What Are No-Prep Veneers?

no prep veneers

If you are exploring porcelain veneers to address your smile concerns, you should know that there are two major categories options: traditional regular prep or no-prep veneersAre you looking for an alternatives to traditional dental veneer treatment? Something less or minimally invasive? Cosmetic bonding may be right right for you.

There are many low prep and no-prep veneer options on the market today. Although not all veneer cases lend themselves to low prep or no-prep, your dentist can tell you whether or not you are a candidate. 

Traditional vs. No-Prep Veneers

Traditional veneer placement requires the removal of tooth structure equal to the thickness of the veneer. This allows the veneer to lie flush with the other teeth. Sometimes more than just the tooth enamel needs removing which makes the procedure irreversible. If you have fear of dental injections, you may not enjoy the administering of a local anesthetic before removing tooth structure.

The placement of traditional veneers frequently comes with side effects. The removal of enamel and natural tooth structure can cause heightened sensitivity due to the fact that there is less tooth structure to act a barrier between the inner root and outer environment. While this heightened sensitivity typically resolves within a few weeks, it can require a significant adjustment period.

With no-prep veneers, there may be minimal preparation of tooth structure, but not to the extent required for traditional veneers. There is no extensive grinding, cutting, or filing down. Because it is a less-invasive procedure, there is often no need for a local anesthetic either, and patients can enjoy a lower risk of side effects. Both traditional and no-prep veneers are adhesively bonded to the facial surface, or front, of the teeth.

Veneers with no drilling


This lady was considering cosmetic dentistry but didn’t want to have much drilling. She wondered if she was a candidate for no prep veneers. We confirmed that her ideal treatment plan would be either minimal preparation or no prep veneers. We fitted her with lithium disilicate tooth covers for her teeth makeover.

No-prep veneers are a suitable treatment for many conditions including:

No-prep veneers are not just for individuals who suffer from cosmetic blemishes. If you have wanted a photo ready or “Hollywood” smile, they can dramatically revamp your smile.

Veneers vs. Teeth Whitening

If you are satisfied with the shape and size of your teeth but suffer from discoloration, teeth whitening may be able to deliver the cosmetic results you desire. Our office offers take-home teeth whitening kits that can be used in the convenience of your home. We are proud to offer Nite White Excel 3, a liquid gel that safely and effectively whitens your teeth while you sleep. 

Teeth whitening results are only temporary. Typically, the whitening results last around three years. Teeth that undergo whitening are still prone to staining while porcelain is stain resistant. If you want your new veneers to make a significant change in brightness, no-prep designs won’t work.

Veneers vs. Cosmetic Bonding

Cosmetic bonding can alter the shape of your tooth. For patients who have minor chips or gaps, this can be an affordable and quick treatment option. Cosmetic bonding only lasts a few years though. Porcelain versions will last several years or longer. Cosmetic bonding is best suited for addressing minor cosmetic blemishes on the tooth surface while porcelain veneers are capable of transforming a smile. 

Questions and Answers

Question: What does the “prep” refer to when we’re talking about porcelain veneers?

Answer: When we say that we may need to prep your teeth, keep in mind that it is a very conservative process. We will remove a tiny bit of your enamel (the outer layer of your teeth). We will use a gentle process through which we smooth down the tooth.

Question: Why might I require preparation for my veneers?

Answer: We may decide that you will benefit from regular tooth covers because your teeth require significant changes. Perhaps you have significant problems with texture or want a dramatic change with the shape of your teeth. As a result, to create an impressive transformation and fit, prep is often required.

Question: Who might end up qualifying for no-prep veneers?

Answer: If you are planning on receiving veneers but you are not choosing them for a very dramatic change, you may not require any type of prep. Teeth may already be ready for placement, in which case there is no need to remove any enamel.

Question: Will dental insurance cover the cost of my no-prep veneers?

Dental insurance typically does not cover elective cosmetic procedures. If you have questions about payment plans or financing, please ask a member of our team.

Question: How long do veneers last?

The average lifespan is around seven years. With proper care and good oral hygiene, they can last significantly longer. High-quality veneers will last a long time. Once they are placed, you should take special care to not use the shells to open containers or wrapping. If they ever need replacing, the process is simple and straightforward.

Learn how no-prep veneers are a great alternative to traditional porcelain veneers

Are you considering a smile makeover? Find out how you can change your smile without much or any changes to the front surfaces of your teeth. 

Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive cosmetic experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff. We proudly serve patients from Chicago and the North Shore and Northwest suburbs. We often serve patients from all over the United States. To learn more about esthetic restorative care, schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.