Friday, September 5, 2014

The Challenge of Tooth Reduction in Veneers

Tooth reduction is inevitable in regular veneers. While this is done for the veneers to fit well and look natural over real teeth, cosmetic dentists must also avoid grinding away too much enamel.

As the enamel protects the more sensitive dentin in the tooth, reduction is limited to just 0.5 to 0.8 mm. Any more than this can expose the dentin and cause hypersensitivity. Furthermore, porcelain veneers bond to the enamel better than the dentin, although dentin bonding agents have considerably improved over time.

In a way, veneer procedures always put a dentist's precision to the test. Porcelain veneers are thick because they're designed to mask the imperfections on the teeth they cover. These veneers have also been created to mimic the translucence of natural teeth to avoid looking artificial.

This is one of the major weaknesses of "prepless" or "no-prep" veneers, which have been designed thinly enough such that no tooth reduction is required in their application. However, the lack of thickness can also mean inadequate coverage of the imperfections on natural teeth. To make up for this, this type of veneers are designed with a more opaque finish, making them less translucent, and therefore, less natural looking than traditional porcelain veneers.


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