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How Much Tooth is Removed for Veneers?

How Much Tooth is Removed for a Porcelain Veneer?

It is important to discuss all of your concerns with your dentist.  When patient’s ask us, “How much tooth is removed for a porcelain veneer?”  Our office explains it this way,  “It depends!”  And then we go over what this really means.  Note that the answer is similar whether we are shaping one tooth for a single porcelain veneer, or multiple teeth for multiple porcelain veneers.

Sometimes treating one tooth is the right solution! A porcelain veneer is a very conservative option here to achieve our patient’s goals!











When we prepare your tooth for any type of restoration, we try to be as conservative as possible.  A conservative porcelain veneer is about ½ mm thick.  If you are ‘non-metric’ this is less than 1/3rd of 1/16th of an inch.  If the tooth receiving the porcelain veneer is in a near ideal position or even tipped back from the adjacent teeth the porcelain veneer preparation should be very conservative!  Sometimes only rough edges are smoothed  to allow complete seating of the porcelain veneer.  You do not want a bulge of material by your gums so this area may be prepared slightly so the junction between the porcelain veneer and your tooth is smooth.

Porcelain veneers were a very conservative solution for improving this smile and satisfying our patient’s goals.

Conservative porcelain veneers were the solution for improving this smile and satisfying our patient’s goals.

If the tooth sticks out from the other teeth and we place a porcelain veneer without any tooth preparation, the tooth will stick out even more!  If the tooth is rotated we will remove slightly more tooth structure on the part of the tooth that sticks out than the part that is tipped back.  Our goal is to be as conservative as possible while allowing enough room for the porcelain veneer to provide the ideal result.

Note the improved length and shape we were able to achie e with conservative porcelain veneers!

Our patient was unhappy with her smile. Porcelain veneers were a conservative and beautiful option for her!

When multiple teeth are prepared for porcelain veneers, we can often be even more conservative in the amount of tooth that is removed as a small additional thickness is well tolerated when all the teeth line up well.  Usually your mouth adapts to this minimal increased thickness within days.  Remember that we are talking about portions of millimeters here.   If only one tooth sticks out, this is harder to adapt to.

If the porcelain veneer covers the incisal edge of a tooth, it is usually recommended to allow 2 mm of space at the incisal edge of the tooth for the proper development of beautiful porcelain and for strength.  If a significant color change is required, more thickness of porcelain will be needed to achieve this result and therefore additional tooth preparation will be needed.

Our patient was unhappy with her smile due to a couple crooked teeth. Porcelain veneers were a conservative and beautiful option for her!

Our patient was unhappy with her smile. Porcelain veneers were a conservative and beautiful option for her!

Sometimes we do make compromises to help preserve as much of your tooth as possible though.  We will review this with you before the procedure begins.

Our dental office loves porcelain veneer restorations, and we do this really well!  Dr. Gillis was the first dentist in Colorado to achieve Accredited status with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) and now is a an examiner and mentor for other dentists trying to achieve accreditation.  And, our office works with an exceptional dental lab and laboratory technician to create restorations that will look good, feel good, and last a long time.  We would love to see you in our Grand Junction, Colorado dental office and answer any questions you have about porcelain veneer restorations.  We can schedule you for a consult with Dr. Gillis and her team to determine if porcelain veneer restorations are right for you!  You can call our office at (970) 242-3635 for more information.  Please visit our office of Facebook – look for Dr Julie Gillis DDS or visit our website at www.juliegillisdds.com for more information.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis, DDS, AAACD

Restoring Teeth, Restoring Smiles