Why Is Enamel Removed Before I Can Get Veneers?

July 18, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — bellroad @ 7:59 pm
Closeup of chin with mouth smiling showing natural teeth on one side and veneers on the other

Veneers are an excellent solution to resolve imperfections in your teeth including chips, cracks, stains, gaps, and other embarrassing imperfections. Though many are familiar with veneers, it can be surprising to hear that some tooth enamel must be removed in order for veneers to be placed.

The idea of permanently removing some of the natural protective layers of your teeth can feel intimidating, especially for those who already have anxiety around dental visits. Knowing what to expect from your appointment can help alleviate any fears you might have. Keep reading to learn why this step is necessary and why you don’t need to worry!

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are hard, thin shells that are affixed to the front of your tooth to address issues like cracked or chipped teeth, stained teeth, and small gaps in your smile. They are made of durable porcelain that can be customized to match your natural pearly whites. This material is resistant to additional staining and can keep teeth that are already damaged from deteriorating further.

What is It Like to Have Enamel Removed for Veneers?

Veneers can be completed in just a couple of visits to your dentist. Before taking impressions of your teeth for your customized veneers, however, they must first remove a thin layer of enamel from your tooth.

Though this step is not considered particularly intense or invasive, your dentist will likely use local anesthesia to numb the area and ensure you don’t feel any discomfort. You may feel some pressure as your dentist works, and perhaps even some sensitivity in that area once the anesthesia wears off. If you don’t respond well to anesthetics, don’t worry! Communicate your concerns to your dentist so they can make the adjustments necessary for you to feel comfortable throughout your visit.

Why Must Enamel Be Removed?

Removing enamel is a crucial step in the process of installing veneers. There are typically two reasons why it’s necessary for your dentist to prepare your teeth in this way.

  1. Removing some enamel forms a rough surface that helps the adhesive used to hold your veneer in place form a strong bond and ensures it stays in place over time.
  2. Though veneers are thin, they do have some width to them. If they were attached without this preparation, they would stand out and look bulkier than the surrounding teeth. Removing a small amount of enamel allows for a uniform appearance once the veneers are in place.

How Much Enamel Needs To Be Removed?

Because the hard shells are so thin, generally only about 0.5mm of enamel needs to be shaved off. Once this is completed, your dentist can take a mold of your mouth, which is then sent to a dental lab to create your customized veneers.

Though permanently changing the surface of your teeth may seem daunting at first, it’s a necessary step that allows your dentist to correctly attach your veneers. Once everything is in place, you’ll be able to fully enjoy all the benefits of your newly perfected smile!

About the Practice

At Bell Road Dental Care of Phoenix, patients can expect comprehensive care in a comfortable setting whether for routine checkups, cosmetic dentistry, restorative services, or straightening crooked smiles. With multiple dentists under one roof, the whole family is welcome and can find solutions for their dental needs.  If you are feeling self-conscious about imperfections in your teeth and would like to discuss veneers, feel free to reach out to the office on the website or by calling (602) 404-3483.

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