Porcelain veneers are way too white!

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I’m trying not to freak out, but my porcelain veneers are too white. They are on the bottom teeth and when I first saw the final restorations come back from the lab, I told my dentist they wouldn’t work. They were too white then and so my dentist sent them back to the lab to correct the color. I told him A-2 looked like it matched my top teeth, so that’s what we were shooting for.

When they came back from the lab the second time around, the dentist placed them before I had a look at them. And I’m so sad because they still look white. They look fake and I was devastated, since I was doing all this all for an upcoming wedding. Now, I look silly. I had wear them for the wedding, which only followed a few days later.

Now, three weeks later, one of the porcelain veneers broke off. The dentist originally told me that I had two years to come back to have them replaced if anything went wrong. But, I’m fearing I made a terrible investment. I don’t think porcelain veneers should be coming off this soon. Should I go to a new dentist to see if I’m overreacting about the color? Also, my gums look funny. I was hoping the veneers would cover them, but they are still showing.

I’m so sick of dealing with this. Any pointers?

-Shelli in North Carolina


First off, I apologize that you are living through a cosmetic dentistry horror story. To be clear, are you saying that the dentist bonded the porcelain veneers in place without you realizing it? If so, the dentist could be in trouble. You always need to give your consent for a cosmetic dentist to move forward with the permanent dental bonding of the veneers. You made it sound like he didn’t show them to you when they came back from the lab the second time.

If not consent was given, it may be considered malpractice. This holds true for any medical or dental procedure. A passive nod or gesture really shouldn’t count as consent. If that was the case, an excellent cosmetic dentist will be absolutely, without a doubt sure that you love them before permanently bonding them. This is a challenging situation you find yourself in.

As for the porcelain veneers breaking, this is likely due to the dental bonding not being done correctly. Not the quality of the porcelain veneers. In general, veneers are quite fragile. They acquire strength from the bonding to the natural tooth. If the bonding is done correctly, they can withstand normal biting force and function just like your normal teeth would for many years to come. So, this creates another potential problem for your dentist.

As for your issue with the color. Lower veneers should not be whiter than your top teeth. That will just look odd. Many times you can get away with the bottom teeth looking a little darker than the top, but not vice versa. So, you have another valid complaint.

It would be in your best interest to make an appointment with an expert cosmetic dentist to get an independent, second opinion. Then, you likely will have the new dentist’s support in supporting your quest to get a refund from the original dentist. Regarding the consent from the onset, you may even be able to report him to the dental board. But, hopefully he does the right thing and doesn’t deny it. It sounds like he may have been in over his head to begin with, which sadly happens all too often.

Try a reputable cosmetic dentist and then look into pursuing a refund with the original dentist.

Unfortunately, the porcelain veneers will need to be redone. So, a refund would help you move forward with a new, experienced cosmetic dentist.

Thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Lexington cosmetic dentist Hamburg Expressions.