October 14, 2015
Many people want the “perfect smile” but fear that they are not candidates for porcelain veneers. A common concern is the existence of fillings, both old and worn out with decay or even newer ones with no apparent issues. Can ANY tooth be veneered? The answer is “yes and no”….
It really DOES “depend”. There are no-prep veneers out there, where zero tooth structure is removed. In THAT case, existing decay or fillings are not appropriate; remove the decay. The fillings MIGHT be OK left alone, but usually it is best to remove them too, unless the dentist doing the veneers is the one that placed the fillings, so they KNOW what is beneath the surface.
In some cases, when prepping the teeth for veneers, the prep can be a bit “more” to include the decay or old fillings. The prep then becomes closer to a 3/4 crown, which is often the best approach to the teeth anyway. This allows adequate bulk of porcelain to block out the colors of the tooth underneath or simply adds strength to the veneer. It also gives the lab technician room to create a masterpiece!
The bottom line is that if someone wants a new smile, a “perfect smile,” they can have one. The condition of their teeth does not prohibit a smile makeover, but it may throw a curve. Any experienced cosmetic dentist will have no problem at all to overcome this challenge. Some teeth MAY need to be crowned or root canal therapy performed to set it all up, to “get the ducks in a row,” but this should be planned out and discussed before treatment begins.