How Much of the Natural Tooth is Taken off Before Veneers And/or Lumineers? I Am Very Nervous (photo)

I'm scheduled to go in and have veneers done. I already went and spoke with 2 dentists about the procedure. I'm only get my 4 upper teeth done. Idk why, I just feel very nervous about the whole thing. The dentist showed photos about how much of the tooth will be shaved off, but in those photos there were some w/ grooves cut out from the bottom of the tooth. Idk if that's my case, but I don't want that! Am I normal? Should I ask for lumineers instead? Had molding done & sent to lab already.

Doctor Answers 7

How Much Tooth is removed for Veneers/Lumineers

Lumineer is a brand name for veneers done by a company called Denmat.  They promote the technique as one which does not remove any tooth structure but simply places the veneers over the existing teeth as they are.  It is a great technique for certain cases.  No prep veneers would be a compromised result in your situation I believe as you have uneven widths, a slanted midline, and the one tooth on the right front is much more prominent. Some conservative tooth reduction in key areas would allow a much better result.  A good cosmetic dentist shares your concern about tooth removal but if you are going to make this investment you want the best result possible.

Glendale Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Tooth Preparation for Veneers/Lumineers

Your concerns are very valid concerns.  In order to prepare teeth without decay for veneers, only small fractions of the tooth are removed to make room for the veneers. Veneers do not require much space. Lumineers require less tooth removal, however, unless your teeth are very small teeth, Lumineers can sometimes make the teeth look too bulky.

Good luck!


Dr. Aurasteh 

Parnaz Aurasteh, DDS
Beverly Hills Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Veneers require some amount of shaving on your top teeth

You always need to have a reason to do 'veneers or lumineers'.  Are your teeth compromised? big fillings? If not, go get a orthodontic consult and see if you need to be realigned.  I like veneers and they do require removing some of your tooth structure so have clear cut reasons for doing them. I am not a fan of lumineers.


Wendy S. Spektor, DDS
Bellevue Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

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How much tooth structure is removed doing a veneer

From almost nothing to .5mm depending on the bite and condition of your natural teeth good luck. Kevin Coughlin DMD, MBA, MAGD    CEO Baystate Dental PC

Kevin Coughlin, DMD
Springfield Dentist

How Much of the Natural Tooth is Taken off Before Veneers? I Am Very Nervous (photo)

The trend with veneers right now is to do as little shaving as possible. That's easy to say, and sounds good to everyone, but there are also often some compromises.

If your goal is to have virtually no shaving done to your teeth, then be prepared to also have veneers that are too thick and also have some aesthetic compromises (this is often the case with veneers like Lumineers).

If your goal is to create an amazing smile and nearly perfect front teeth, then it will require at least some shaving.

Looking at your photo, you have a number of issues that need to be managed well to get great veneers.

It's normal to be a little anxious before something like this. But if it's really making you nervous, then call your cosmetic dentist and ask to speak with him again. 

Dear Nervous

When it comes to Lumineers, you really need to be careful.  Many Dentist will numb you up and just cut your teeth.  It is very hard to tell you how much tooth will removed, however, I will tell you to run if you see a needle to numb you up. I have been doing Lumineers since 1997 and HAVE NEVER USED A NEEDLE. The amount of reduction needed is case by case.


I will tell you, that if your dentist has been certified in for Lumineers Placement you should be fine.


Hope this helps,

Dr. David SIlber



David Silber, DMD
Dallas Dentist

Lumineers vs. Veneers

Whether you choose Lumineers vs. veneers would depend on your individual dental scenario and what is going to look best on you.  Yes, having porcelain veneers means that it is a permanent result with tooth structure removed, but if you are extremely confident in your cosmetic dentist, you don't need to worry.  A good cosmetic dentist does these cases every day and have taken numerous continuing education courses.  They will be very conservative when removing tooth structure.  They should have thousands of before and after photos for you to see what your results will look like, and they should make sure you feel comfortable and confident before proceeding forward.  We do very few Lumineers cases in our office because the quality of the aesthetic result we find to be sub-par.  They don't come out looking as good or natural, they tend to be appear bulkier (thicker), and they don't provide the beautiful natural translucency (gradient sheerness towards the bottom of the tooth) like porcelain veneers (or natural teeth) do.  Our office also finds that many patients who have had Lumineers done elsewhere, have come to us to have them replaced due to being unhappy with the look of their smile or the Lumineers constantly coming off.  Hope this helps!

Charles Nottingham, DDS, FAGD
Fort Lauderdale Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.