Are No-Prep Veneers Right For You?

Veneers can correct quite a few cosmetic dental problems to help improve your smile. However, there are a couple of different types of veneers, one of which requires little to none of the usual preparations to install, reducing installation and healing times. Here's more information about these veneers to help you decide if they're right for you.

Regular vs. No-Prep Veneers

With regular veneers, the dentist takes off a layer of enamel (usually around 0.5mm) before covering the tooth with the veneer. This is done to shape the tooth and prevent it from looking bulky. At the same time, though, this procedure is irreversible. Veneers placed this way cannot be removed and must be redone if the porcelain shell falls off or is damaged. On the other hand, no-prep veneers don't require the removal of any enamel. Instead, the thin layer of porcelain is laid right on top of tooth.

There are a number of benefits to no-prep veneers. The procedure doesn't take as long because the dentist doesn't have to do any of the work associated with removing the enamel. Because no enamel is removed, anesthetic is generally not needed and you won't have to worry about tooth sensitivity, a temporary side effect of getting veneers. While you do have to wait for the adhesive to fully cement, healing time is essentially non-existent.

Lastly, since your existing teeth remain intact, it may be possible to remove the veneers at a later date. This lets you polish the teeth underneath or get rid of the coverings altogether if you're not happy with them for some reason.

Things to Consider

Like any other dental procedure, there are a few disadvantages to opting for no-prep veneers, beginning with the reality that they're not recommended for everyone. In fact, because no enamel is removed, no-prep veneers are only appropriate for people whose teeth need minimum correction.

For instance, these dental coverings are good for hiding small cracks, stains, slight spaces between teeth, teeth that have been worn down, and elongating small teeth. If your tooth challenges are more severe than this, it's probably better to get regular veneers that let the dentist shape the teeth as needed to get the outcome desired. Additionally, no-prep veneers may not be appropriate if you have cavities.

Another issue is, because the porcelain is laid over top of existing tooth structures, the teeth may look bigger and bulky in the mouth. This makes them unsuitable for people who already have large teeth, because it may throw off the entire oral aesthetic and make your smile look unnatural.

Lastly, no-prep veneers tend to be very thin—much thinner than regular veneers to avoid adding too much bulk to the tooth. This makes them more susceptible to breaking. Therefore, you will need to take extra care to avoid things that may lead to fracturing, such as using the teeth to chew on hard foods.

Other Things to Know

No-prep veneers are still considered a cosmetic procedure. Therefore, they are not covered by dental or health insurance. A single veneer costs about $1,000. According to some calculations, most people need between 8 to 10 veneers, so you're looking at up to $10,000 out of pocket. However, many dentists work with third-party financing companies, so you can get a loan to help you cover the cost.

These type of veneers can help you get the smile you've always wanted without the drawbacks associated with regular veneers. However, it's important to consider all the pros and cons associated with the product to ensure it is right for you. For more information about no-prep veneers, contact a cosmetic dentist, such as Samuel D Knight, DDS.