All Smiles Family Dentistry

Do You Have to Shave My Teeth Down to Do Veneers?

Do You Have to Shave My Teeth Down to Do Veneers?

Smiles are important in our daily lives, when your smile isn’t perfect it can hurt your self-confidence. That’s where dentistry comes in. Thousands of people get dental work done every day, and veneers are a great way to restore a perfect smile. A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain that substitutes for natural tooth enamel. If you opt for veneers, most people have questions about the process. For example, “Does your dentist have to shave teeth down to do veneers?”. In other cases, some people are surprised to know that any shaving down is required at all. The good news is that it’s a standard procedure, and it’s not as lengthy or painful as you imagine. Here’s what you should know about this dental procedure, and why dentists need to shave teeth down when doing veneers.

Do You Have to Shave My Teeth Down to Do Veneers?

In most cases, the answer is yes. Veneers are designed to affix to teeth, but can’t fit over teeth as a cap in most procedures. In the traditional veneer process, a minor amount of enamel, typically 0.5mm to 1mm, is removed from the teeth receiving the veneers. This step allows the dental veneers to fit snugly and naturally without adding bulk to the teeth. While this may raise concerns about altering natural tooth structure, it’s a common part of the traditional veneer procedure.

What Does It Mean to Shave Teeth Down?

Shaving teeth down means that dentists use drills and files to remove some of the outer enamel of the tooth (ideally leaving as much as possible to glue to as the enamel/glue interface is the strongest!). While traditional veneers involve removing some enamel, the amount is minimal and generally painless. The benefits of veneers in enhancing your smile often outweigh concerns about this slight alteration.

Why Do Dentists Shave Teeth Down for Veneers?

There are several reasons why dentists shave down teeth for the veneer procedure.

  • To aid in the fit over the caps of natural teeth
  • The outer enamel may be damaged
  • Makes the veneers easier to attach to the natural tooth
  • Type of veneer: porcelain veneers and composite veneers adhere differently

How Long Does The Process Take?

The tooth reshaping process for veneers depends on how many teeth are being modified and by how much, typically a few hours. This includes the time for assessment, marking, reshaping, taking impressions and making temporaries.

Before the actual reshaping begins, your dentist will evaluate your teeth and mark the areas where enamel needs to be shaved. To ensure your comfort during the procedure, local anesthesia will be administered. This numbs the area being treated, minimizing any discomfort. Using specialized dental instruments, your dentist gently reshapes the enamel of the teeth, precisely removing the predetermined amount. This reshaping process is meticulous and requires skill to maintain the tooth’s integrity while creating enough space for the veneers to fit seamlessly.

Once the reshaping is complete, impressions of the prepared teeth are taken. These impressions serve as a mold to fabricate the custom veneers and is usually done digitally with a scanner. In some cases, temporary veneers might be placed to protect the reshaped teeth while the permanent ones are being crafted.

Is It A Painful Procedure?

The tooth preparation process is generally painless and is often performed with local anesthesia to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. After the preparation, there might be some sensitivity, but it’s typically mild and short-lived.

It’s crucial to follow your dentist’s post-preparation care instructions to maintain oral hygiene and protect the prepared teeth until the permanent veneers are ready for placement.

All Smiles Family Dentistry in Omaha, NE

At All Smiles Family Dentistry, we are proud to provide high-quality care to all our patients both young and old thanks to our compassionate and experienced dental team. We offer a clean and comfortable clinic to help you feel relaxed during your visit. Contact All Smiles Family Dentist.