When to break proximal contacts with porcelain veneer preps?

April 22, 2022

The 3 most common porcelain veneer preparation designs are: 

minimal prep, traditional veneer prep, or slice through contact prep for Porcelain Veneers.    

We get asked the most about the interproximal area of the preps for veneers.  

If you are not breaking contacts, you need to determine how and where you want the interproximal margins.  I generally think halfway from buccal to lingual through the contact area can work well.  

When prepping the interproximal you do not want to create undercuts otherwise seating the veneers will be more difficult.  

If you do a slice prep and break the proximal contacts, make sure you maintain good draw and taper and parallelism to help with the seating of the final veneers. 

3 Most Common Types of Veneer Preparation Designs

  1. Minimal Preparation Porcelain Veneer 

When prepping you correct minor arch form issues.  WIth this Preparation you do not open the proximal contacts while prepping.  There are thin finish lines and margins.  Best for cases where you plan to be adding volume to the incisal edges and to the facial thickness.  Mostly used when the Veneers are additive to add volume.

  1. Traditional Porcelain Veneer Preparation

Requires Adequate reduction on the Facial and incisal.  This type of Veneer Preparation you do not break or opening proximal contacts

  1. Slice Preparation for Porcelain Veneers

This is when you slice through the proximal contacts or open the proximal contacts. Recommended for cases where you have the following: Overlapped teeth, interproximal decay, interproximal fillings, closing diastemas, black triangle closure, or moving tooth positions.   

Reference for when to open contacts when prepping for porcelain veneers

  • Large gaps between the teeth
  • Black triangle spaces at the gumline between teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Fillings between teeth
  • Cavities between the teeth
  • Spaces between the teeth
  • Midline discrepancy
  • Changing the widths of the teeth
  • Moving tooth positions mesially or distally

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