Patty enjoying her new whiter, brighter smile created using no-prep veneers. No shots, no drills!
Do you ever smile with your mouth closed to avoid showing your teeth? If so, you are not alone! If you’re unhappy or self-conscious about your smile, we want you to know that you have options!
It may help to understand that naturally “perfect” teeth are rare. In fact, most celebrities weren’t born with their “Hollywood” smiles. They have the irregularities of their smiles enhanced with dental work — most frequently with veneers.
Veneers can make your teeth look straighter and whiter, giving you a brighter, more confident smile. Many people never ask their dentists about veneers because they assume that the process is daunting and uncomfortable. But thanks to today’s advanced technologies, it can be an entirely comfortable experience.
Because of my belief in maintaining healthy tooth structure, I do not subscribe to the old approach of grinding teeth down for the sake of placing veneers. Here, I’ll talk about what I do believe in: minimally invasive no-prep veneers, which are painless and beautiful.
How Do Veneers Work?
Veneers are created to wrap around the front of your teeth and are primarily cosmetic. They can be made as thin as a contact lens! The purpose of veneers is to improve the appearance of your smile. In order for them to work well, you need to have healthy, sound teeth to support the veneers. If you’re concerned about your dental health, get in touch with us and we can talk about solutions that tackle those issues and improve the appearance of your teeth at the same time.
Veneers are a simple solution for most people whose teeth are stained or crooked. A veneer is a thin porcelain shell that is bonded to the front of your tooth, giving it a better shape and color.
Quality no-prep veneers are beautiful and look just like your real teeth, only straighter and whiter. People won’t even know you have them!
No-prep Veneers vs. Traditional Veneers
Let’s look at the difference between traditional veneers and minimally invasive no-prep veneers.
With traditional veneers you get a number of shots to numb all the teeth being veneered. Then the majority, if not all, of the enamel on the lip-side of your teeth is ground away.
Your dentist then makes impressions of the teeth that have been ground down and fits you with temporary veneers to protect the teeth while the permanent veneers are made.
Once they’re ready, you need to come back for a second appointment. Your teeth are numbed again, the temporary veneers removed, your teeth cleaned off, and the permanent veneers bonded in place. Each visit can take up to 2 or more hours.
One of my biggest problems with traditional veneers is that you lose so much of your health enamel! That makes the process irreversible. In other words, you can’t ever go back to not having veneers. Plus, enamel is your natural protection against cavities, bacteria, and other damage. It is on your tooth for a purpose and you don’t want to lose it!
With minimally invasive no-prep veneers, we’ll take off little to no tooth enamel, which means the process is reversible.
Typically, the first visit involves polishing the teeth and making impressions. We don’t need to numb you or use temporary veneers since nothing is being ground away. That means the appointment is painless and much shorter. And you don’t have to wear annoying temporary veneers between appointments.
You won’t need any numbing at the second appointment either, when the veneers are bonded to your teeth. You’ll be able to feel immediately if your bite feels right or not because you won’t be numb, so we can make sure your veneers are perfectly comfortable and secure before you leave.
The best part is, no-prep veneers when done properly look every bit as good as traditional veneers!
Are You a Good Candidate for No-Prep Veneers?
Veneers are a great option for people with generally healthy teeth who are wanting to improve their smile for one of the following reasons:
• Slightly to moderate crooked teeth
• Unusually shaped teeth
• Small, chipped, or worn down teeth
• Teeth with small gaps between them
• Stained, darkened or otherwise less than desirable esthetics
• Other minor cosmetic issues
Most people are good candidates for no-prep veneers. But if you have bigger cosmetic issues, like teeth that are missing, extremely crooked, or badly broken, you might be better suited having orthodontic care, implants, crowns, or other dental solutions. At Blodgett Dental Care, we always get to know you and your oral health goals so that we can help guide you to the solutions that work for you.
One other option, if your teeth are only mildly discolored, is dental whitening which might create the esthetics you desire.
No matter how big or small your dental goals are, we can discuss your options and help you choose one that will keep your teeth healthy and give you the smile you desire.
Are No-Prep Veneers Really Painless?
Getting traditional veneers is usually an uncomfortable procedure, and you do need to be numbed for both appointments — first while the dentist grinds off your enamel and again when the temporary veneers are removed and the veneers bonded.
Because, it is uncomfortable, you’re likely to be sore after your appointment. Additionally, all of the excess grinding on your teeth may irritate your tooth nerves to a point that it could kill the tooth nerves. This may lead to the need for root canals or losing the tooth altogether!
No-prep veneers won’t be painful or uncomfortable unless you have extremely sensitive teeth or other underlying dental health issues. We won’t be grinding or cutting anything, which is why you don’t need to be numb. Plus, you won’t have to wear temporary veneers while you’re waiting for your permanent ones.
How Long Will No-Prep Veneers Last?
When done properly, minimally invasive veneers are durable. They last a long time. Many of our patients have been able to keep them for over 20 years. They are so durable, in fact, that the lab that we work with guarantees them for life! If you do ever experience a veneer that fractures, they will replace it at no charge (provided that you keep up all of your recommended routine dental visits).
If you’re a heavy teeth grinder or jaw clencher, let us know. Those behaviors can damage veneers, but they don’t necessarily stop you from having them. We can protect your veneers and, more importantly, your teeth in other ways. We will also assess the reasons that you are clenching and/or grinding so much. For most of our guests who improve their smile with veneers, we will recommend a mouthguard to wear at night. It is your “insurance policy” against breaking your veneers!
Reducing your stress levels or seeing a chiropractor for jaw, neck, and back issues can help stop you from grinding and clenching. Also, understanding the health of your upper airway (the closure of which causes many people to snore) can help us best know why you are grinding your teeth in the first place.
Are you ready to have a smile you’re proud to show off? We support you fully in that choice! You deserve a smile that you want to share with the world!
Schedule an appointment to come see us, and we’ll talk about whether no-prep veneers are your best option.
Dr. Blodgett completed his pre-doctoral sciences at Portland State University and graduated from the Oregon Health Science University School of Dentistry in 1999. As a modern pioneer in progressive dental care, Dr. Blodgett has become a leader in minimally-invasive dentistry, dental lasers, computerized dental technology, and holistic care. He is widely recognized for the innovative care he provides and is dedicated to helping his patients optimize their whole body health.