Category Archives: Porcelain Veneers

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.

Peroxide on Porcelain Veneers

If I used a DIY mouthwash which included peroxide, would it damage my porcelain veneers? It’s important to me they’re well cared for (as well as the rest of my mouth). If I can’t use that, what can I use?

Tamara

Dear Tamara,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

It’s great that you want to take care of your oral health as well as your porcelain veneers. With great care, they can last a lifetime. To answer your question, a mouthwash which contains peroxide won’t harm your porcelain veneers. However, depending on the frequency of use, it could harm you.

The occasional use of hydrogen peroxide will be beneficial. Regular use, say for a week or two, will lead to an imbalance of the microorganisms in your mouth. When that happens, you’ll develop a painful oral yeast infection. So, if you do want to do it, don’t do it too many times close together. Spread it out quite a bit.

Taking Care of Porcelain Veneers

If using a mouthwash is important to you, there is one particular ingredient in a mouthwash you’ll want to avoid. Don’t use anything that contains alcohol. The reason for that is it will eat away at the bonding on your porcelain veneers. This will lead to them falling off.

There are plenty of mouthwashes on the market which will be safe to use. Just check their ingredients list for alcohol and you’re good to go.

The most important thing you can do is have regular oral hygiene at home and keep up with your dental checkups to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

I usually recommend cosmetic patients use Supersmile Toothpaste. It’s specifically formulated to clean cosmetic dental work.

One other thing to be careful of has nothing to do with you. When you go in for your regular appointments, make sure your hygienist doesn’t use anything like a prophy jet during your cleanings. This will take the glazing off your porcelain veneers.

When this happens, you lose the protection for your veneers and they will start picking up stains very quickly. Bleaching them will be completely ineffective because teeth whitening only works on natural tooth structure.

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

Dentist Broke Tooth “Fixing a Porcelain Veneer”

I had several porcelain veneers done and they ended up looking awful. I never got to see them before he bonded them on so had no idea how bad they were until I got home. He agreed he’d redo them after I called him and told him how miserable I was about how they looked. Unfortunately, when he tried to remove the first one, he broke the tooth. It broke so completely he ended up having to extract it and now I’m having to get a dental implant. I have a flipper for now because I told him not to remove the others until I have a chance to get a second opinion on what’s going on. I know he’s the professional, but I feel like he can’t be trusted. What’s going on?

Jennifer

Dear Jennifer,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

I have to tell you this is gross incompetence on the part of your dentist. If I am truly understanding what you’re saying here, it sounds like your dentist tried to “pop” or pry off the veneers from your teeth. That is absolutely NOT how this is done.

Instead, porcelain veneers will be gently ground off, sort of how the dentist prepared your teeth the receive the veneers to begin with. If he broke your tooth so badly it couldn’t be saved, I wouldn’t let him anywhere near the rest of your teeth. He doesn’t have a clue about cosmetic dentistry.

1. He didn’t let you see them with a try-in paste before permanently bonding them on.
2. He didn’t make them to your standards.
3, He didn’t know how to remove them.

You’re going to need an expert cosmetic dentist. I’ll tell you how to find one of those in a moment, but first I want to make sure you don’t get stuck with this bill. You’re going to have to be pretty tough and tell your dentist you won’t sue him if he pays for the repairs with the cosmetic and implant dentist of your choice. If he’s wise, he’ll do it.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

The problem many patients run into is the skills necessary to go stunning cosmetic dentistry requires significantly more training than they received in general dental school. It takes significant post-doctoral training to know what you’re doing.

You want a dentist who’s invested that time in the additional studies as well having an artistic eye. To find that type of dentist you can look at two resournces, The first of those is the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry website. Once there, you can list a location were you’d like to be treated. The key here, though, is checking you want an accredited cosmetic dentist. These are among the best dentists in the world.

They can give you a stunning smile. However, because it takes many years to reach accreditation, there aren’t many of them around the country.

There is another list. This one is called nynewsmile.com. Like the aacd.com website, they have a link to find a cosmetic dentist. You’ll input your zip code along with how far you’re willing to travel and they’ll give you a list of incredible cosmetic dentists. Many of them are close to being accredited if they’re not accredited already.

Have one of these dentists re-do your smile makeover as well as plan your dental implant. You shouldn’t have anything to worry about with one of them. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

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

What If I Can’t Get Porcelain Veneers?

I’m disappointed with my smile, but my dentist said I can’t get porcelain veneers because I grind my teeth. Is there anything else I can do to improve my smile? I have a gap between my teeth and they are quite discolored.

Mandy

Dear Mandy,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

I think your dentist may be a little confused. If the only issue is that you grind your teeth, there is a way for you to get porcelain veneers. It’s possible that he’s not comfortable doing smile makeovers and rather than admit that he’s trying to discourage you from moving forward with that. Don’t pressure him. You will not be happy with the results.

Here’s what I’d recommend. The first thing I want you to do is to get a second opinion. But, make sure you do it with a dentist who’s accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). These are the top cosmetic dentists in the country.

In all honesty, in order to get the gorgeous smile you’re hoping for that’s the type of dentist you’d want to do your veneers anyway.

If Porcelain Veneers Aren’t an Option

There are some cases, where other work has to be done before you can get porcelain veneers, such as when you have gum disease. In other cases, they’re good candidates, but this type of makeover is just over their budget. That doesn’t mean you can’t get an upgraded smile. Here are some great, affordable options:

  • Teeth Whitening: This is the most affordable way to brighten your smile dramatically. It will make you look years younger.
  • Invisalign: This is a great option to straighten your teeth without anyone knowing your wearing orthodontics. Plus, it works in half the time of traditional orthodontics.
  • Dental Bonding: This can repair chips and gaps on teeth.

As you can see there are many ways to upgrade a smile. However, no matter what you do, you’ll want to protect your teeth, especially after investing money in improving it. If your dentist hasn’t suggested a night guard to you, knowing that you’re grinding your teeth, then it may be time to get another dentist.

This is a simple orthotic device you’d wear over your teeth and it will take the pressure off of your teeth when you grind them. Without this, your natural teeth will eventually be worn down to nubs, requiring you to get each tooth crowned.

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

My Sister’s Porcelain Veneers Disaster

My sister and I are in constant competition with one another, even when I don’t want to be. I told her I was planning on getting a smile makeover next year. I’m guessing she felt she needed to beat me to it because three months later she called to tell me she just had Lumineers done and has a gorgeous new smile. At first, I was mad. She’s always “one-upping” me. However, after I saw her new smile, I was relieved. She likes it (or at least says she does). But, I think it looks awful. Her teeth are bulky. To me, they look like horse teeth. They’re also chalky looking. I was hoping for something more natural looking, though I do want them to be very white. How can I avoid a fake looking smile? I’ve seen the pictures of smile makeovers and, in photos, they look gorgeous. What went wrong with my sisters?

Lacey

Dear Lacey,

A single porcelain veneer being held up by a dental tool

Having a copy-cat sister is going to turn out to be a true blessing for you. The most important decision to make when it comes to getting a total smile makeover is the dentist you choose to create your new smile. Cosmetic dentistry is an art. Just like two different sculptors have different levels of artistry and skill, the same is true for dentists.

Choosing the wrong dentist is what went wrong with your sister’s porcelain veneers. My first clue to that is you said he gave her Lumineers. Those are a particular brand of porcelain veneers that are highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place.

Many expert cosmetic dentists feel the brand is sub-par. The reason for that has more to do with the fact that the DenMat Company, who owns Lumineers, insists dentists use the company’s lab. They’re not known for following the dentist’s directions in a way which creates beautiful results. That’s likely where the chalky look came from.

As for the bulkiness, that’s also a common complaint with that particular brand. They’re advertised as being easy to place because they’re ultra-thin and the teeth don’t have to be prepped as a result. That’s why they’re considered “easy” to place. The problem with that is with some smiles, regardless of how thin the veneers are, without the teeth being prepped you end up with bulky looking teeth.

Finding the Right Dentist to Place Your Porcelain Veneers

If you want a stunning smile, one that will make your sister think twice about rushing into something just to beat you to the punch, then you one a top-of-the-line cosmetic dentist. If possible go to a dentist who has attained accreditation level with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. These are the best cosmetic dentists in the world. They’re so good

If you can’t find an AACD accredited dentist in a near enough distance for you to reasonably travel, don’t panic. There are many other skilled cosmetic dentists, many of whom are on their way to accreditation which takes many years.

You can look at the mynewsmile.com website to find these dentists. They don’t recommend anyone who cannot create a stunning smile. You’ll be safe with anyone on their list. All you have to do is input your zip code and how far you’re willing to travel for your smile makeover.

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

Will Press-on Veneers Be a Good Option for Me?

I have stained teeth and a chip on a very front tooth. My smile has always embarrassed me. A friend recently got porcelain veneers and her smile is stunning. I was going to do that myself until she told me the price tag. I just can’t afford that. I saw an advertisement for Press-on Veneers. They’re about $1000, which I could afford. However, I don’t want to spend that much money if it won’t give me a comparatively beautiful smile. What do you think? Is it a good option?

Karen S.

Dear Karen,

Porcelain Veneer being placed on a tooth

I’m about to save you a lot of money AND give you an improved and pretty smile. First, don’t get the Press-on Veneers. It’s not what you’re after. They’re not permanently placed and more just fit over your teeth.

Additionally, they’re not made of the same material and will look fake to people you’re having a conversation with. They’ll also be bulky. To the credit of the site who sells them, they’re very open about these issues so customers know what they’re getting into. So what good are they?

They’re a quick cheap solution if you’re having a photo shoot and want a prettier smile. Other than that, I’d look for better cosmetic options.

Porcelain Veneers and Cosmetic Alternatives

Porcelain veneers are the top of the line treatment for a smile makeover. They can change everything about your smile— the shape, size, color, and character. As you noted, they’re also the most expensive of your options.

However, I think you can get a smile you’re proud of for less than half the cost of the Press-on Veneers with the additional benefit of being permanent instead of removable.

You mentioned your teeth are stained and chipped. First, get your teeth whitened. This is a very affordable procedure that can be done either at the comfort of your own home or in one appointment in-office. After the whitening, a dental bonding can be done to repair your chipped tooth.

While any dentist can do the teeth whitening. Dental bonding is done free-hand and requires a skilled and artistic cosmetic dentist. I’d look on the mynewsmile.com website to see who they recommend. The site is very reliable. They will only recommend skilled cosmetic dentists.

I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone, an AACD accredited Dentist.

Scratched Porcelain Veneer

If I have a scratch on a porcelain veneer, does that mean I have to have it completely re-done? I asked my dentist about replacing just the one and he said for them to match I’d have to re-do the whole thing. I can’t afford that so I didn’t know if there were any other options.

Lisa

Dear Lisa,

Porcelain Veneer being placed on a tooth

It may be that your dentist can’t match a single porcelain veneer to the rest of them, but an expert cosmetic could. Some dentists, fairly new to cosmetic dentistry, are still developing their color skills and techniques. Because of that, the only way they can assure a uniform look to your porcelain veneers is by doing the whole set together.

You have a few choices here. You can allow your dentist to re-do your entire set, which will be quite pricey. I wouldn’t recommend that even if you had the money though. It just seems a waste of good resources.

Another option, however, is to have just the single veneer replaced with a dentist who’s qualified to do so. What you’ll want to do is find a dentist who’s AACD accredited. They’ll have the skills necessary to match a single veneer.

Polishing A Porcelain Veneer

Something your dentist may not even be aware of is there’s a way to polish the veneer to remove the scratch, without having to replace it at all. I can write out the procedure for you to take to your dentist or you can go to a dentist who already knows the diamond polishing technique.

If you want your dentist to do it, that’s fine. Just make sure you give him these instructions. Otherwise, he might just buff it which will take off the glaze, leaving you with a matte finish. Not only is that unattractive and won’t match your other teeth, but removing the glaze makes it susceptible to staining.

My suggestion would be for him to get Brasseler’s Dialite porcelain polishing system. It will include diamond polishing instruments and polishing pastes. He’ll need to end with the ultra-fine diamond polishing paste. that will give you back the glossy finish you need to protect your veneer.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone. Check out his smile gallery.