A. No-prep veneers can often be placed at a lower cost due to less of the dentist’s time being needed for preparation or temporaries.

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