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Prepless Veneers: Smile design and seat.

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  • credit: 1 CE
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  • PREMIUM Course


Recently there has been an effort to reintroduce the "prepless" or "minimal preparation" veneer. The primary driving force has been a marketing effort suggesting that patients' smiles can be drastically improved without using the "dental drill, shots or removal of healthy tooth structure." Consequently, dentists often have been forced to utilize a prepless veneer at the request of their patients, despite the fact that the treatment might be contraindicated. Another important compromise is that many clinicians are unaware of (or unfamiliar with) indications in which eliminating teeth preparation may be an option. Because of this, the dental industry has seen a rebirth of over-contoured and bulky smile designs using ceramic veneers. This has lead many to believe that the prep-less veneer option should not be considered because of the inability to achieve acceptable esthetics.
This is unfortunate, because with a complete understanding of when and how to use the prepless veneer, definitive results can be very appealing. The new materials available in the marketplace provide more vitality than those previously used for restorations; and more patients have the opportunity to achieve the smile of their dreams, which they wouldn't have considered in the past due to the requirement to remove tooth structure.        -David Hornbrook, DDS


Last Reviewed: 07/29/2012

Disclaimer: No commercial support was received for this course.


1.  Understand why the prepless to minimal preparation veneer should be considered.

2.  Describe the steps in the smile design process.

3.  State the information that needs to be communicated to the lab.

4.  Describe the steps in the cementation process.


I.    Case selection

II.   Creating an ideal result with smile design

III.  Material selection

IV.   Lab communication

V.    How to cement efficiently


Hornbrook, David. Prepless Prerequisites- How and Why to Incorporate Prepless Veneers.  Dental Compare. Reference found at http://www.dentalcompare.com/featuredarticle.asp?articleid=226