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Veneers Shaving Teeth – Do They Shave Them Down?

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Due to the rising trend of shark teeth among the youth, a stigma against getting porcelain veneers has risen — do they shave your teeth for veneers? Veneers shaving teeth isn’t always necessary, but sometimes, dentists need to file down teeth for better placement.

If you’re considering getting veneers and want to know the process better, you’re in the right place.

In this post, we’ll discuss veneers and their process. Read on to learn how it works and about the latest technology available.

What Are Veneers? 

What are Veneers

At its core, a veneer is a wafer-thin shell custom-made to fit the front surface of a tooth. Made typically from porcelain or composite resin, they enhance your teeth’ color, shape, size, or length. They’re like the ultimate makeover for your smile!

Why Choose Veneers?

Here are some key reasons people opt for this transformative treatment:

  • Whiter Smile: Battling tooth stains that even professional whitening can’t fix? Veneers to the rescue!
  • Alignment & Spacing: Close minor gaps or make slight corrections in alignment without waiting years for braces to work.
  • Damage Control: Chipped, cracked, or worn teeth? Veneers offer a durable and aesthetic fix.
  • Long-lasting Solution: With proper care, veneers can last up to 15 years or more. Talk about a long-term investment in your smile!

Caring for Veneers

The brilliance of veneers comes with the responsibility to maintain them. The mantra is simple — brush, floss, and regular dental check-ups. Remember, while they are stain-resistant, they’re not invincible. So go easy on the coffee, wine, and other stain-inducing culprits.

The Veneers Shaving Teeth and Overall Process

Veneers Shaving Teeth

The journey to getting veneers usually spans over a few appointments. It kicks off with a consultation where your dentist will examine your teeth, discuss your aesthetic goals, and perhaps take X-rays. Afterward, they will remove a tiny amount of enamel from your tooth surface to make room for the veneer. 

Next, your dentist will take an impression of your tooth to custom-design your veneer. Once it’s ready, your dentist will bond it to your tooth, and voila — your new smile is born!

What’s the Difference Between Crown and Veneer Preparation?

Veneer preparation is generally less invasive than crown preparation. Your dentist will remove a minuscule enamel layer — usually about 0.5 mm — to make room for the veneer. 

There’s no need to sculpt the whole tooth — we’re only talking about the front surface here. And the best part? You’ll likely need little to no anesthesia.

Meanwhile, crown prep involves the removal of a more significant portion of your tooth structure. We’re talking about both the enamel and some of the inner dentin. Dentists do this so the crown can snugly fit over your existing tooth like a glove. 

Because of this intensive reshaping, anesthesia is typically necessary. It’s a more robust solution if you have decaying, broken, or severely discolored teeth.

Time Commitment

Veneer prep is doable in a single visit, especially with advanced dental technology. Crowns need at least two trips — one for tooth preparation and a second for crown placement after fabrication. 

Durability and Longevity

While veneers can last 10 to 20 years with proper care, crowns often steal the show’s durability, lasting up to 15 to 20 years. If you’re looking for a long-term commitment, crowns might be your match in dental heaven.

When is Veneer Preparation Necessary?

Veneer preparation

Making Space for the Veneer

Shaving down your natural teeth creates room for your brand-new veneers. A porcelain veneer isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. The minimum thickness usually hovers around 0.5mm to maintain durability and aesthetics.

Aiming for a Natural Look

Achieving a natural smile requires more than gluing a veneer onto your teeth. We’re talking about layering porcelain to mimic the variation in thickness found in natural teeth. Plus, who doesn’t love those translucent tips at the bottom of the teeth? A little nip here and a tuck there are often needed to get that lifelike appearance.

Precise Placement Is the Key

No one wants veneers that look fake or poorly fitted. Making space allows for precisely placing each shell, avoiding that bulky or unnatural look.

What Factors Determine How Much Your Teeth Will Get Shaved?

Shave Teeth

Straight or Slightly Gapped Teeth

You may not need shaving if you’re lucky enough to have straight or slightly gapped teeth. But don’t get too comfortable yet — your teeth will still need prepping to ensure those new veneers aren’t going anywhere.

Slightly Crooked Teeth

Got a little twist or turn in your smile? No worries, minimal shaving can straighten things out so your veneers fit like a glove.

Large or Protruding Teeth

If you have a fuller set of teeth and want to downsize, then yes, expect some significant prep work. The same goes for crooked or protruding teeth. Rest assured — your dentist will discuss other options like braces or Invisalign before jumping into veneers.

What Types of Veneer Can You Get? 

Dentist preparing for veneers shaved teeth

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are famous for their natural appearance and durability. Dentists custom-craft these ultra-thin shells to fit snugly over teeth. Since they resist stains from coffee, wine, or cigarette smoke, you’ll enjoy that picture-perfect smile for years. 

However, they are generally more expensive, but for many, the investment is well worth it.

Composite Resin Veneers

If you’re keen on a smile makeover but don’t want to break the bank, composite resin veneers might be your best pick. These veneers are often applied in one office visit, making them a fast and efficient choice. 

Although they don’t boast their porcelain counterparts’ longevity or stain resistance, composite veneers are easier to repair and cheaper.


If you don’t like the idea of shaving down your natural teeth, choose Lumineers! They are ultra-thin veneers applicable without any grinding or shaving. They’re quick, painless, and reversible but might not be suitable for fixing more severe dental issues.

Zirconia Veneers

If durability is your main concern, zirconia veneers may be the most robust option. Made from zirconium oxide, they’re solid and well-suited for individuals who habitually grind their teeth. 

They’re also excellent for replacing more prominent, visible teeth that need aesthetic improvement and added strength.

Removable Veneers

Are you curious about veneers but do not want to commit? Removable veneers allow you to sport a fabulous smile without the permanent changes to your natural teeth. They’re easy to put on and take off, making them a fun and flexible option, though they may lack the natural look and feel of more permanent choices.

Palatal Veneers

Do you have weak or eroding teeth? Palatal veneers apply to the inside of your teeth, offering added strength without affecting aesthetics. These are typically made from gold or composite materials and are an excellent solution for those addressing functional issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are Veneers Permanent Because They Involve Shaving Down Teeth?

A: There’s no going back after shaving your teeth. After all, the tooth enamel doesn’t grow back. Therefore, you’ll need veneers or other dental restoration for the rest of your life. Because of this permanent alteration, weighing the pros and cons before getting veneers is crucial.

Q: How Much Shaving Will a Dentist Do for Veneers?

A: On average, a dentist will remove about 0.5 mm to 0.7 mm of enamel from the tooth’s surface to fit a veneer. However, the exact amount varies, depending on the kind of veneers you choose and the particular aesthetic or functional issues you want to address. 

Q: Will Shaving My Teeth for Veneers Make Them Weaker?

A: While it’s true that removing enamel does reduce some of your tooth’s natural strength, modern veneers act as a protective layer. High-quality materials like porcelain offer durability and can reinforce your natural teeth. Nevertheless, treating veneered teeth is vital to ensure they last as long as possible.

Q: Are There Alternatives to Shaving Teeth for Veneers?

A: If you’re skittish about having your teeth shaved, alternatives like “no-prep” or “minimal-prep” veneers might be a better fit. These require little to no removal of tooth enamel but may not be suitable for all dental conditions. Another option is composite bonding, which involves applying a resin material to the tooth surface without significantly removing enamel.

Q: What’s the Cost Implication of Shaving Teeth for Veneers?

A: The cost of veneers can vary widely, but the shaving process is generally part of the overall fee already. It’s also important to note that because veneers are a lifetime commitment, you should factor in the cost of potential replacements down the line. While insurance may not cover the cost of veneers as they’re often considered cosmetic, some dental plans may include coverage if veneers are necessary for structural reasons.

Book a Consultation for Veneers with Dr. Mexico 

Although shaving your teeth for veneers isn’t always necessary, dentists may need to file them down for a better fit. For instance, your dentist must shave down your enamel for conventional composite or porcelain veneers. They’ll remove up to 0.5mm for porcelain veneers and slightly less for composite ones. 

But note that filing your teeth for veneers is permanent since you can’t replace enamel. Our dentists can place new veneers without shaving your enamel if you want to avoid that.

At Dr. Mexico, experienced dentists in Tijuana can consult you and address your concerns. They’ll thoroughly discuss the veneer-shaving teeth process to ensure you understand what’s involved. Contact us today. We’re excited to meet you and provide you with professional dental care!

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