I am trying to find a dentist to give me no-prep veneers. Last month, I had three consultations with top cosmetic dentists, and none of them would agree to do no-prep as I asked. They basically said that I wouldn’t like the results. Not that I’m going to take legal action, but isn’t this a patient rights issue? After reading some patient stories online about tooth preparation and seeing pictures on Instagram of people recording their porcelain veneers’ journey, I’m concerned. Their teeth look like tiny toothpicks after preparation! Although I want veneers, I don’t want my natural teeth butchered. How can I find a cosmetic dentist to do no-prep veneers? Thank you. Alma from Nevada
Thanks for the inquiry. You have the right to request no-prep veneers, and you might find a dentist who will give them to you with the understanding that you might not like the results. But if you visited three top cosmetic dentists who agree that no-prep veneers are not the best option for your case, there is probably a good reason. Dr. LeSage would need to examine your teeth to discuss your case, but consider some of the facts below.
What Are No-Prep Veneers?
No-prep veneers are porcelain veneers that a dentist bonds to the fronts of your natural teeth without altering your tooth structure. No-prep veneers differ from minimal preparation when a cosmetic dentist removes minimal front tooth enamel before bonding on veneers.
Minimal preparation can help a veneer fit well from the gumline to the edge and look natural—not bulky. A cosmetic dentist minimally prepares a tooth by removing a fraction of a millimeter of tooth enamel—not by filing, cutting, or grinding down healthy tooth structure.
Not Every Patient Is a No-Prep Veneer Candidate
Although porcelain veneers are an ideal solution for many smile makeovers, advanced cosmetic dentists agree that not every patient is a candidate for no-prep veneers. Without preparation, it might be impossible to use porcelain veneers and achieve the smile you want.
- Veneers add to tooth structure – Veneers as thin as 0.3 mm add a little thickness and length to your teeth. Unless you have small teeth, veneers can make your smile look thicker or a bit bulky without preparation.
- Tooth shape – If a tooth is crooked, a portion of it sticks out. A cosmetic dentist must trim back the tooth to get a beautiful result after bonding a veneer to it. Without preparation, a veneer will cause the tooth to stick out even further.
- Margin between the veneer and tooth – In many cases, if a tooth is not prepared, after the dentist bonds a veneer on, there is a bump where the porcelain begins. Without a smooth margin between the veneer and tooth, you can expect a slight bulge at the top of all your veneers.
Porcelain Veneers with Minimal Preparation
Dr. Brian LeSage of Beverly Hills has a published porcelain veneer classification system in the Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry. Advanced cosmetic dentists like Dr. Lesage minimally prepare teeth to preserve tooth enamel, ensure a firm bond between your teeth and veneers, and achieve lifelike results. Dr. LeSage leaves a minimum of 80% tooth enamel when preparing teeth for veneers. If you choose an accredited cosmetic dentist, you can avoid aggressive preparation as you have seen in photos in online articles and on social media. Read our post about what happens when a dentist over-prepares teeth for veneers.
Evaluate Your Smile Goals
We understand that you don’t want tooth preparation for your veneers. Below are a few questions to ask yourself to help you make an informed decision.
- Do I fully understand how my smile will look with or without preparation for porcelain veneers?
- Am I willing to accept the predicted results if I refuse preparation?
- Am I open to reaching an agreement with an advanced cosmetic dentist for minimal preparation?
- Have I asked about other cosmetic dentistry options for achieving my smile goals?
This post is sponsored by Dr. Brian LeSage, an accredited Fellow of cosmetic dentistry in Beverly Hills.