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  • Writer's pictureLucy See

Is it true that teeth are ground down to stumps before veneers can go on?

Dr See says: Thank you for the great question, this is something that we often get asked. Believe it or not, multiple porcelain veneers is not taught at undergraduate university as they are very technique sensitive as they rely on solely bonding alone (the glue) without any mechanical retention. A lot of things therefore need to go right for their long-term success. It requires perfect preparations, perfect impressions or scans, perfect isolation for bonding and a super perfect bite. It is not easy and time consuming.

Crowns on the other hand is what all clinicians are well trained at in our undergraduate studies. Crowns do involve grinding the teeth down to stumps. It is more straightforward to prepare, take an impression and place on the tooth. Don’t get me wrong. I do crowns often but only when clinically indicated. Such as, when there is a lack of tooth structure and/or significant pre-existing destruction from tooth wear or decay, but never ever otherwise.

Let’s look at a case that we completed with minimal preparations for the veneers.

Tim came to see us because he didn’t like that his teeth were crooked, narrow and pointy which meant he wasn’t smiling much. Tim showed us photos of his ideal smile and we collaborated to bring the design to life in a smile style that was customised to him. Tim was concerned about the health of his teeth and didn’t want to affect his natural teeth in an adverse way, but wanted to enhance his smile which affected how he felt and the way he presented himself.


  • Crooked teeth

  • Discoloured teeth

  • Narrow and pointy teeth


  • Alignment of teeth with clear aligners

  • Tooth whitening

  • 10 x porcelain veneers with minimal preparations that stayed within enamel

Tim loves his new smile and is pleased that his natural teeth weren’t adversely affected during the veneers process. His crooked, discoloured teeth are now addressed with beautiful, natural looking, handcrafted porcelain veneers. Advanced qualifications and experience ensured that we achieved the results that Tim wanted.

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