Category Archives: Porcelain Veneers

Three Different Color Teeth with Porcelain veneers

I had four porcelain veneers placed on my front teeth. Unfortunately, the two in the very front are turning gray. This has left me with three different colored teeth. First, there are my natural yellow teeth, which still show on either side of my porcelain veneers. Then, there are the white veneers next to them, and the two front teeth which have turned gray. I feel this whole endeavor has been a disaster. What can be going on and what can fix it?

Marla

Dear Marla,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

The main problem you are facing with your smile makeover is the inexperience of your dentist. First, the porcelain veneers on your front teeth are defective. This can happen to a new cosmetic dentist. However, an even more basic error was made.

If you are only getting four porcelain veneers and your teeth are yellow, your teeth need to be whitened before your veneers are placed. Your dentist didn’t even know enough to do that.

As for the grey veneers, there are two possibilities I can think of immediately. I couldn’t tell you which without a photo, but I can describe it to give you an idea of what to look for.

If they are uniformly grey, then it’s likely the glaze has been removed somehow. This destroys your porcelain veneers because the glaze is what protects them from picking up stains.

If the gray is uneven, you may have what is known as microleakage. This means the bonding isn’t done correctly and you’ve got things getting between the porcelain veneers and your teeth. This will not only give them a splotchy look, but it will lead to decay.

Fixing a Porcelain Veneer Disaster

Because your family dentist is in over their head, I don’t think they’re going to be able to fix this. You need to ask for a refund and have this case redone by an expert cosmetic dentist. They’ll likely first suggest you whiten your teeth. Then they’ll do the case from scratch.

My suggestion is look to see if there is a dentist who is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in a reasonable distance from you. AACD accredited dentists are the top cosmetic dentists in the country. They will provide you with a stunning smile you will be proud of.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

does smoking stain porcelain veneers?

I am almost done paying for my porcelain veneers. I’m a little worried because they have started picking up stains around the edges. I do smoke. I’m wondering if my smoking is the problem. If so, shouldn’t my dentist have warned me about this? I was told they were very stain resistant. What should I do?

Ben

Dear Ben,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

As long as your porcelain veneers still have their glaze, they are very stain resistant. In fact, they are more stain-resistant than your natural teeth. However, there are things that can damage the glaze. If your hygienist used something like a power prophy jet during your cleaning, or even acidulated fluoride, the glazing would be damaged enough.

Once that happens, they quickly begin to pick up stains. I don’t think this is your problem, though. If that were to happen, the staining would be over the whole tooth and you’re saying it’s just on the edges.

To me, this is saying the major problem you’re facing is with the resin which is used to bond your porcelain veneers to your teeth. Your dentist likely polished these when you first had the veneers placed. However, these can stain. They’ll stain faster if you smoke.

Your cosmetic dentist who did the work should have told you what needs to be done to care for them. Here is a great link about regular maintenance for your porcelain veneers.

In the meantime, you still need to have these stains dealt with. I want you to go back to your cosmetic dentist and have him polish the sides. They should use an ultra-fine polishing strip in this area and a special ultra-fine aluminum oxide polishing paste. This will help with the staining and increase the longevity of your smile investment.

Don’t have your family dentist try to do this. Most of the time, knowledge like this is limited to those who’ve studied cosmetic dentistry.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

covering tetracycline stains

I have pretty bad tetracycline stains, as did my sister. She had porcelain veneers put on them a number of years ago. While they look better than my teeth, they do not look natural. They told her they had to use an opaquer in order to get them to cover the stains. I was hoping in the last few years or so they’ve made some advancements so that if I had porcelain veneers done, they would look more natural. What are my chances?

Avery

Dear Avery,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

When it comes to making natural-looking porcelain veneers, the need isn’t for better advancements; rather, it’s for better cosmetic dentists.

The technology has been around for years, but very few cosmetic dentists have the training and skill required to pull it off. To be fair, tetracycline stains are among the most challenging a dentist can face.

The porcelain veneers have to be opaque enough to cover the stains, yet translucent enough to reflect light and look normal. I would say only the top 1% of dentists in the country are capable of pulling this off.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

If you want the best cosmetic dentist, and you will need that for tetracycline stains, you will want an AACD accredited dentist.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry realized, because cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty, patients would have a hard time distinguishing who was actually skilled and who just dabbled.

To reach accreditation, dentist have to pass stringent oral and written exams as well as provide a large number of cases which demonstrate they have artistry in their work as well.

Those who reach this level are in the top 1-2% of dentists in the country. You can locate them at aacd.com. Just make sure you check you want an accredited dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

porcelain veneers during pregnancy

I’ve been saving up for a smile makeover. I just reached the amount I needed and I found out I was pregnant. Am I able to move forward wtih the porcelain veneers or do I need to wait until after the baby is born?

Melinda

Dear Melinda,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

Congratulations on your new little one! While there are so many things you’ll have to protect your new child from, porcelain veneers won’t be one of them.

There are some cosmetic procedures which are not recommended during pregnancy, such as teeth whitening. This is because, especially during the first trimester, when the baby is most vulnerable you don’t want them ingesting any unsafe chemicals.

Fortunately, porcelain veneers do not have anything which could endanger your baby. The only chemical used would be lidocaine which has already been proven safe in pregnancy.

It is up to you at this point. Some women struggle with intense nausea during their first trimester. That may make having your mouth messed with a challenge. Because of that, you may want to wait and see how your body reacts to this new baby first. If you seem to be fine, you can move forward. If not, there is no harm in waiting.

Who Should Do Your Porcelain Veneers?

You don’t want just anyone doing your smile makeover, though. This is a once in a lifetime procedure and you’ll want it done right. Because there isn’t a recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry, there is no real way to know if the dentist doing your procedure has had enough additional training to do the job well.

In your place, I’d look for a dentist who has attained accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists are the top cosmetic dentists in the country.

They’ve passed stringent oral and written exams to prove their technical knowledge. Additionally, they had to provide visual evidence on a large number of cases they’ve done to show they are also artistic.

Any one of them can give you a stunning smile.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

problems with my porcelain veneers

I need some advice about my porcelain veneers. Things haven’t gone well for me with this. My dentist did ceramic veneers. The first time they came in they were way too white for the adjacent visible teeth (and even for my personal taste). II told him I wanted them to match the other teeth (which we determined was an A2) asked him to redo them and he did. When they came back the second time he bonded them on without me getting to look at them. When I did see them, they were again too white. I’m assuming I’m stuck with that color now and am hoping to get the teeth next to them to match so I don’t feel foolish. My other problem is one of them broke in half horizontally. My dentist is replacing it and said he would do so for 3 years. Should I be worried they won’t last longer than that? I did pay a pretty penny. Would I have been better off getting porcelain veneers? Are they stronger?

Mandy

Dear Mandy,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

Let’s start with the longevity and breaking of your porcelain veneers. These are tiny wafers, whether made of porcelain or ceramic. You could easily crush them in your fingers. Their strength comes from the bonding procedure, which your dentist obviously hasn’t mastered.

If you’d approved of the porcelain veneers before he bonded them, then yes, you’d be stuck with that color. The easiest solution to get the adjacent teeth to match is teeth whitening. Fortunately, only your natural tooth structure will whiten. It will have no real effect on your porcelain veneers.

That being said, I don’t think you have to accept the color you’ve been given. He bonded them on without your permission. Informed consent is the cornerstone of any practice–medical or dental. Without that, he committed malpractice. You have the right to a refund.

Getting Your Porcelain Veneers Done Right

When you have this case redone, I want you to have an expert cosmetic dentist do it. This way you will get a smile you’re not just satisfied with but proud of.

A true cosmetic dentist would never place a smile unless you are thrilled with it. Most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

Look on the website of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (aacd.com). They have a link to find a cosmetic dentist. When you do the search, make sure you place a check mark on accredited. You want an accredited cosmetic dentist. These are the ones who can give you the right smile.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Porcelain veneers with an overbite

I want to get a smile makeover. I asked my dentist about porcelain veneers and he said because my top teeth cover my bottom teeth I’m not a good candidate. Instead, he suggested I have crowns placed on my six front teeth. My teeth have some dark stains because of tetracycline too. Does this mean after the crowns are done, I’d whiten the bottom teeth to match?

Lisa

Dear Lisa,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

I want to caution you not to do dental crowns for your smile makeover. I think I know what is going on here. It sounds like your dentist isn’t as comfortable with designing and placing porcelain veneers than he is with dental crowns.

He doesn’t want to tell you this and cause you to think less of him as a practitioner, so instead he suggests the procedure he feels he does better.

Blaming your bite is creative but not valid. Even thinking about it logically, porcelain veneers would be a better fit for your bite. Porcelain crowns surround your entire tooth, but porcelain veneers only are bonded to the front. They would actually be less intrusive.

On top of all of that, with dental crowns, your teeth have to be ground down to nubs. Because of that, you can never have anything but crowns on those teeth for the remainder of your life.

There is another hint to me that your dentist isn’t an advanced cosmetic dentist. He’s suggesting six teeth be treated. Unless you have a narrow smile, that won’t be enough. Most people show between eight to twelve teeth when they smile.

Finding an Advanced Cosmetic Dentist

Your particular case is particularly challenging and requires a top-notch cosmetic dentist. Tetracycline stains are quite tricky to get right. You need the teeth to have the look of natural translucency, but at the same time still be opaque enough to cover the deep stains.

Only the top 2% of dentists can do this well. In your place, I’d look for a dentist who has been accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. They have both the technical skill and artistry to give you a stunning smile, even with tetracycline stains.

Regarding the teeth whitening you mentioned. Yes, you would whiten the remaining teeth which don’t get veneered. However, you want to do the teeth whitening first. When you get them to the level of whitening you want, it will be time to get your porcelain veneers. The KöR  Teeth Whitening System has been the most effective in whitening tetracycline stains.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

tri-colored porcelain veneers

I’ve got a smile makeover disaster. I have three different colored teeth right now. First, my ugly natural yellow teeth, then I had four porcelain veneers placed. Three of them look okay, but one of them is an uneven gray color. I paid a lot of money hoping to get a beautiful smile, but now I feel ridiculous with three different colors of teeth. I don’t even smile. My dentist said she’d make the gray one thicker to even out the colors, but I’m not sure how that will look and I’m losing confidence in her. What do you recommend?

Laurie

Dear Laurie,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

Yikes! I can understand why you are unhappy. It sounds like you went to your family dentist who was in over her head. First, don’t let her make the graying veneer thicker. In fact, I think you need to ask for a refund and start over.

If I’m right about the graying veneer you have a good case for one. Because it is a splotchy gray, I think there isn’t a good bond between the porcelain veneer and the tooth. This is bad for your teeth. It allows things to get between the two, leaving you vulnerable for decay.

When you have this re-done, the first thing the dentist will have you do is whiten your teeth. This will keep your adjacent teeth from being an obviously different color. This is why your natural teeth look so obviously different from your four porcelain veneers.

Finding the Right Cosmetic Dentist to do Your Porcelain Veneers

It is imperative you have an excellent cosmetic dentist to re-do your porcelain veneers. Unfortunately, doing beautiful smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school. Dentists have to invest time in getting the training they need.

Even with training, as with every art, some dentists have a more artistic eye than others. If you want the best cosmetic dentist, I’d go to aacd.com and look up an accredited cosmetic dentist in your area.

AACD accredited cosmetic dentists are the top cosmetic dentists in the country. They’ve passed stringent oral and written exams. Additionally, they have to provide visual evidence of a large number of cases they’ve done in order to show they are both technically skilled and artistic.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Porcelain veneers staining between teeth

I had porcelain veneers placed almost two years ago. I’ve been happy with them, but recently have noticed staining between my teeth. I do smoke, but I was pretty sure these were supposed to be pretty resistant to change. Is something going bad on them?

Marianna

Dear Marianna,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

You are correct that porcelain veneers are quite stain resistant. I wish I had a picture of your particular case. It would help to make a more certain suggestion.

Often, when people are talking about stains on their porcelain veneers, it is because their hygienist used some type of power prophy jet, which takes the glaze off. When that happens, the staining ends up covering the entire veneer However, you said it is just between the teeth.

I can think of two possibilities for that. The first possibility is the porcelain veneers aren’t flush with your teeth in the edges there. That will be tricky to fix. If that ends up being your issue, I’d seek an AACD accredited dentist (not just a member) to do the work.

The second possibility is that there is some composite bonding there which needs polishing up. Your dentist may even have recommended this as part of your regular maintenance. Most do. With you being a smoker, it will be even more important.

However, go back to the dentist who did you porcelain veneers, don’t expect your family dentist to know how to do this.

Porcelain Veneer Upkeep

In addition to periodically having the polishing done for their longevity, it’s helpful if you use a toothpaste which is specifically designed for cosmetic work. Supersmile is the one most cosmetic dentists recommend.

If you like using a mouthwash, you don’t need to get anything special. Just be certain you don’t use one which contains alcohol. That will eat away at the bonding that holds them onto your teeth.

And don’t forget to floss…

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Porcelain Veneers Look Unnaturally Shiny

I’m curious if you can reduce the shine on porcelain veneers. Mine are unnaturally shiny looking. There’s so much shine on them they don’t look anything like regular teeth, more like a overly waxed marble floor. Is there anything I can do about this?

Martha

Dear Martha,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

When you pay money for a beautiful smile, this is what you should get. I’m very sorry you didn’t. I’m going to make a very good guess that your dentist isn’t an expert cosmetic dentist. Those who are create stunning smiles. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

While the shine on porcelain veneers is an important part of what gives it their beauty, they have to be done properly to achieve that result. Even more importantly, the glaze is what protects the veneers from picking up stains. However, in your case it sounds like the glazing wasn’t properly done.

Here’s what can create a fake looking shine. Look at the picture directly below. Notice that although these teeth have a beautiful shine, there’s texture. This makes the shine look natural. In fact, one of those teeth are fake. You probably can’t tell which one.

close up of teeth

The likely reason your shine looks unnatural is it is flat. It wasn’t given the texture of natural teeth, which makes the teeth look fake. You can remove the glaze by allowing your hygienist to clean your teeth with a prophy jet. However, doing that will actually cause your teeth to pick up stains rather quickly.

Getting Your Porcelain Veneers to Look Beautiful

I would not recommend removing the glazing. Instead, I’d ask your dentist to re-do them properly. If your dentist hesitates, it may help you to get a second opinion from an expert cosmetic dentist. Look on mynewsmile.com. All the dentists they list are expert cosmetic dentists.

They’ll be able to let you know what’s wrong with the smile and help your dentist to understand that as well. If your dentist doesn’t think he can follow through. He may be able to give you at least a partial refund.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Fixing Tetracycline stains

I’m feeling a bit desperate here. I’ve had tetracycline stains for as long as I can remember. They’ve always embarrassed me, but for some reason now that I’m older, they seem to embarrass me even more. Like maybe I should have fixed this years ago but haven’t bothered. I finally dragged myself to my dentist about it and he wants to crown every tooth. These tooth are all healthy. I’ve never had a cavity in my entire life. I don’t like the idea of grinding them all down. Is there an alternative?

Beth

Dear Beth,

A tetracycline case done by Dr. Mike Malone

Tetracycline stains are among the most challenging cases a dentist can face. Here’s the crux of the problem. These stains are so dark your dentist has to manage to get the coverage opaque enough to cover them, but translucent enough to look natural and beautiful.

Some dentists try to make up for this challenge by doing dental crowns instead. There are two major problems with this. One is that you’re grinding down healthy tooth structure. The second is that crowns don’t guarantee the darkness will be covered. Then you’re stuck with crowns the rest of your life.

Instead, you want the dentist who’s invested the time in training to develop the skills needed to do this the right way with porcelain veneers.

Finding the Right Porcelain Veneers Dentist

It takes a combination of expertise in color theory and manipulation along with detailed knowledge of the properties in a large variety of porcelains. Only about the top 1-2% of dentists in the country are able to do this with good results.

If you want to get the best results possible, you’ll want an accredited dentist with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists have been extensively screened for both technical skill and artistry.

They’ve passed stringent oral and written exams as well as provided visual evidence of the artistry they’ve accomplished on a large number of required cases.

Anyone of them can give you the stunning smile you want, even with tetracycline stains. Though, it may require driving to another city for the procedure depending on where you live.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.