I have a question about porcelain veneers. I just had four porcelain veneers put in the front. Then I decided to do three more on each side for a total of ten. But they don’t match. The front four are the same shade, but the last three on each side are darker in color. The dentist says that’s the way they are supposd to be because they go towards the back of the mouth and the light is different. Yet I see from a side view two white teeth and three that are two shades darker. Is that because they were not done the exact same time? Or is it that the so-called expert who made the teeth is not that good at matching teeth and the color of the teeth underneath the venneer? Thanks,
—Mark in Michigan
It could be partly the lab’s fault, but it’s mostly because the dentist couldn’t match the color. The dentist writes the color prescription he or she needs from the lab to produce the desired result, which requires an understanding of translucency/opacity, and a number of things. It requires special training to handle those color issues, and almost all dentists have a technician mindset that doesn’t place a high priority on learning the subtleties of color. It could be that the dentist just tried the veneers in dry and thought that the color he or she saw at that point was the color he or she was going to get.
About the difference in color between front teeth and back teeth, the dentist is partly right. The canine tooth tends to be a little bit darker at the gumline, maybe half a shade darker, and only at the gumline. But it ends up looking natural, so it wouldn’t be something that would draw your attention. But then the premolars, which are the next teeth back, should be the same color as the incisors. So only the canine is darker.
I’d ask her or him to redo them so that they’re right. You paid a lot of money to have a great smile, and you don’t want it looking funny. And then they should be tried in with try-in gel so that you can see exactly the color you’re going to get before they’re bonded on-no surprises. If the dentist is using a translucent, uncolored bonding material, clear glycerin works great as a try-in gel. It pulls the color out from the tooth and blends it with the veneer. If you try in a dry veneer, you get a false idea because there is nothing to draw the color out from the tooth. Have the dentist let you see them so that you’re sure the color is right before you’re stuck with them.
My opinion. I tend to be a little blunt, but I call them as I see them.
(Postscript: When Mark went back to his dentist, the dentist admitted that he didn’t use any try-in gel. They did look the right color when he tried them on, but since they were dry, it wasn’t a true representation of what the final color would be.
Other similar stories:
- Silvia in California had a porcelain crown and a porcelain veneer that don’t match. They are side-by-side, and they’re different colors.
- Lee Ann in Tennessee has six porcelain veneers placed by her dentist. One chipped, so it had to be replaced. But the new one is more opaque than the others. Dr. Hall urges her to go to a genuine cosmetic dentist who understands color and opacity.