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I had 4 upper front teeth veneered and two of these front teeth have turned a light gray! They don’t look like they looked when the dentist first placed them on in August. One is more dark than the other, this particular tooth was already darker and when it was filed down seemed to be even darker underneath. The dentist told me that we would just need to make the veneers thicker so it doesn’t bleed through. I don’t know if this is the case or if something else is wrong but I’m very upset as I have three different colors; my real yellowish white teeth, my gray veneers and my white veneers! This was the whole reason that I wanted to get veneers in the first place to correct old looking teeth. She has already replaced one veneer because when it was put in it was put in slightly crooked, so I just got that fixed. I almost don’t want this dentist to touch any more of my teeth but I don’t want to walk around looking ridiculous I don’t know what to do.
– Michele from Massachusetts
There are two parts to your question: 1) What went wrong; and 2) What do you do now.
Actually the second part is easier, so I’ll start with that. Your dentist clearly is in over her head. There’s the issue of the four veneers not matching. Her suggested solution is the wrong solution—don’t let her make the veneers more thick. One veneer got on crooked. And you only hinted at one fundamental mistake she made when you said that your real teeth are yellowish white and then you have two white veneers and two grayish veneers. Having four front teeth that are noticeably whiter than the rest of your teeth isn’t attractive and any true cosmetic dentist would not have done that to you.
You really only have one choice of what to do from here—you need to find an excellent cosmetic dentist and get this fixed in their office. Doing beautiful smile makeovers requires a passion for appearance-related dentistry, which your dentist doesn’t appear to have. It also requires several years dedicated to post-graduate training, which your dentist also doesn’t appear to have. There is too much wrong here to have hope that your dentist is going to be able to get it right.
I’m going to assume that your dentist is an ethical person but just in over her head on this one. It shouldn’t be difficult to get some kind of refund for the work that has been done. You paid for a beautiful smile. You didn’t get it, so you should get a refund.
And then your new expert cosmetic dentist may want to start over from scratch. The first step would be to bleach your natural teeth to an acceptable color, to get rid of the yellow you mention. Then, after a delay of a couple of weeks for the new bleached color to stabilize, do the four veneers. They don’t have to be thick to block out any underlying color. If the one tooth is particularly dark, an easy way to manage that is to prepare it just a little deeper than the others and then apply a layer of opaquer over the prepared tooth, before taking the impression, so that all the prepared teeth now look the same color. Or, working with an excellent esthetic dental laboratory, they can make the one veneer with an opaque liner—but that is a little trickier to do because it requires great color communication between the lab and the dentist.
As far as what went wrong with your first set of veneers, it would be easier to tell if I had a photograph. If they are an uneven gray, it could be micro-leakage getting under the veneers because of their not having been bonded properly. If the gray color is even, then something has happened to the glazed surface of the veneers. Maybe they weren’t properly glazed in the first place, maybe they aren’t really porcelain, or maybe that glaze has been damaged somehow since they were put in. Glazed porcelain is very color stable, much more so than natural tooth enamel, so something had to have gone wrong for them to undergo any color change at all.
It couldn’t be the underlying color bleeding through because if that were the case, they would have been gray from the start. But you said they have turned gray.
My best wishes. I hope you get the beautiful smile you paid for.
And how to find an expert cosmetic dentist? That’s the purpose of this website. If you go to our list and don’t find someone near enough to you, get back to me.
– Dr. Hall
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does advanced internet marketing for dentists.