Myth Busting Teeth Filing for Veneers

If you have thought about having veneers, you may have heard that teeth need to be filed (or shaved down) as part of the treatment process. While this may sound scary, the process is anything but. With technical advances in dentistry, prosthodontists can achieve superior results with the lightest of touches. In this article we will separate fact from the myths to help you understand what it really means to have your teeth filed for veneers.

Myth: I Will Have Shark Teeth Before the Veneers are Fitted.

With the unhelpful support of social media, the so called “shark teeth phenomenon” has gained a lot of attention on channels like TikTok by those undertaking extreme cosmetic treatments in the quest for “absolute beauty” and growing their influencer numbers. As part of their treatment they are having their teeth shaved down to nubs in order to accommodate this extreme treatment. While this looks scary, it’s seldom necessary a patient may opt for this when having a full set of dental crowns. However, with veneers, it’s far from how a typical and professional procedure works.

Myth: The Process of Having Veneers is Long & Drawn Out.

Only the front of the tooth is filed down and the whole process is quick.

With porcelain and composite veneers, some filing of the tooth is necessary to ensure the tooth blends with the rest of your surrounding teeth once fused on. Without that slight filing of the front of the tooth, the veneer will look unnatural or look asymmetrical.

Every patient is unique, but a skilled cosmetic dentist will typically not shave more than 0.5mm (or the thickness of a fingernail) from any given tooth. As specialist cosmetic dentists, we would evaluate and brief you on what you can expect as part of your treatment.

Myth: Having Your Teeth Filed is Painful and Requires Sedation.

Dentists and specialists look to make their patient relaxed and as pain free as possible when it comes to carrying out treatment. While the term ‘filing’ or ‘shaving’ sounds drastic, the process is only mildly uncomfortable, and, in some circumstances, the process can be completed without any need for anesthesia as only a thin layer of surface enamel is removed. For those that may need it, local anesthetic (like you have for a filling), or inhalation sedation can be used to ensure maximum comfort.

Once the filing is complete, you may only feel some mild tenderness which can usually be managed with over the counter pain medication and should only last a few days.

The Importance of Using a Prosthodontist for Veneers.

While some of these services are also provided by general dentists, a prosthodontist has additional qualifications that make them experts in this field. When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, prosthodontist have undertaken years of additional training to be able provide the treatment and care needed.

If a dentist decides they want to be a prosthodontist, they need to complete their dental university qualification then do at least two years of full-time work as a dentist. They can then apply to undertake a further three years of full-time study before being qualified to work as a prosthodontist.

General dentists refer most of our patients to us. A dentist may recommend their patient for specialised dental care that a prosthodontist provides, or a patient may ask their dentist for a referral for cosmetic treatment such as veneers.

Prosthodontics is a growing industry. Australians are more conscious of their appearance than ever and want to keep their teeth looking good and functioning well.

For more information on our treatments using porcelain veneers click here, or for more information on all our treatments for cosmetic dentistry click here. If you have any queries about mouth restorations, prosthodontics or require a second opinion, call us on (08) 9321 1632 or book an appointment.