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Do Teeth Have to Be Shaven Down for Veneers?

In the quest for perfect teeth, veneers are more and more popular. Porcelain veneers cover the front of your teeth to fix imperfections and give you a perfect smile. 

Getting veneers requires many steps, including shaving your teeth. It can be scary, but it should not cause any issues if the procedure is done correctly. Read ahead to learn more about veneers and tooth shaving. 

Can You Get Veneers Without Shaving Your Teeth? 

Is shaving necessary for all veneers? The short answer is no. 

The no-prep technique consists in applying veneers without shaving the teeth. However, these are not available to most people. They only work if someone has a specific mouth and upper lip shape. The final veneers will not look good if you do not fulfill those requirements. 

If you are a great candidate for them, there are benefits to getting no-prep veneers.

  • First, they can improve the appearance of your smile. They also require less prep work, and you do not need to sacrifice your tooth enamel.
  • They are easier to install because the dentist does not need to change your tooth’s appearance.
  • Finally, they can last five to seven years. 

The other good thing about no-prep veneers is they are reversible. Therefore, you could remove them permanently if you no longer want them. You might still have some damage to your teeth even if you did not need to shave your enamel.

Indeed, installing and removing the no-prep veneers can cause damage to the surface of the tooth. However, it is much less than traditional veneers. 

Why Is Shaving the Teeth Considered Necessary for Veneers? 

You need to get traditional veneers if you are not a candidate for the prepless ones. Before installing them, dentists need to make some space to fit them over your teeth. To do so, they shave a thin layer of your enamel. 

Removing enamel allows the veneers to fit perfectly and gives your smile a more natural look. If the tooth is not shaved a little, it will be hard to fix the veneer, and you might not be satisfied with the result. Considering that veneers are a little investment, it would be disappointing if you disliked them. 

How Much Do Dentists Shave your Teeth for Veneers? 

The dentist needs to shave about 0.5 mm off your enamel to put porcelain veneers. This number is slightly lower if you choose to have composite ones. This is not a lot of enamel if you have healthy teeth. 

However, if you have a lot of tooth decay, you might not be a good candidate for veneers. They might also not be for you if you do not have a healthy layer of enamel. 

It could also be difficult to get veneers if your teeth are not straight. If they are not, the dentist might have to remove more enamel for the veneers to fit. This is not desirable and could cause more damage in the long term. That is why most dentists recommend getting braces before the veneers. 

Is It Bad to Get your Teeth Shaven Down? 

Getting your teeth shaven down is bad if you cannot afford to. If you do not have enough healthy enamel, your dentist should advise against veneers to prevent long-term problems. 

It is important to preserve as much of your natural enamel as possible. This is especially true if you get your veneers while you are young. They do not last forever and need to be replaced. The dentist has to remove more enamel every time they change your veneers. Over time, your enamel layer will get thinner and thinner. 

As mentioned above, it is best to have straight teeth before getting veneers. Some drastically shave their teeth instead of getting braces first, which will cause them a lot of trouble in the future. 

Indeed, if you shave your teeth too much, you can be left with nerve damage and a lot of pain. Eventually, you might get a root canal treatment if your nerve is too injured. 

Does Shaving Down Teeth for Porcelain Veneers Cause Sensitivity? 

Sensitivity should not be an issue if you follow your dentist’s recommendations and are a good candidate for them. If you have healthy and straight teeth, the dentist only needs to remove a very thin enamel layer. You should not experience any sensitivity after the procedure if this is your case. 

If you need more enamel removed, you might feel sensitive days or weeks after the procedure. It could be worse when drinking hot and cold beverages. 

If a dentist recommends you remove a significant portion of your teeth, you should ask for a second opinion. You could damage your nerve and end up with a lot of pain in a few years. 

Also Read: Dental Lumineers: A Mini Guide

Does Tooth Enamel Grow Back? 

Enamel is the white outer layer of your tooth. If you remove it, it does not grow back. Therefore, getting traditional veneers is a permanent procedure. 

Since veneers are permanent, it is important to enlist the help of trained professionals. If a dentist removes too much enamel, it is gone forever, and you cannot get it back. To keep your teeth healthy, make sure that those who install your veneers are highly qualified. 

Take-Home Message 

Veneers can improve the appearance of your smile, but you should only get them if you are an ideal candidate. Your teeth should be straight and have a healthy layer of enamel. Removing enamel is permanent as it does not grow back. If you remove too much, you could suffer from nerve damage and pain in the future. 


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