Shalman Dentistry

What Are Drill Free Veneers?

Drill-free veneers

Conventional veneers usually require teeth to be prepared in some way, often by the dentist removing a tiny amount of tooth material before placing a restorative material onto the tooth surface to create a more cosmetically appealing appearance. Removing some tooth structure helps create enough room to create a more functional-looking restoration, ensuring that good aesthetics are retained.

Typically, an ordinary porcelain veneer is 0.5 mm in thickness, so this is usually the amount of material that must be removed in preparation. Sometimes, a cosmetic dentist Dr. Shalman may remove more tooth structure, and especially if the tooth is slightly protrusive. For example, bringing the tooth back into line is necessary before restoring it with the veneer.

However, removing any form of tooth structure does increase the risk of the tooth incurring some form of damage in the future, such as:

  • tooth decay
  • infection

There may be an alternative to conventional porcelain veneers, and that is to have prep-free or drill-free veneers. With this option, the dentist doesn’t need to change the overall shape of the tooth beforehand. Instead, the tooth veneer is placed directly onto the tooth surface.

It’s a sophisticated technique as in the past, some prep-free veneers have created unsatisfactory results. People have ended up with teeth that look bulky and unnatural and which are far from the results they desired. Now, newer techniques and materials have resulted in prep-free veneers that meet the very highest standards of cosmetic dentistry in New York City.

What Is the Difference Between Conventional Porcelain and Prep Free Veneers?

With conventional porcelain veneers, the dentist prepares the tooth carefully to create a margin or border just below the gum line before taking a dental impression. A skilled dental technician then creates a custom-made veneer that fits right onto the margin.

Now, with prep-free porcelain veneers, skilled dental technicians can use the most sophisticated materials to make a veneer that doesn’t need a margin. To do this, they only need a dental impression of the fully intact tooth or teeth to be veneered. Instead, the edge of the veneer is incredibly fine, so it blends in with the tooth just before reaching the gumline.

Because prep-free veneers aren’t placed just under the gums, there is no possibility that they can negatively affect gum health. When the tooth structure remains intact, prep-free veneers can be removed at a later date as the procedure is reversible. This isn’t the case with conventional porcelain veneers as when some tooth material is removed, that tooth surface will always require some protection. The dental enamel removed in preparation will never grow back.

Who Should Consider Prep Free Veneers?

Drill-free or prepless veneers can be highly suitable in several situations, such as:

  • Some people are born with naturally small teeth
  • Have teeth that have suffered from significant acid erosion
  • Have unsightly spaces between teeth
  • Jaw size may be larger than their tooth size

In these circumstances, drill-free veneers can be the perfect solution. Other times, some people may have had teeth removed for orthodontic treatment. Removing teeth can create more room for an overcrowded arch, but sometimes the remaining teeth will tilt inward as the arch remains quite narrow.

Using dental veneers, in this case, can create a fuller and broader smile and drill-free veneers can help bring the teeth outward, so they are more correctly aligned.

People who have suffered from problems created by bruxism, where they clench and grind their teeth can wear down teeth substantially. Drill-free veneers can restore teeth to their correct length and tooth, creating a more youthful smile.

Some people have a naturally narrower arch, where when they smile, they have dark areas in the corners of their smile on either side of their front teeth. Prep-free veneers can create a wider arch, eliminating these dark areas and giving the patient a more aesthetically pleasing smile.

Another problem is where people have peg-shaped teeth, and this especially affects the teeth on either side of the incisors. These teeth, called the lateral teeth, can often be too small and are literally peg-shaped. Drill-free veneers can cover these teeth, creating a better shape and size tooth.

When Are Conventional Porcelain Veneers a Better Choice?

The idea of drill-free veneers is very appealing, but it isn’t right for everyone. Orthodontic treatment may be a better solution, if:

  • The tooth is improperly aligned
  • The tooth is protruding or rotated
  • There are substantial bite problems

Moving the teeth into the correct positions can create a far better and healthier smile. However, not everyone wants to have orthodontic treatment. When this is the case, the affected teeth may need substantial reshaping to help bring them back into line. Using veneers to correct these imperfections may require a significant amount of tooth reshaping. Sometimes, as part of the smile makeover treatment, veneers may be used in conjunction with dental crowns and especially if some teeth are decayed or infected.

How Do I Decide Which Is Best for Me?

If you are considering porcelain dental veneers, your best option is to visit an experienced cosmetic dentist such as Dr. Shalman. He is offering both conventional and drill-free veneers. It takes a great deal of expertise, experience, and an artistic eye to determine which veneers might be best for you.

Dr. Shalman spends time just talking with you to discover your goals, examine your mouth to make sure it is healthy. After evaluating your oral health, your dentist, Dr. Shalman can discuss which solution might be best for you and can explain all possible treatment options.

Because cosmetic dentistry can often be a considerable leap of faith, at Shalman Dentistry we may offer to mock up your new smile. Often, this can be done using digital dentistry, where photographs or models of your teeth are adjusted to show how your smile will look once your new restorations are placed. At Shalman Dentistry we can also make prototypes of your veneers that can be placed over your teeth so you can see exactly how they will look before your treatment begins.

With this approach, you can decide if you want any modifications before your new veneers are handcrafted to your dentist’s specifications.

For more information about the conventional porcelain veneers or drill-free covering at Shalman Dentistry, visit our Manhattan dental center or call us: (212) 658-1093

Updated on Mar 4, 2023 by Dr. Alex Shalman (Dentist) of Shalman Dentistry

Shalman Dentistry
44 W 10th St #1A
New York, NY 10011
(10th St, between 5th & 6th Avenue)
(212) 658-1093
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DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLYThis website's purpose is to provide general dentistry information. None of the details given is intended to be taken as authoritative dental advice. It's important to speak with a dentist in NYC about your problems, as it may be a symptom of a serious underline condition. For an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, a detailed oral examination should always be performed. Make an appointment with your nearest healthcare provider or call our Lower Manhattan practice to set up a consultation. Back to top
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