Porcelain veneers can be done without any preperation or minimal tooth preperation. These porcelain veneers can be as thin as 1/2 mm or about the thickness of a contact lens. They are ideal if someone has open spaces between front teeth or teeth that are small in size. They do add some bulk to the tooth and may appear to make the teeth look “puffy”.
Just like with a contact lens on a person’s eye, as you speak to them you can perceive the additional bulk or the bump on their eye.
With these no prep veneers, there will always be a little speed bump, particularly right at the gum line. These veneers are not indicated for a patient who has a heavy Bruxism (night grinding habit) or nail biting habit. Many times patients and unfortunately some dentists will not be aware or recognize these habits which we call parafunctional.
The patient needs to be very compliant with wearing a night guard or stopping the nail biting habit. Otherwise, the veneers will most definitely break or chip.
Before doing a no-prep veneer case, I will usually perform what I call a mock up. This is completed very quickly with direct bonded plastic filling. This way the patient is able to get a preview of what I have planned. If after performing the mock up on say 4 front teeth, the patient approves of the appearance we can both be pretty rest assured of success.
Many times after completing the mock up the patient might state “Wow, that looks great. Lets do it”.
However, some times the patient might state that the teeth look thicker and of course they are in fact. But since this mock up is not permanent and easily reversable, nothing is lost. In fact, this is the reason for doing the procedure. We have just established that no prep veneers for this particular patient will not satisfy them cosmetically. And so, another solution needs to be thought of. The patient is sometimes disappointed. However, I feel we have avoided a costly expense for the patient. Had we proceeded without the mock up and went right to no-prep veneers, the patient and dentist would have both been disappointed and in a bad position.
If a patient is undecided about the quick mock up, something called a Snap-On Smile can be fabricated. This is actually a removable type veneer case. A patient cannot bite or chew with the prosthesis, but a patient can wear this over his or her own teeth. This gives them a longer period of time to evaluate cosmetics for themselves and family members. These are like custom made Halloween teeth. Actually, I fabricated two sets for big Halloween enthusists.
Digital imaging of a patient is possible. These previews are available and I can have them almost the same day as the patient’s appointment. This dentist, however, still feels that the gold standard for a preview is something called Master Diagnostic Wax Up. This is a beautifully done veneer case made on a model of the patient’s mouth. Patients can really see the preview and exactly what is going to be performed and accomplished with the porcelain veneers. These are so important to determine size, shape, width and length. As an example, with the last porcelain veneer case I completed a Diagnostic Wax Up was performed. Prior to scheduling the patient to prepare the teeth, we reviewed the wax ups. The patient and I both made alterations on the Diagnostic Wax Up, since both of us felt specific changes were needed. It essentially allowed us to correct certain architectual concerns before we even touched the teeth.
Consults about any dental issues are always at no charge. So whether it is porcelain veneers, dental implants, or a combination issue come see what can be done for you. Testimonials of my existing patients and stories about their treatment are available right on our website. So you can hear for yourself what a change it has made in these patient’s smiles and their life!