Most people have probably heard of veneers before, but it's less commonly known that there are many different types of veneers. You've probably heard of traditional veneers, the thin pieces of white porcelain that some people have permanently cemented to the fronts of their teeth. You may not have heard of minimal prep veneers, a less invasive alternative to the traditional type of veneers. Here's what you need to know about them.
How do they differ from traditional veneers?
The main difference between traditional veneers and minimal prep veneers is the application process. Your teeth need to be prepared before they can receive traditional veneers, but if you get minimal prep veneers, this step isn't necessary.
Before traditional veneers can be applied, your dentist will need to file down your enamel, the hard outer layer of your teeth. About 0.5 mm of enamel will be removed; this is because traditional veneers are about that thickness, and if your enamel wasn't filed down first, your teeth would look too big. Minimal prep veneers are thinner than the traditional type at about 0.3 mm, so they can be applied without needing to file down your enamel first.
Is the procedure painful?
Getting your enamel filed down for traditional veneers can be painful, but since this step isn't necessary for minimal prep veneers, you won't have any pain. Your dentist won't need to give you anesthetic shots in your gums, and you won't have to have your enamel filed down. You also won't need to worry about any sensitivity after the procedure since all of your enamel will still be intact.
Who is a good candidate for minimal prep veneers?
Minimal prep veneers are a good option for people who only have minor cosmetic problems with their teeth. Since your enamel won't be filed down, your dentist won't be able to significantly change the shape of your smile, so crowded or crooked teeth can't be camouflaged. Small problems like chipped teeth or slightly yellowed teeth can be hidden with minimal prep veneers. Gaps between the teeth can also be camouflaged with minimal prep veneers.
Your dentist will need to examine your teeth before deciding whether or not you're a good candidate for minimal prep veneers. If you aren't a good candidate, you may need to get traditional veneers instead.
Are they reversible?
Like traditional veneers, minimal prep veneers aren't reversible. While your enamel is left intact underneath the veneers, taking the veneers off can damage your enamel. This is because the veneers are held in place with strong cement, and grinding this cement off has the potential to take off some of your enamel, too. Before you get minimal prep veneers, you need to be very sure about your decision, since taking them off can damage your teeth.
Do they cost as much as traditional veneers?
Minimal prep veneers and traditional veneers are comparable in price, though the price of each can vary quite a bit depending on your location, your dentist, and how many teeth are being treated. You can expect to pay somewhere between $800 and $3000 per tooth for your new veneers. You'll need to make an appointment with your dentist to find out how many veneers you will need to transform your smile and how much your individual treatment will cost.
Minimal prep veneers are a good option for people with minor cosmetic dental problems who don't want to have their enamel filed down to make room for traditional veneers. If you're interested in getting minimal prep veneers or other dental procedures, check out the site or talk to your dentist to find out if you're a good candidate for the procedure.