Want to know a secret? Those perfect smiles shown off by celebrities on the red carpet during award season are not always natural. Many have undergone various cosmetic and restorative treatments to fix imperfections, from bite issues and misshapen teeth to discoloration and gaps between teeth. Here is another secret…celebrities are not the only ones who can achieve a perfect smile. Those same treatments, such as teeth whitening, dental bonding, and porcelain veneers are available at your local dentist. No prep porcelain veneers are a fast way to drastically improve the appearance of your smile, with minimal damage to your existing teeth. Dr. James Fondriest of Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL can give you a celebrity smile with the application of porcelain veneers or other cosmetic and restorative dental procedures.
What are Traditional Porcelain Veneers?
Traditional porcelain veneers, also called “laminates”, are hard shells made out of durable materials like porcelain. They are attached (bonded) over the front of the teeth to hide minor imperfections and restore a beautiful smile.
Uses of porcelain veneers:
- Close gaps between teeth
- Restore decayed, eroded or worn teeth
- Fix the size, shape and length of teeth so they are more uniform in appearance
- Improve symmetry and orientation
- Cover minor cracks and fractures
- Cover blemishes, stains and discoloration
- Create a uniform texture and tooth surface
- Change occlusion (position of the teeth)
Veneers are a popular option in cosmetic dentistry, as the procedure is faster and less invasive compared to crowns or dental implants. However, traditional veneers still often require the dentist to remove healthy portions of the enamel to create more space around the teeth. Once the enamel is gone, it cannot ever be replaced and the porcelain veneers can never be removed.
What are “No-Prep” Veneers?
These days, many patients are choosing a new advancement in restorative dental technology that is even faster and less invasive called “no-prep” or minimal prep veneers.
No-prep veneers are thin laminates of non-brittle porcelain that are able to bond with teeth. They’re as durable and strong as traditional veneers, but due to their thinness, they also preserve the natural coloring of the teeth. This means they can be crafted to cover any blemishes or discolorations on the teeth, without creating a one-shade, unnatural-looking smile.
The Technology Behind No-Prep Veneers
No-prep veneers are a true innovation in cosmetic dentistry. The technology uses ultra thin porcelains or laminates, which are as thin as .02mm, and yet they are still as strong and durable as traditional porcelain veneers. Traditional porcelain can become extremely brittle if it is too thin, leading to breaks or cracks. The new technology creates non-brittle porcelain, which bonds to your teeth without cracking.
Advantages of No-Prep Veneers
- Less drilling and reshaping – Because of the technology, your smile can be restored while keeping the natural contours of your teeth. With traditional veneers, the dentist often has to drill, reshape or reduce the size of the teeth before they are applied. No-prep veneers require only minimal tooth reduction.
- Produce more natural-looking results – Another advantage is that multiple layers and textures can be applied to create different levels of translucency and color so that you have a more natural-looking smile as opposed to one-dimensional solutions such as Lumineers.
- A conservative, but still effective approach – No-prep veneers combine the conservative advantage of dental bonding, with the same durability and strength as traditional porcelain veneers.
The No-Prep Veneers Process
There are three phases to the non-prep veneers process.
Phase 1: Consultation
First, you will undergo an initial consultation to determine you particular dental and cosmetic issues. At this time, you and your dentist will discuss your options decide on the size, shape, length, color and texture for your veneers.
Phase 2: Preparing the mouth and veneers
The doctor and lab technician will determine if any of the tooth structure needs to be removed in preparation for having your veneers placed. Impressions of your teeth, mouth and jaw will be taken, along with pictures and measurements of your face, bite, jaw and natural movements.
Phase 3: Receiving your veneers
The porcelain sheaths will be placed over the front of your teeth. The dentist will ensure they fit properly and that they have the right appearance. The veneers will then be bonded using same composite material used in tooth-colored fillings.
Who is a Candidate for No-Prep Veneers?
In order to be a candidate for no-prep veneers, you should have good oral health in general. If you have gingivitis (gum disease), tooth loss due to decay, jawbone degeneration or other dental issues you may need a more aggressive solution like crowns or dental implants. Candidates are selected based on the condition of the teeth and whether or not a natural look can still be achieved with ultra-thin veneers.
Some other qualifications might be:
- If you have small teeth or teeth that have been effected by acid erosion
- If you have had teeth removed as a result of orthodontic care
- You have damaged teeth due to grinding
- You have oversized lips or a smile that is not proportionate to the rest of your mouth
- Your side teeth are tapered or turned inward and hidden when you smile
- You have genetically misshaped teeth
Will No-Prep Veneers Ruin My Existing Teeth?
Because the ultra-thin material of no-prep veneers usually requires little to no reshaping or drilling, more of the tooth can be preserved. So they should only have minimal effects on your natural teeth.
About Your Lake Forest Cosmetic Dentist
Aside from providing dependable family, general, and restorative dentistry services to the Lake Forest, IL community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ. He is also an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff. We proudly serve patients in the Chicago Metro area, including the Northwest and North Shore suburbs, but we often treat patients from all over the United States. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.