The No-prep Veneer – Legitimate or Absurd?


For some dentists, a no-drill veneer equates to an unnatural, oversized look, a bugbear for both patients and dental professionals alike. On the other hand, many dental professionals support this innovative restoration option for both the convenience, as well as the beautiful results.

Recent technological advancements have escalated the possibility for an “additive only” veneer—encouraging many cosmetic dentists to integrate “little” or “no-prep” restoration options into their range of services. Cosmetic professionals have demonstrated that prep-less veneers uphold under some of the most stringent expectations within the cosmetic and restorative dentistry field.

Possible Candidates for No-prep Veneers

The selection process is the most important factor to achieve a natural look with no-prep veneers. Not all patients are viable candidates for prep-less veneers, and cosmetic training is now shifting towards a focused approach on proper identification.

There are many cases that can make a no-prep veneer a viable treatment option:

  • Patients with small teeth due to such factors as genetics or acid erosion
  • Orthodontic patients that have undergone surgery for excess teeth removal
  • Damaged teeth as a result of grinding
  • Teeth that lack in prominence, usually from oversized lips or when teeth and smile are not proportionate in size
  • A “tapering” of the smile where side teeth are positioned inward and hidden when viewed from the front
  • Deformed or genetically misshaped teeth, such as “peg laterals,” where one (or both) teeth adjacent to the two front teeth are small and peg-like in shape

Cases when Prep-less Treatment is Not an Option

Although a beautiful option to restore or enhance an imperfect smile, there are cases when prep-less veneers are not suitable for patients. No-prep veneers cannot fix the following cases:

  • Severely incorrect tooth position or teeth that are positioned forward
  • Overly large inconsistencies in the position of tooth root
  • Badly aligned bite
  • Disproportionate facial profile
  • Oversized teeth

For patients with the above conditions, orthodontic treatment may be necessary to properly align teeth before no-prep veneers are a possible solution. Without orthodontic care, a cosmetic dentist may need to reshape teeth to create a semblance of proper positioning. Although veneers conceal minor issues with tooth position, a smile with severely crooked teeth cannot be corrected with no-prep veneers.

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