"Prep less dental veneers" - Limiting tooth reduction - Less drilling
This Highland Park patient complained of an uneven gummy smile and unattractive teeth with diastemas (spaces between the teeth) and old chipped composite bonding. Large amounts of composite filling material had previously been used to artifically reshape her teeth. The bonding had always made her teeth feel thick and it continued to chip. This lady wanted to replace the old plastic filling material but did not want any of her natural tooth enamel to be removed. Dr. Fondriest removed all of the old artificial material and covered her front six teeth with Empress porcelain restorations.
Preserving tooth structure with less tooth preparation or drilling
The patient had a special gum surgery to raise the gums up to the lower border of the upper lip (this procedure is called a gum lift, crown lengthening, or perioplastic surgery) and to make the scallop symmetry even. Then "Empress porcelain veneers" were done by only removing the old bonding material. Only a very modest amount of tooth preparation was done to remove some dark stains on the natural teeth. Patients appreciate it when the dentist saves as much of the tooth structure as possible. The process of making veneers with very little or no tooth preparation is called doing "Prepless Veneers".
Why Veneers with less drilling is attractive?
Traditionally, veneers require substantial alteration of the natural teeth. Now, there are prep less or minimal-preparation veneer alternatives. More natural tooth structure is preserved with this technique. This allows for a stronger tooth and a stronger restoration. Because more enamel remains, the bond between tooth and veneer is stronger. Bonding materials will attach to enamel much better than to dentin. If there less or minimal preparation of the teeth, protective temporaries are not needed. Temporaries can be incredibly time consuming. Making temporaries will extend the appointment time significantly. Any simplification of the experience is beneficial.
Minimal Preparation Veneer Process
As part of the preparation process, we will remove any old filling materials or bonding. We round out any sharp edges that exist on the teeth. It is best not to wrap glass around sharp edges. Cracks tend to propagate within the restoration if the underlying teeth are not rounded out. These cracks will cause the eventual failure of the restoration.
The philosophy of minimally invasive dentistry has other benefits. Due to minimal drilling, local anesthetics are not even needed. The tooth enamel may not be touched. Any smoothing of edges is done with buffing wheels or ultra-fine grit drills. A light touch by the dentist makes the appointments much shorter.
The last big advantage of this type of veneering process is that the impressions are less invasive. Often the impressions can be done digitally instead of filling your mouth with goop. If you don’t qualify for the digital impression, it is still less invasive. The margins of these veneers can be placed anywhere. The contact lens effect of the ultra-thin porcelain makes the margins invisible or nearly so. When margins are invisible, they can be exposed and don’t need to be buried underneath the gum line. The medicines commonly used to facilitate below the gum impressions are not needed.
Prep-less Veneers Require Exceptional Skill
There are only a handful of cases in which optimal results can be achieved with absolutely no preparation. True, there are certain marketing ads which may suggest otherwise; but remember that overall quality is measured by aesthetics, cleansability, and longevity. To achieve overall success, some modest and subtle reduction is usually necessary. While it is easier and faster for the dentist to make crowns and veneers with heavy reduction, great care is necessary when placing no-prep or prep-less restorations. It is common for a poorly trained practitioner to leave large “over-hangs” (porcelain that does not have a good fit) while attempting to provide full coverage of visible parts. These overhangs lead to difficult or impossible cleaning. If you cannot clean the teeth properly, recurrent decay, stains, or gum problems will inevitably develop.
Contact Lake Forest Dental Arts
If you would like to learn more about more conservative approaches to doing dentistry at our Chicago, IL practice, schedule a consultation with Dr. Fondriest by calling 847-234-0517. Taking your unique, personal goals into account, we can help you achieve the bright, dazzling smile you’ve always wanted.
Dr Fondriest is a Nationally recognized and highly sought after cosmetic dentist serving clients from throughout the United States