You’ve seen the results on some of your favorite Hollywood stars. Maybe you even know someone who has improved their smile with veneers. But when you learn that the process of getting veneers involves removing some enamel, you hesitate to try this treatment for yourself. Do you really want part of your tooth structure to be taken away? In this post, you’ll learn why this step is necessary, how much enamel is removed, and what the veneers process entails.
Why Does Tooth Enamel Need to Be Removed for Veneers?
With less invasive treatments available like cosmetic bonding, where natural enamel isn’t disturbed, you may be wondering why veneers require taking off enamel in the first place. Although the porcelain material used to fabricate veneers is thin, it is thick enough that your veneers would stick out further than your teeth normally do. As a result, your veneers would draw unwanted attention to your smile and make it appear fake. Your dentist removes a tiny portion of enamel first so that the veneers will lay flush and look completely realistic.
In addition, to adhere veneers properly to the teeth, you must have a slightly rough surface. Otherwise, it will be too slick and insecure. Removing a little enamel can make the surface perfect for the bonding material and help your veneers last for up to 15 or even 20 years!
How Much Enamel Is Removed for Veneers?
In general, the amount of enamel taken away is only about 0.5 mm, which is small enough that you’ll still have a bit of enamel left on the front of the tooth. After all, the veneers have to attach to some structure!
How Is Enamel Removed for Veneers?
Prior to taking impressions of your teeth, your dentist will give you a local anesthetic to make sure you feel no discomfort during the preparation process. Once you’re numb, they will take a tool, usually a sanding disc, and slowly wear down the enamel one teensy bit at a time until the desired amount is removed.
Then, your dentist will collect impressions for the lab to create your custom veneers, but before you leave the office, temporary veneers will be placed on your teeth to protect them until the final products arrive. Finally, you return to have your permanent veneers bonded onto your teeth.
In the end, the total amount of enamel that must be removed is fairly negligible. Although this process is permanent, the amazing appearance of your smile will overcome any hesitation or apprehension you feel. So give veneers another look and discover your own flawless smile today!
About the Practice
Pioneer Greens Dentistry has recently come under new leadership. While Dr. Chris and Dr. Claire Haag are still practicing along with him during the transition, Dr. Justin Shirk is building on their legacy of excellence. For veneers, we use digital impressions, which means no more goopy, messy putty-like impressions. To learn more about the veneers process, you can schedule an appointment with us online or by calling our Lincoln office at 402-483-7502.