One of the most common questions that arise with veneers is, “Do they shave your teeth for veneers?

Porcelain veneers are a tooth-colored covering placed over the front of your teeth. They’re an elective procedure, and many people choose to get them to cover up stains or change tooth shape

However, veneer recipients often need to have their teeth filed down for veneers to be placed. This veneer teeth shaving process causes people to have many questions like:

  • Do you have to shave your teeth for veneers?
  • How much do they shave your teeth for veneers?
  • Can you get veneers without shaving your teeth?

If you’re thinking about getting veneers but aren’t sure what the process is like, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’re discussing veneers and the veneer process. Keep reading to learn how the veneer process works and about some available new veneer technology.

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are thin, tooth-colored coverings that dentists place on the front of teeth. 

Many people want veneers because they look and feel like natural teeth. Veneers offer aesthetic and cosmetic fixes like: 

  • Covering stains or cracks
  • Changing tooth length, size, color, or shape
  • Closing gaps

However, veneers can’t fix severely broken or crooked teeth. Your dentist will first have to perform other procedures to repair or align your teeth before you get veneers.

There are two main types of veneers:

  1. Porcelain veneers
  2. Composite resin veneers

Each of these veneers serves the same purpose, but they have some slight differences.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are tooth-colored and custom-made to fit your teeth. They have many benefits, including that they are:

  • Made from safe materials
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Strong and long-lasting
  • Easy on gum and surrounding tissue
  • Stain-resistant
  • Last 10+ years with good dental hygiene

The biggest downfall of porcelain veneers is that the process is irreversible. You need to have your teeth filed down for porcelain veneers, which can’t be undone.

Composite Resin Veneers

Another common type of veneer is composite resin veneers. 

Like porcelain veneers, composite veneers are tooth-colored and made to fit over your existing teeth. However, some of the differences of composite veneers compared to porcelain veneers are that they:

  • Aren’t as strong or stain-resistant as porcelain veneers
  • Are less expensive than porcelain veneers 
  • Last 5-10 years before you need to replace them
  • Require less veneer tooth shaving
  • Are easier to fix than porcelain veneers

Ultimately, both composite and porcelain veneers provide the opportunity for an enhanced smile. You can always talk to your dentist about which type of veneer is best for you.

Now that you know more about veneers in general, let’s dive into some of the most-asked veneer questions.

The Most Common Questions About Veneers

Here are some of the most common questions and answers regarding veneers and the veneer process.

How Does Getting Veneers Work? 

The first step in getting veneers is scheduling a consultation with your dentist. 

During your initial consultation, you’ll tell your dentist about your desired look. Your dentist will also ask you some questions and provide any necessary information about the veneer procedure. They’ll then take a look at your teeth to evaluate your overall oral health and make sure you don’t need any preliminary procedures (e.g., braces to fix alignment issues). Most dentists will also take photos of your teeth and show you what your veneers will look like.

If you decide to move forward with veneers, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and begin making your veneers. Once your dentist finishes creating your veneers, you’ll attend another visit to get them placed. 

Do They Shave Your Teeth for Veneers?

Yes, the dentist must shave your enamel for porcelain or composite veneers.

Enamel is the hard, white outer layer of your tooth. Getting shaved teeth for veneers is a permanent process because enamel can’t regrow—once enamel is removed, it’s gone forever.

You’ll get your teeth filed down for veneers during your official visit to get veneers placed. Veneer teeth shaving helps prepare the tooth for fitting and bonding of your veneers.

How Much Do They Shave Your Teeth for Veneers?

Typically, dentists will shave about 0.5 mm off the tooth for porcelain veneers and slightly less for composite veneers.

Tooth health is vital for a veneer procedure. If you have tooth decay or some other factor affecting the amount of enamel on your teeth, you may not be able to get veneers. For some people, the 0.5 mm of enamel that dentists need to remove would compromise the tooth structure adversely.

What Do Teeth Look Like Under Veneers?

Your natural teeth that receive a veneer will look smaller than they did before the veneer procedure.

Because dentists place veneers over existing natural teeth, your natural teeth remain intact. However, the enamel-shaving process does change the look and shape of your teeth.

Can You Get Veneers Without Shaving Your Teeth?

There’s new veneer technology that can allow for minimal or no-prep veneer placement. 

Lumineers, Durathin, and Vivaneers are the three types of veneers specifically designed to reduce or eliminate the need for dentists to shave down teeth. The goal is for dentists to fit these veneers directly over your existing natural teeth.

Some situations and conditions can hinder a no-prep veneer treatment, so your dentist will still examine your teeth for viability. If cost is a primary concern, or you only have a tiny chip or crack in a single tooth, composite bonding may be a better option for you.

Schedule a Consultation for Composite or Porcelain Veneers  

Veneers are a porcelain or composite resin, tooth-like cap that dentists can place over the front of teeth. They look and feel like natural teeth, and people often receive veneers to:

  • Cover up stains
  • Change tooth appearance
  • Fill gaps between teeth

Composite and porcelain veneers serve the same purpose, but some differences are that:

  • Porcelain veneers are more expensive
  • Porcelain veneers last longer
  • Porcelain veneers are stronger
  • Composite veneers require less enamel removal

The most significant question people usually have with veneers is, “do they shave your teeth for veneers?”

For traditional composite and porcelain veneers, your dentist will shave down your enamel. They usually remove about 0.5mm for porcelain veneers and slightly less for composite veneers. Getting your teeth filed down for veneers is a permanent procedure because you can’t replace enamel. But there are some new veneers that dentists can place without needing to shave your enamel.

However, most people who get veneers are delighted with the results of their new smile! 

At Northside Dental Co, we have two experienced dentists ready to consult with you and answer any of your questions about veneers. They’ll thoroughly discuss the veneer process with you to make sure you understand what’s involved. If you have questions about other dental procedures, our dentists have comprehensive dental training and can provide general, restorative, cosmetic, or emergency dental advice. 

Book an appointment online or give us a call at 804-767-3410. We’re excited to meet you and provide you with professional dental care!