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After Getting Porcelain Veneers My Teeth are Three Colors! Help Me Please!

I need some help. I have always had unhappy teeth. They’re stained and one of my front teeth kind of overlaps the other one. My dentist said we’ll just make the “under” one (meaning the tooth that is being overlapped) thicker to match. She placed four veneers on my teeth. I’ve had some problems with the veneers since the beginning. First, she put the “under” one on a little crooked, so we had to re-do that one. Now, the “upper” is turning a splotchy gray. This has left me with three different colored teeth. The stained teeth, the gray veneer, and the three white veneers. What do I do? I’m beginning to think my dentist is in over her head.

Joyce B.

Dear Joyce,

A porcelain veneer being placed

Wow! You’ve had a disastrous time with your smile makeover. You’re right thinking your dentist is in over her head, though she’s likely very well meaning. I always hate hearing about cases like this because it makes good general dentists look bad. Plus, it’s massively hard on patients, all while being completely avoidable.

What Went Wrong With Your Porcelain Veneers?

While you already know you started by allowing the wrong dentist to do your smile makeover, I want you to understand why. This will help you avoid it in the future. Later, I’ll show you how to find the right dentist.

Cosmetic dentistry isn’t actually a recognized dental specialty. Many patients aren’t aware of that. Every cosmetic dentist is simply a general dentist who is willing to do cosmetic procedures. The skill levels vary greatly from dentist to dentist. The more training and artistry they have, the better the results will likely be.

The next problem is the number of porcelain veneers she gave you. Four isn’t enough. The fact that you can see the stains on your other teeth in contrast with your veneers makes that obvious. Most well-done smile makeovers have a minimum of eight veneers, more if you have a wide smile.

Let’s touch on the overlapping teeth. I haven’t seen a picture of what your teeth were like, but I am picturing what you described. Making one porcelain veneer thicker is a mistake. When the teeth were being prepared, she should have done some mild shaving of the tooth that was overlapping to make them flush against one another.

Finally, the splotchy gray. It sounds like the bonding isn’t well done on that particular tooth and there’s some leakage with stuff getting between the veneer and the tooth.

What Can You Do to Fix Your Porcelain Veneers?

I’ll tell you right up front you’re going to need to have them completely re-done by a different dentist. There’s a good chance your dentist will give you a refund because the case was so poorly done. Even though she’s likely a great general dentist, she is still in need of more development and training with porcelain veneers. If she gives you a problem about the refund, let her see this post so she understands what she did wrong.

When you do get your new porcelain veneers, plan on getting several more in order to cover all visible teeth when you smile. However, let’s assume four is all you can afford. That does happen. In that case, your teeth should have been thoroughly cleaned and then whitened before the veneers were designed. That way there’d be a smoother transition between the teeth. It won’t be a perfect match, but it will be a much less noticeable difference.

You’re probably wondering how to find an expert cosmetic dentist. You could research their training and ask to see samples of their work, but that can be time-consuming and how would you know what training is necessary? I recommend you look on mynewsmile.com. They research cosmetic dentists and only recommend the best from each area on their website. You can plug in your zip code and they’ll give you a list of qualified cosmetic dentists within the radius you’re willing to travel.

Noone can purchase their way onto their site. Instead, they’re vigorously vetted for both their technical knowledge and artistic skill. Any dentist they recommend will be a great option for you. Many of them even have a beautiful smile guarantee.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Newkirk.