No-prep vs. Traditional veneers
Is there any material difference between regular veneers and no-prep veneers?
Material-wise, there is no difference between regular porcelain veneers, minimum prep, or no-prep veneers.
However, no-prep veneers are always thinner than traditional veneers, and no-prep veneers tend to use a more robust material that is usually opaque. Unlike conventional veneers or natural teeth, they let less light through their surface.
The opacity can be reasonable and adequate for someone, especially if you just want to mask the dark color of your original teeth.
Getting a natural look with transparency in the no-prep will be challenging. Because of its thinness and less adjustability than traditional veneers, it will be more tricky and require more experience for cosmetic dentists and lab technicians if you want natural-looking teeth.
Although you get your teeth structure intact without having to drill or shave the surface, the main reason patients decide to go for the traditional veneers is the adjustability
ProcedureNo drilling or shaving involved
Patients come to the office to evaluate their teeth. We take impressions, send them to the lab, and in about four weeks, we receive the veneers and place them. But the most unusual process of this procedure is that we don't use a needle or anesthesia to numb the area we are working on, and there is no tooth shaving. There is no pain during the process of placing these veneers.
Who should get no-prep veneers?
Many people prefer these ultra-thin veneers or lumineers because there is no need for drilling, shaving, and needles.
You can get a fantastic result with straighter and whiter teeth if you are the right candidate. In some rare cases, you might get an excellent result to improve discoloration caused by tetracycline. However, the chances of eliminating deep stains and discoloration are very slim.
These super thin veneers are simply adding to your existing teeth. When you add or bond something over your existing teeth, your teeth will get thicker and longer. You cannot make your teeth smaller, and you cannot bring your teeth inwards before adding porcelain veneers. After all, you don't want to bring your teeth inward.
If your concern is to make your teeth longer, bigger, and more outward, a no-prep veneer is for you. Regarding changing the color of your teeth, because all no-preps are an add-on, you cannot make them too thick, meaning it is difficult to mask the dark tooth color and give transparency to make them natural teeth.
To do so, you need thicker veneers, i.e., standard veneers. When trying to hide dark colors, you have to make the surface opaque white so that the light does not penetrate, making veneers solid white and look like temporaries.
Not every patient is the ideal candidate
Non-prep veneers are mainly for people with small teeth, gapped teeth, or short teeth. People with tiny teeth don't need to shave off their teeth to make space for the veneers. They always add volume to the existing teeth, making teeth look expanded or enlarged for people with regular-sized teeth. Adding a layer of veneer thickness to the existing teeth without shaving off the teeth' surface will give more mass and volume, resulting in a rather odd-looking outcome.
When people with regular-sized teeth do not want to shave off the tooth surface, they will have larger-looking teeth.
During the consultation, we analyze your teeth' size and position and the ratio between your mouth and teeth to determine what type of veneers are suitable for you to get the best results. Usually, it will be a combination of regular veneers, minimum prep veneers, and no-prep veneers.
No-prep veneers or minimally invasive ones are not the option to correct the discoloration caused by tetracycline or intrinsic stains that cannot be removed.
If you have injuries to the tooth, light brown or pale gray discoloration of teeth caused by antibiotic intake, We don't recommend No-prep or minimally invasive veneers. With tetracycline staining, getting porcelain veneers is the only way to get rid of that gray discoloration.
Dr. Shimizu is an accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. There are 419 dental professionals worldwide (Only four in Houston) as of 2022 who have achieved this prestigious honor.