This is a question we get asked more often than you might think. Lots of people want veneers (check out our Instagram before-and-afters to see why) but, at a glance, they can sound a little scary. After all, prepped veneers involve shaving a small amount of the natural tooth enamel off in order to make room for the porcelain veneers. That seems like it would negatively affect your oral health, right? Actually, it’s the opposite.
Before diving into prepped veneers, let’s talk a little bit about the other kind of veneers we offer at Stanley Dentistry: prepless veneers. We prefer to give patients no-prep veneers because we can put the veneers on and take them off without doing anything permanent to the natural teeth. However, for many patients, no-prep veneers are not an option. In order to be a candidate for no-prep veneers, you have to have a particular mouth and upper lip shape. Putting no-prep veneers on a person who is not a good candidate will guarantee poor results.
You and your dentist have decided traditional veneers are you best option. But, you’re still a little nervous about the procedure. Why does your dentist have to shave off a part of the tooth’s enamel? And what does that mean for your dental health? Will you have more cavities than before? Will you experience any dental pain?
These are all reasonable questions to ask prior to getting veneers. It’s a big decision and, as with all big decisions, you want to know for sure that you’re making the right choice. To make things a little easier for you, I’ll let you in on a secret: I’ve had practically zero patients who regretted getting veneers. It’s always something they wish they had done earlier. Out of all the cosmetic services we offer, veneers are one of the most powerful. They can completely transform the way a person looks. It’s truly amazing.
So, if you’re looking for that big change in your smile, veneers are it. Still a little nervous about it? Here are a FAQ’s that will hopefully let you rest easier:
This is a common veneers myth. Enamel is the strong, exterior substance that protects the tooth. If you shave that off, the tooth becomes more vulnerable, right? If your dentist places your veneers correctly, the veneer will act as an enamel substitute. The porcelain acts a barrier between plaque and your tooth. People who have veneers very rarely get cavities. As long as you continue to floss and brush diligently, your natural teeth will remain healthy.
While veneers are long-lasting, they will not last forever. You may have to replace your veneers at some point. Most patients wear their veneers for fifteen to twenty years though, with poor maintenance, they may only last a quarter of that. Regular trips to the dentist and good dental hygiene are very important if you have veneers.
Veneers act as a porcelain “veneer” over your teeth. While today veneers are exceedingly thin, they still need a little bit of space in order to fit over your natural smile. This is why we have to shave off a tiny bit of the enamel.
Thirty years ago, cosmetic dentists had to shave off quite a bit of enamel in order for veneers to fit over natural teeth. This was because the materials and technology were too rudimentary to allow for thinner (but still durable) veneers. Nowadays, we only have to take off a very small amount of the natural enamel thanks to new tech.
A veneers delivery appointment is typically very quick and easy. We will use some form of sedation — typically just some local anesthetic or inhalation sedation. This makes the process a little more comfortable for the patient. After the procedure, patients may feel some discomfort. They can typically manage that with Tylenol and Advil.
Once you decide that you want veneers, you need to schedule an in-person or virtual consultation with a cosmetic dentist. Our consultations are 100% complimentary and allow patients to ask the doctor questions about the procedure. They’re also the time to talk about financing options.