Six Things You Should Know About Porcelain Veneers before You Get Them

Photo of dental forceps holding a single porcelain veneers, from the office of accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Szarek of Lowell, MA.

Porcelain veneers are bonded to your teeth

Porcelain veneers can provide a stunning smile makeover, but there are six things you should know about them before making the investment.

1. Great Results Require a Cosmetic Dentist

Porcelain veneers are a cosmetic improvement to your teeth. So the dentist you choose for your smile makeover should be a cosmetic dentist—an artist. Whether you want a super-white celebrity smile or a simple, natural-looking smile that complements your face, you need a cosmetic dentist. Why? Consider the facts:

  • Porcelain doesn’t automatically produce natural-looking results. If you want a smile makeover that looks natural, you need a dentist and ceramist who know how to manipulate porcelain so it has the color, characteristics, and translucency of natural teeth.
  • Bonding techniques are critical to the life of your porcelain veneers. Veneers that are improperly bonded to your natural teeth can slip, loosen, or fall off.
  • The shape and form of your veneers determine whether they complement your lips and other facial features. Only a cosmetic dentist can refine the details.

2. They Are Permanent

Your natural teeth are prepared before you receive porcelain veneers. This involves lightly shaving them to prevent the veneers from looking bulky over your teeth. After your teeth are prepared, it isn’t possible to reverse the process. You will always need veneers or some other form of cosmetic dentistry over your teeth.

3. Don’t Ask for a Specific Brand

  • Dentists become comfortable with various brands of veneers for a variety reasons.
  • The dentist’s skill level, the results produced, and other factors determine which brands a dentist uses.
  • Avoid asking your dentist for a specific brand. You might choose a brand the dentist isn’t comfortable with, and if you insist on it, the results might not look good.
  • Ask your dentist which brands he or she uses and why. The response can build your confidence in the dentist, instead of in a certain brand. If you select a cosmetic dentist, you can trust you’ll get great results.

4. Try Them On

You won’t have to ask a true cosmetic dentist to let you try on a trial set of your customized veneers. It will be part of the process. But you should know that in order to really see how the finished product—your porcelain veneers—will look and feel, you have to try on temporaries. If your dentist doesn’t offer you the opportunity to try on trial veneers, beware. And be certain to try on the final product before it’s permanently bonded to your teeth.

5. Ask About a Guarantee

A skilled cosmetic dentist can guarantee that you’ll love your new smile with porcelain veneers. Several factors make it possible to guarantee your satisfaction:

  • The dentist’s training, skill, and eye for beauty
  • Your dentist should ask for your feedback and preferences throughout the process of designing and creating the veneers
  • Skilled dentists use a master ceramist to craft the final product

Ask your dentist what he or she does to ensure your smile makeover will be exactly what you want.

6. Don’t Let Cost Alone Make the Decision for You

Porcelain veneers are an investment. So don’t let cost alone determine which dentist you choose. A highly skilled cosmetic dentist who uses quality materials and who is picky about the results will have higher fees than other dentists.

We recommend that you schedule consultations with at least two cosmetic dentists. If you can find an accredited cosmetic dentist in your area, you’ll likely get amazing results. Ask to see before-and-after photos of smile makeovers with porcelain veneers for actual patients of the dentist. You can get the celebrity smile—or the simple, but stunning smile makeover—you’ve always wanted.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

Can I get my porcelain veneers removed and go back to my natural teeth?


Although I’ve had the same dentist since 2002, after getting porcelain veneers from him, I found out the hard way that he knows nothing about cosmetic dentistry. I guess I chose him because I trusted the other work he has done for me even though it wasn’t cosmetic. The reason I regret my decision is the way the veneers look. Although he took his time, the veneers are unnaturally square and unnaturally white. They actually look like squares. There is no way I can hide the fact that I don’t like the veneers. I don’t want to hurt my dentist’s feelings, but there is no way I can continue like this. I want the veneers off and just go back to my natural teeth, but I don’t trust my dentist to do it. I’m also concerned about going back to him for my regular checkup only for him to find out that I took all of his hard work off my teeth. What’s the best way for me to handle this? Mareesa

Mareesa – Many patients who received porcelain veneers from a dentist who isn’t highly trained in cosmetic dentistry express similar disappointment.

Can Porcelain Veneers Be Removed?

  • Unfortunately, porcelain veneers can’t be removed for you to go back to your natural teeth again. But they can be removed and replaced with new porcelain veneers.
  • The color, shape, and translucence of porcelain veneers cannot be changed.
  • A skilled cosmetic dentist ensures you’re completely satisfied with temporary veneers before they are made. You are given opportunity to wear temporary veneers for a week or two to get used to them, to let friends and family see how your new smile looks, and to decide if you love your temporary veneers or if you want any changes made.

Your description of what happened with your veneers shows that your dentist lacks sufficient skill, training, and artistry to create a beautiful smile. Even if you asked him to give you new porcelain veneers, you probably wouldn’t like the results.

We recommend that you find at least two accredited cosmetic dentists and schedule consultations with them. Each dentist will take a quick look at your veneers and let you know what he or she can do to provide you with veneers that you will love.

If you speak with your dentist, he might be able to give you at least a partial refund—if not a full refund. You can choose to use the money returned to you to get the smile you want.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.


I hate my porcelain veneers and want to go back to my natural teeth


I hate my porcelain veneers. I want them removed and I want to go back to my natural teeth. I’ve been seeing this dentist for about 7 years. He is quite confident in his skills. If you ask him, he can do any and everything that has to do with dentistry. He does implants, cosmetic dentistry. You name it. He received extra training to learn how to do porcelain veneers. He showed me some pictures of patients he did veneers on. Although he says he has done hundreds of veneers, I probably saw about 20 to 30 sets of photos for different patients. The pics looked good to me but my veneers don’t look good. And something about them is not right. When I floss my teeth, the floss gets hung up on on the side of 3 of my 8 veneers. There is another issue that is difficult to explain to my dentist but the veneers seem to create a lisp in my speech. The lisp is inconsistent so of course when I complained about it to my dentist, he had me read a few paragraphs and never once could we hear the lisp. So far nothing has been done. Just a series of appointments and exams where my dentist can’t find anything wrong. I’m exhausted. Can I just ask him to take off the veneers so I can go back to my natural teeth? What do patients usually do when their veneers are a hassle? Thanks. Janet

Janet – When your porcelain veneers are causing more stress than enjoyment, and your dentist doesn’t know what to do about it, the best thing to do is to get a second opinion.

Usually, your natural teeth are prepared before porcelain veneers are placed. If that’s true in your case, a small amount of your outer tooth structure was removed to ensure the veneers fit well and don’t look bulky. Some of the reasons you can’t go back to your natural teeth are listed below.

  • Removing the outer layer leaves unprotected teeth vulnerable to decay.
  • Your tooth structure is altered, so your natural teeth won’t look normal.
  • Your teeth will be very sensitive to heat and cold.

Although your dentist has received training in cosmetic dentistry, it wasn’t enough to give him insight on how to properly place veneers. Both your speech and the structure of the veneers are affected, so it’s time to get a second opinion.

You could ask your dentist to remove and replace the veneers, but you might get the same results. Schedule a consultation with at least two cosmetic dentists to help you select a provider to restore your teeth. If you can find an accredited cosmetic dentist in your area, his or her expertise will help you get the best results.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.


My porcelain veneer is noticeably too long


My left top incisor was chipped when I was 27 years old. My dentist did a good job of bonding it and even I couldn’t tell where the chip was. I have to look at an old picture with the chipped tooth to pinpoint exactly where it was broken. Now I’m 49 yrs old. Within the past 2 months I noticed that the bonding was starting to get weak and chip away. I switched dentists last fall because my former dentist moved out of state. My current dentist said that I need a crown not bonding this time. I didn’t agree to a crown after he explained that he would have to grind down my tooth. So his next recommendation was a porcelain veneer. I shouldn’t have agreed to it, but I did. The porcelain veneer is longer than the tooth next to it. I called the office 1 ½ week ago and complained about the way the veneer looks. I saw my dentist early last week and he took a look at it and he said it looks fine. I asked him to see if he could do something about it. He removed the veneer and cleaned it. Then he rebonded it. Now it’s too long AND crooked. So he just made things worse. So removing it and rebonding it implied that maybe the dentist thought he put it on too low so it looked longer that it really is. I think the veneer is just plain too long. I was pretty frank and told my dentist that I hate the veneer. He said he can order another one and I told him I will call the office to let him know what I decide. I don’t trust the process. Should I just leave this dentist and find somebody who knows what they are doing? Thanks. Timothy


Yes, you should leave the dentist and find one who knows what he or she is doing.

Your porcelain veneer needs to be examined to determine the real issue. If your veneer was bonded incorrectly the second time, it might have been incorrectly bonded in the first place. It is also possible that the ceramist who made the veneer didn’t get correct instructions on the size and proportions of the veneer.

We are also concerned why your dentist didn’t think that dental bonding was still an option. Was your dentist uncomfortable with his ability to match the bonding to your tooth? Was there something different about the tooth structure that would prevent dental bonding from correctly restoring it this time?

We suggest that you find an experienced and accredited cosmetic dentist to examine your tooth and porcelain veneer. A dentist who is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry has proven experience, skill, and training in aesthetic restoration of teeth. He or she will let you know what went wrong, as well as your options for restoring your tooth. You can also consider asking your dentist for a refund or some type of compensation for the expense of having your tooth properly restored.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

Why do porcelain veneers turn gray?


In June last year I got 8 porcelain veneers on my front teeth. 3 of the 8 veneers are light gray. I noticed the color change in October but it was so slight I was wondering if it was the lighting in my bathroom. Two Thursdays ago I looked because the sun outside was bright and I took a close look in the rearview mirror of my car. I asked my sister to look at them too and she agrees that the same three teeth are gray. I didn’t tell her what was wrong with veneers. I just asked her to look at them and she noticed the exact problem that I have seen. Last week I had an appointment with the dentist who did my veneers. My regular dentist doesn’t do them, so she referred me to someone else. This dentist is a cosmetic dentist. When I returned to him, he said that the 3 teeth must be darker than the others so he needs to make the veneers thicker. I’m not sure he knows what he is talking about. I’m wondering isn’t this something he should have taken into account before he had the veneers made. Can I trust him to do the replacements?  Also, why do porcelain veneers turn gray? Thanks for your help. Connie


Your cosmetic dentist clearly lacks the skill to give you porcelain veneers that have the right color and translucence. If he provides you with thicker veneers, they will look thicker than your other teeth. That’s not the solution. Any dentist can claim to be a cosmetic dentist, but a true cosmetic dentist would know how to determine why your veneers are turning gray and what to do about it.

What’s a true cosmetic dentist? It’s a dentist who has received extensive, hands-on training in cosmetic dentistry and who has experience in the art. He or she has an artistic inclination to produce beautiful results. Your work was done by a cosmetic dentist in name only.

We suggest that you not leave the replacement of your porcelain veneers in the hands of the dentist who originally placed them. Look for a cosmetic dentist with several years of post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry. If you can find an accredited cosmetic dentist, that’s even better.

Why Do Porcelain Veneers Turn Gray?

Porcelain veneers don’t turn gray unless there is a problem. Consider a few possibilities:

  • Some of your natural teeth might be dark, and they weren’t properly prepared before the veneers were placed, or the veneers weren’t design to conceal them. Your new cosmetic dentist will want to examine your natural teeth and determine if some of them really are darker than the others. If so, bleaching might help. Otherwise, the dark teeth might require careful preparation to lighten their appearance before the veneers are placed. A skilled cosmetic dentist will work with a ceramist to produce porcelain that conceals the darkness and still looks natural.
  • There might be micro-leakage beneath the veneers. When veneers aren’t properly bonded, food or drink can seep behind them and cause discoloration. In this case, they will have an uneven gray color. It also promotes a buildup of bacteria and can cause tooth decay. In either case, an expert cosmetic dentist can identify the problem and resolve it.
  • There might be a problem with the glaze of the veneers. The veneers might not have been glazed at all, they might have been improperly glazed, or the glaze might be damaged.

Schedule a consultation with one or two accredited cosmetic dentists to help you decide which provider will restore your smile.


This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.