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Will No-Prep Veneers Work for Any Patient?

I want porcelain veneers, but I am hesitant about getting my teeth prepared. If a dentist recommends preparation, how do I know if I really need it? Can no-prep veneers work for any patient? – Thank you. Madison


Thank you for your question. Several factors affect whether a patient can receive no-prep veneers.

Will No-Prep Veneers Work for Any Patient?

No-prep veneers will not work for every patient because veneers add to the thickness of your teeth and can make them look bulky. But in specific situations, they may work for you. What factors can affect whether you get no-prep veneers?

  • Small teeth – You may be a candidate for no-prep veneers if you have small teeth and want them to look larger.
  • Straight teeth – Straight teeth require less preparation. If any teeth are crooked or protrude, a dentist will recommend trimming them to make your smile look even. Otherwise, teeth that stick out will protrude even farther with veneers on them.
  • A master ceramist – Rather than using a no-prep brand of veneers, advanced cosmetic dentists work with a master ceramist to create a natural-looking smile with customized no-prep veneers.

What If a Dentist Recommends Preparing Your Teeth for Veneers?

If a dentist recommends preparing your teeth for veneers, they should explain why. Skilled cosmetic dentists conservatively prepare teeth a fraction of a millimeter. Studies show that minimal preparation is a best practice for several reasons:

  • It is healthier for your teeth – Confining preparation to the tooth enamel keeps tooth structure intact. Exposing the dentin (the layer beneath the enamel) increases the risk of bacteria leaking behind your veneers and causing infection.
  • It helps with the bonding process – When a dentist conservatively prepares your teeth, the veneers adhere to them better. Attaching veneers to dentin instead of tooth enamel makes the bonding weak.
  • It supports the lifespan of your veneers – When porcelain veneers do not fit well, it reduces their lifespan. Porcelain gets its strength from a secure bond to tooth enamel.

If you are interested in porcelain veneers, schedule a consultation with an advanced cosmetic dentist to get healthy, long-lasting results. They examine your teeth and explain why you might need conservative teeth preparation.

Dr. Heng Lim, an Owasso, Oklahoma cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.

Before-and-after porcelain veneers photos from Dr. Lim of Owasso
Porcelain veneers patient photos of Dr. Lim’s work