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.



Cosmetic dentist can’t get my crown right


I have been waiting for decent crowns from my cosmetic dentist for 6 months. I got a temporary crown on July 12 of last year. 3 times a crown came in from the lab but it didn’t fit right. Both times the crown was shoving against the tooth behind it and the one in front of it. It was like the crown was too big. After the crown was removed the dental assistant took impressions of my mouth again. I have had 4 different impressions. My dentist told me not to worry because the temporary crown will hold up. How long am I going to have to wear this thing? Is it normal to take so long to get a crown to fit right? Is it too late to get out of the commitment with this dentist? Thanks. Ian

Ian – Although your dentist practices cosmetic dentistry, he or she might not be a skilled cosmetic dentist. A well-made and fitted temporary crown can last several months, but the force of chewing on an imbalanced crown can affect your bite. In most cases, a permanent crown is received and placed in about three weeks. When a temporary crown needs to worn for a prolonged period, some dentists replace it with a new temporary crown to ensure it doesn’t wear out and put your oral health in jeopardy. A misaligned bite can cause tooth, head, and neck pain.

Below are some things to consider:

  • If four impressions of your teeth were taken, it is likely that the previous three impressions were not taken correctly. This raises concern about the ability to correctly fit your crown.
  • We encourage you to speak frankly with your dentist about your concerns, and ask for his or her estimate on when you will receive your permanent crown.
  • You can also consider receiving a second opinion from an experienced, accredited cosmetic dentist. Precise, digital images or impressions of your teeth will be taken to help produce a crown that fits correctly. With current technology, a skilled cosmetic dentist can accurately take impressions of your teeth. He or she will also work with a talented ceramist to give you beautiful crowns that fit well.

We hope that your issue is resolved soon and that you will be very pleased with the results.

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