Veneers, thin coverings crafted from porcelain or composite resin, are a cornerstone of cosmetic dental procedures. These custom-made shells are affixed to the front surface of existing natural teeth, providing an effective remedy for aesthetic issues like discolouration, tooth decay, broken teeth, or slightly crooked teeth. Before the permanent ones are fixed, temporary veneers are often placed to protect the teeth. For veneers to seamlessly blend with the natural tooth, a crucial step known as teeth shaving or tooth preparation is undertaken. In this process, a cosmetic dentist meticulously files or shaves off a minute portion of the tooth enamel, ensuring the veneers fit comfortably and look impeccable.

Whether opting for traditional porcelain veneers, composite resin veneers, or ultra-thin porcelain veneers that require minimal shaving, the tooth surface’s preparation is essential. This guide unveils the veneer process in-depth, from the initial tooth preparation to the veneer procedure and subsequent dental treatment for maintenance. If you’re contemplating a smile makeover with veneers or seeking to understand modern veneer technology, this primer offers a well-rounded glimpse into the intricate world of dental veneers. 


Understanding the Veneer Shaving Process – The Initial Steps

It’s a significant decision to have your natural teeth shaved down for veneers, and one should be fully informed of the implications. Shaving tooth structure is necessary to create a smooth surface for the veneers to adhere. The initiation of the veneers process, and the shaving itself, is grounded in meticulous preparation, which ensures an impeccable final outcome. Here’s a breakdown of the preparatory stages: 


considerations shave teeth procedureEvaluating the Dental Landscape

Prior to delving into the veneer procedure, a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s dental condition is paramount. The dentist undertakes an in-depth inspection of the teeth, gums, and bite to confirm that veneers are the right cosmetic dental procedure.

Advanced tools, such as X-rays, are often deployed to gain insights into the intricate structures beneath the surface and pinpoint potential challenges. 


Deciding on Veneer Material and Hue

Veneers come in varied types, notably porcelain and composite resin, each offering distinct aesthetic and functional attributes. A collaborative decision-making process ensues between the patient and the cosmetic dentist, weighing factors like longevity, aesthetic appeal, and financial considerations.

Equally significant is the selection of the veneer’s shade, ensuring it harmoniously aligns with the surrounding teeth’s hue for a seamless and natural look


Optimising the Tooth for Veneer Adhesion

Before the teeth are shaved or filed, it’s crucial to rid the tooth surface of any impurities or accumulated plaque. This step guarantees a pristine foundation for the upcoming phases and is essential for fostering a robust bond between the tooth and veneer. Additionally, slight etching of the tooth may be conducted to enhance the veneer’s adhesive properties. 


The Intricacies of Tooth Shaving for Veneers

With the groundwork laid during the preparatory phase, the dentist ventures into the next crucial segment: the art of shaving the tooth. This phase demands meticulous attention to detail and utmost finesse. 


aesthetics durability veneer toothAn Overview of the Shaving Instruments

Central to the shaving process is the dentist’s choice of equipment.

Typically, a dental drill or its equivalent is employed.

This sophisticated instrument is designed to delicately strip away a fine layer of enamel, generally in the range of 0.3mm to 0.5mm, from the tooth’s frontal region. 


A Closer Look at the Shaving Methodology

The procedure kicks off with the dentist administering a local anaesthetic, numbing the specific tooth and its adjoining areas to ensure the patient’s comfort. Leveraging the precision of the dental drill, the dentist systematically removes the predetermined enamel thickness. Subsequent to this, a mould or a state-of-the-art digital scan of the shaved tooth is captured, serving as the blueprint for the tailor-made veneer fabricated in a dental lab. 


Safety Protocols and Considerations

Safety remains the cornerstone throughout the shaving process. The objective is to minimally intervene in the tooth’s structure, conserving its inherent health and vitality. While the technique of shaving is predominantly safe, individuals with predispositions like wafer-thin enamel, heightened tooth sensitivity, or other dental complexities may require a different approach. Therefore, maintaining an open dialogue about your dental past and any reservations with your dentist is pivotal.

The act of shaving a tooth for a veneer integration marries the realms of science and artistry. It’s all about setting the stage for a flawless veneer fit while safeguarding the tooth’s intrinsic health. As patients gain clarity on the equipment, methodology, and the embedded safety nets, they are better poised to make an informed choice about this transformative cosmetic dental procedure. In conclusion, veneers shaved teeth can give a more uniform and aesthetically pleasing appearance. 



Art and Precision in Veneer Application

The veneer application eases the harmonious blend of a dentist’s artistic flair and technical accuracy. The procedure encompasses these pivotal stages: 


Unravelling the Bonding Dynamics

The bond establishes the veneer’s permanent residence on the tooth. After verifying the shade and fit of the veneer, the tooth surface is primed using a specialised bonding agent. The veneer, whether porcelain or composite resin, is meticulously placed onto the tooth, followed by the use of a curing light. This process solidifies the adhesive, ensuring a robust union between the dental veneer and the natural tooth. 


Precision in Alignment and Comfort

Ensuring the veneer aligns seamlessly with the existing teeth and offers comfort in the patient’s bite is paramount. The cosmetic dentist places great emphasis on this, as any misalignment or ill-fit can lead to discomfort or mar the desired look. With an eye for detail, the veneer is positioned so it’s harmonious with the neighbouring teeth and integrates flawlessly into the bite. 


Refinements and Final Gloss

Once anchored and aligned, the veneer may need subtle tweaks. The dentist might shape or trim it for a flawless silhouette. Concluding the veneer procedure, it’s polished to a luminous finish, encapsulating the smile makeover journey.

Veneer application is more than just adhering a piece to a tooth; it’s about orchestrating a symphony of aesthetics that augments the overarching smile. Through stages from bonding to alignment and finishing polish, the primary focus remains on patient contentment. The culmination is a dazzling smile, a testament to both the dentist’s expertise and the distinctiveness of the patient. 


Caring for Your Veneers: Ensuring Durability and Aesthetics

The brilliance and lifespan of veneers, be it porcelain or composite resin, aren’t solely in the hands of the cosmetic dentist but also hinge on post-application care. Here’s a comprehensive guide on upkeep and preserving their charm: 


bonding teeth veneers dynamicsInitial Aftercare Guidelines

Post the veneers procedure, it’s not uncommon for patients to feel a touch of sensitivity or mild discomfort. Steering clear of temperature extremes in food and drink can be beneficial.

Over-the-counter pain solutions may assist in managing any fleeting discomfort. Dental experts often provide customised recommendations post-veneer application, encompassing dietary advice and oral care practices. 


Sustaining Your Veneers in the Long Haul

Veneers, much like your existing teeth, require consistent care. Daily brushing using gentle toothpaste, diligent flossing, and routine dental check-ins ensure the veneers retain their sheen and structure. Even though veneers boast stain resistance, minimising exposure to potential staining agents in food and drink will uphold their radiance. For rinsing, it’s prudent to opt for a non-alcoholic mouthwash; those with alcohol might compromise the bond strength over time. 


Sidestepping Potential Setbacks

While dental veneers are resilient, they aren’t impervious to all forms of stress. Actions such as nail-biting, chewing hard items like ice, or using teeth as tools can potentially jeopardise veneers. Similarly, if one grinds their teeth – a condition known as bruxism – it can exert undue stress on the veneers. Adopting preventive measures, like wearing a protective mouthpiece during sports or while sleeping, can counteract the effects of bruxism. Periodic dental visits play a pivotal role in the early detection and rectification of any budding concerns.

In essence, the journey doesn’t end at the veneer application. It’s a shared commitment between the patient and the dentist to ensure the perfect smile remains unblemished. Through mindful practices and regular dental interactions, veneers can serve as lasting companions in one’s smile makeover adventure. 



The journey of shaving and placing traditional veneers is an intricate blend of art and science, aiming to reinvent smiles with unmatched precision. The initial stage involves a thorough evaluation of the existing teeth, guiding the subsequent steps of accurate teeth shaving, tailored selection between porcelain or composite veneers, adept application, and committed aftercare. Each phase is critical, culminating in a renewed appearance that can boost confidence and self-worth.

The pivotal role of expert dental intervention in this transformation cannot be emphasised enough. From ensuring the right amount of tooth enamel is shaved off to guaranteeing the flawless fit and look of the veneers, the expertise of a seasoned dental professional stands out. Making a choice between composite and porcelain veneers is deeply personal, necessitating a blend of informed decision-making and professional insights.

The beauty of a smile enhanced by veneers lies in its aesthetics and the personalised care and mastery that brings it to life. Take the first step toward a beautiful smile by scheduling an appointment with our skilled dentists today! 

Pyrmont: (02) 9158 6213
Illawong: (02) 9158 6756
Sylvania Waters: (02) 9159 6083




Smile makeover with direct composite veneers 

Porcelain for veneers