With standard porcelain and composite veneers, a bit of filing is usually necessary to ensure that the veneer blends naturally with the surrounding teeth. If the veneer is fused to the front of the tooth without filing, it may stick out and look unnatural or asymmetrical. By filing the front of the tooth just slightly, the dentist can ensure that the veneer blends naturally with the surrounding teeth.
Only the front of the tooth is filed down. The process is quick, and it’s typically handled during a preliminary appointment before the veneers are fused to the teeth. For patients who do not wish to have their teeth filed for veneers, other options are available.
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Can You Avoid Getting Your Teeth Shaved Down?
If you want veneers but you’re still not comfortable with having your teeth filed, other options are available. No-prep veneers can be fused over natural teeth without the need for filing in most cases.
Lumineers are perhaps the best-known example of no-prep veneers. They’re thinner than standard porcelain veneers, which means that they won’t noticeably stand out when placed against natural teeth. The downside is that, because they’re so thin, they tend not to last as long. A no-prep veneer may last just 5 to 7 years with proper care. Also, not everyone is a good candidate for no-prep veneers. These ultra-delicate coverings require a specific mouth shape and extremely healthy teeth.
If you decide to go with Lumineers or another type of no-prep veneer, make sure to work with a reputable cosmetic dentist who is experienced with these installations. Lumineers require an especially advanced level of skill due to their thin, delicate construction.