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Grinding Down Teeth for Veneers

Grinding Down Teeth for Veneers


This service is provided by doctors:
Head doctor. Top-level dentist, surgeon, orthopaedist

How are teeth ground down for veneers? The words “grinding down teeth for veneers” often alarm patients who dream of a Hollywood smile. Let’s find out what stands behind this term and whether it is necessary to remove the dentin layer at all before bonding the overlays.

Veneer fixing is considered to be an aesthetic prosthetic. This is one of the gentlest procedures. Depending on the teeth’ condition, the doctor recommends a treatment method. In some cases, it involves the removal of a thin layer of enamel, and sometimes it allows doing without this procedure.

There are three types of overlays:

  • veneers;
  • ultra-thin lumineers and ultraneers;
  • componeers made from composite materials.

Before placing the veneers, a mild grinding of the teeth is performed. This way, the overlays look natural and do not protrude above the surface of the dentition.

The doctor carefully removes a thin layer of enamel – approximately 0.5 – 0.7 mm – in line with the layer thickness. At the same time, it corrects minor surface defects and creates conditions for a strong coating bonding.

Componeers are made directly on the patient’s teeth from a composite material. The technology also requires insignificant teeth grinding.

Innovative thinner lumineers, having a thickness of up to 0.2-0.3 mm, allow doing without tooth grinding. The latest in dentistry – ultraneers – ultra-thin veneers, are also placed without enamel preparation.

Grinding Down Teeth for Veneers

After the diagnostic procedure, the dentist decides whether you need surface treatment before placing the overlays, or you can choose veneers without grinding. If the patient does not have significant defects in the dentition and the problem is the natural dark colour of the enamel, you can do without grinding incisors and canines.

Grinding teeth down for veneers is usually necessary in the following cases:

  • uneven enamel surface;
  • dental chips or cracks;
  • strongly protruding downward or forward canine teeth or incisors.

In any case, before placing cosmetic and therapeutic overlays, a complete examination and dental treatment are carried out. This includes fillings, prosthetics, professional cleaning, and tartar removal.

Surface preparation is necessary to solve the following problems:

  • reliable veneer fitting;
  • hiding the veneer connecting area;
  • increase the service life and reduce the risk of damage.

How Are Teeth Ground Down for Veneers?

Overlays manufacturing is a technology consisting of several stages.

  1. Diagnosing the problem and choosing treatment methods.
  2. Oral cavity preparation, elimination of existing problems (tooth decay, tartar, inflammation), and professional cleaning. Otherwise, there is a high risk that shortly, the patient will visit the dentist with pain, and for tooth sanitation, removing the newly fixed overlays will be necessary.
  3. Computer modelling of the future smile (design and materials are approved), information is given to the dental laboratory.
  4. The next stage is teeth grinding down for the veneer placement.
  5. Fifth, the final stage – lumineers fitting and finishing is performed.

Grinding Down Teeth for Lumineers

Patients are often alarmed by the words “grinding/turning” within the lumineers (ultra-thin veneers) fixing process. Let’s see how much these processes affect the masticatory system’s health.

Correct teeth grinding allows eliminating surface irregularities and removing minor defects. It is carried out without affecting the canines and incisors or threat of tooth decay. The protective properties of lumineers compensate for the absence of a thin layer of enamel.

The procedure is carried out carefully, painlessly and without injuries. The prepared layer is treated with special protective preparations.

Correction of the dentition with lumineers is considered the least traumatic, fastest and most painless compared to other methods.

The difference is evident if we compare the preparation for lumineers with the preparation for prosthetics using crowns. In the first case, 0.2-0.3 mm of dentin is ground off. For comparison, this is approximately the diameter of one grain of semolina or the thickness of aluminum foil. In the second – 2/3 of the crown part of the tooth is removed, sometimes de-pulping, canal filling, placing temporary structures.

Grinding Down Teeth for Lumineers

How are dental veneers made?

Aesthetic prosthetics can be performed from the age of 18 if there are no contraindications:

  • periodontitis;
  • malocclusion;
  • removal of incisors or a great number of chewing teeth;
  • bruxism;
  • complicated cavities;
  • crowns.

Typically, the overlays cover 20 teeth – 10 per jaw. The treatment takes several stages:

  1. Primary consultation, diagnostics of the oral cavity, medical history, choice of treatment option.
  2. Treatment of caries, reducing other dental health problems, professional cleaning.
  3. Taking impressions or making a 3D model of the masticatory apparatus using a scanner and computer software.
  4. The doctor discusses the best option for placing overlays with the laboratory technicians, performs manual or computer modelling, and makes a wax prototype. Then the dentist suggests the patient a smile prototype for consideration. If there are comments from the client, the model and the treatment process get adjusted.
  5. According to the shade scale, a suitable shade of overlays is selected.
  6. Local anaesthesia is performed, and preparations for grinding teeth for veneers begin.
  7. The crowns are prepared using the preferable method (laser, ultrasound, abrasion, drilling).
  8. Impressions are taken, or the prepared teeth are scanned.
  9. Temporary crowns are made and fitted until the permanent ones are manufactured.
  10.  After creating permanent overlays, the model and then the patient try-in is performed. If necessary, product modifications are carried out.
  11. If the result satisfies the doctor and the patient, the product fitting begins. It takes 15-20 minutes to fit one lumineer.
  12.  Teeth finishing (excess cement removal, bite correction) is performed.
  13.  After 2-3 weeks, the patient comes for a follow-up examination.
How are dental veneers made

In dentistry, several types of veneers are used: direct (made of composite materials, formed directly on the teeth) and indirect (made of porcelain and aluminium dioxide, manufactured in the laboratory).

Dental ceramics (from zirconium, porcelain, and glass ceramics) are distinct in high strength, aesthetic appearance, durability, colour constancy, and resistance to food acids. Their manufacturing requires liquid injection moulding, vacuum firing or milling finished blocks.

Composite onlays are made from a light-cured photopolymer using a technology similar to filling and restoration.

Their advantages are:

  • quick and easy fitting;
  • reasonable price;
  • smaller thickness of dentine preparation.


  • short service life;
  • the need for routine polishing;
  • low-tensile.

Most often, they are used for 1-2 teeth restorations.

Thin and ultra-thin veneers allow avoiding grinding teeth down before fixing veneers and wearing temporary onlays. With their help, you can eliminate minimal defects in dentition. Products are fragile and less durable.

As long as proper care is provided and there is no mechanical damage caused by biting into solid food, hitting or falling down, porcelain onlays can serve patients for up to 15-20 years. The service life of dental composites is 5-7 years.