I don’t trust my dentist to polish my porcelain veneers


2 of my porcelain veneers had small scratches in them, so my cosmetic dentist buffed them out. The scratches are gone, but so is the shine on the veneers. They look like they have a matte finish. I asked my dentist about the process he used, and he said he used a process called “cups” and then he polished the veneers. I’m really not satisfied with the look, because the 2 veneers are not shiny. But I’m also afraid that if I ask my dentist to do the correction he might make the situation worse. If I decide to keep the veneers as they are, will they eventually stain and need to be replaced? Thanks. Karyl


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

Porcelain veneer

The matte finish will make your porcelain veneers more susceptible to stain. Your veneers can be polished to restore their original gloss. A skilled cosmetic dentist knows the process and has the materials needed to correctly polish veneers.

Restoring Shine to Porcelain Veneers

Restoring the shine to previously scratched porcelain veneers requires the following tools and materials:

  • Diamond polishing instruments
  • Polishing paste
  • Ultra-fine diamond polishing paste

If your dentist placed your porcelain veneers, he should have these tools and materials in his office and be able to restore the glossy shine. Many skilled cosmetic dentists use the Brasseler’s Dialite porcelain polishing system to get highly aesthetic results.

If your dentist seems uncertain about how to restore the luster of your veneers, you can schedule a second opinion with an accredited cosmetic dentist to discuss your options.

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

Porcelain Veneers Needed after Chemotherapy?


I have two months of chemotherapy to complete after successful colon surgery. I’ve found a chemo side-effects fact sheet online, but it doesn’t say if my teeth will be affected. Will I need porcelain veneers or some other kind of cosmetic dentistry? Maybe I shouldn’t worry, but I’m concerned about the added expense of needing dental work. I’ve already incurred so many out-of-pocket expenses, and I want to know what to expect. Thanks, Gene.


Chemotherapy can affect your teeth. But whether or not you will need porcelain veneers after treatment depends on several factors, including:

  • Length of your chemo treatment
  • Condition of your teeth before and after treatment
  • Whether or not other cosmetic dentistry options will be effective

Chemotherapy Can Affect Your Teeth

There are side effects of chemotherapy, such as vomiting and dry mouth that can affect your teeth. Dental problems increase with the length of the chemotherapy treatment.

  • Acid in your mouth – The acid from vomiting can erode tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. If chemotherapy causes you to vomit, you can neutralize the acid. Add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to 8 ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth with the mixture. After 30 minutes, brush your teeth with an extra soft toothbrush.
  • Dry mouth – If the chemotherapy causes your mouth to be dry, the dryness can promote plaque and tooth decay. Keep your mouth moist throughout the day by chewing sugarless gum, sucking on sugar-free candy or ice chips, or by sipping water. Ask your dentist for prescription fluoride toothpaste to help prevent decay, and floss your teeth twice daily.
  • Other oral side effects – There are other oral side effects of chemotherapy. Speak with your dentist and your oncologist about the side effects and what can be done to preserve your teeth and oral health.

Will You Need Porcelain Veneers?

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

Porcelain veneer

We recommend that you speak with your dentist before you start chemotherapy. Let him or her know when you’ll start treatment. Your dentist will be able to anticipate your oral health needs and monitor the effects of treatment on your teeth.

If you need cosmetic work after you’ve finished chemotherapy, there might be alternatives to porcelain veneers. At times, chairside dental bonding can conceal signs of wear and discoloration on teeth. Dental bonding is less expensive than porcelain veneers. An experienced cosmetic dentist can produce beautiful results with bonding and make it blend seamlessly with your natural teeth. He or she will examine your teeth and let you know your options.


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

3 Things to Think About Before Getting Porcelain Veneers for a Teenager


An increasing number of teenagers are self-conscious about their smile, even to the point of their investigating porcelain veneers for a smile makeover. In previous years, orthodontics was the primary concern for youths and their teeth, but in today’s world, many kids want more than just straight teeth—they want a celebrity smile. Peer pressure and concerns about their personal image are causing many teens to become interested in cosmetic dentistry. But are porcelain veneers a good option for teenagers?

Porcelain Veneers for Teenagers?

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

Porcelain veneer

Porcelain veneers provide a beautiful smile makeover. Porcelain has a lifelike beauty that mimics natural teeth. But before you choose this treatment for yourself or your teenager, consider three factors that might make porcelain veneers a less-than-ideal choice for teenagers:

  • Physical development – Any brand of porcelain veneers is ideally placed after a child’s teeth and mouth have fully developed. If a child is still growing while the veneers are placed, they may fit well at first. But as teeth lengthen and the jawbone further develops, the gumline develops too. Eventually, there will be a visible gap between the gums and the edge of the veneers, and they won’t look natural. The veneers will need to be removed and replaced.
  • Permanence – Porcelain veneers are permanent. In most cases, before you receive them, a small amount of your tooth structure needs to be shaved to ensure the veneers fit closely to your gumline without irritating it. The preparation of your teeth also prevents the veneers from looking bulky. But after your teeth are prepared, the veneers can’t be removed if you change your mind and just want to go back to your natural teeth. You will either need new porcelain veneers or some other type of cosmetic treatment to cover and protect your teeth.
  • Cost – The cost of porcelain veneers is per tooth. If you want veneers to cover all of the upper teeth that show when you smile, you’ll need at least eight of them. Depending on where you live in the U.S., a single veneer can cost $1000-$1800 or more. Although veneers are permanent, if you’re only perhaps 16 years old, they will probably need to be replaced at least three more times throughout your life. Although cost isn’t a concern for everyone, most patients have a budget.

An Alternative to Porcelain Veneers

If you’re a teenager and have teeth that need cosmetic work, dental bonding might be the best choice for you. In the hands of a skilled cosmetic dentist, bonding can be manipulated to match the color and characteristics of your natural teeth. Bonding can enhance teeth in several ways:

  • Close gaps
  • Conceal chips
  • Conceal discoloration
  • Change the shape

Although bonding will wear and eventually need to be replaced, it is significantly less expensive than porcelain veneers. It is best to find an accredited cosmetic dentist to examine your teeth and recommend treatment that makes the most sense based on your age, the condition of your teeth, and your goals for your smile. When your growth is complete, porcelain veneers might be a good option to help you achieve the smile you want.

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

Can my porcelain veneers be reshaped and darkened?


In February, I went to a large dental practice for porcelain veneers because I saw commercials that said they specialize in veneers and that I could get the best results possible. I went in for a consultation and even got a computerized before and after picture taken. The veneers were more affordable than I expected, but they also look horrible. The dentist there assured me that I would get a completely natural look, but the teeth really look generic. They look like off the shelf veneers that really don’t belong in my mouth. The teeth are also too straight and too white. If you could have seen how happy the dentist was about the look of my smile, you would probably laugh. He even asked me if I was willing to do a photo for the company with the chances of it being published in one of their brochures or commercials. I refused so quickly. I feel like my smile has no personality and that it is detracting from my looks. Is there any way a cosmetic dentist can correct my veneers or will I have to start all over? – Lizi

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

Porcelain veneer

Lizi – Your experience is unfortunate but common. Although mega dental practices can quickly provide you with porcelain veneers, the results might not reflect your personality. A cosmetic dentist will provide you with a smile makeover that compliments your facial features, personality, and preferences.

Can Your Porcelain Veneers Be Corrected?

  • After porcelain veneers are made and bonded to your teeth, no changes can be made to them. The shape and color are permanent.
  • Attempts to change your porcelain veneers would likely ruin them.
  • Your veneers will need to be replaced with new ones.

You can request a consultation with an experienced cosmetic dentist. If you have pictures of your smile before you received porcelain veneers, it will help the dentist design a complimentary smile for you. Check the credentials of several dentists and request consultations. Be prepared to take notes and compare your options.

The good news is that you can receive a natural-looking smile that you’re completely comfortable with. A well-balanced smile can improve your social life and your quality of life.

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


Are you interested in advances in cosmetic dentistry? Learn how San Diego cosmetic dentist Dr. Doan uses Bioclear as an alternative to porcelain veneers for enhancing smiles.

How long should porcelain veneers last?

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

I got 6 porcelain veneers in June 2012 when I lived in Chicago. At first, I was pretty happy with them except they didn’t look as white as I wanted. I got my teeth whitened BEFORE I got veneers and the veneers are not quite as white as my teeth. Anyway, everything was going well until the veneers started chipping in last summer. There is a little chip on my right incisor and a small one on my right front tooth. I called the dentist’s office where I got the veneers (I now live in MA) and she told me that it’s probably time to replace the veneers. I was furious. At $1200 per veneer and not even 6 years later, she tells me I probably need to replace them. I asked her how long veneers should last and she told me that the brand I chose (I didn’t choose the brand. I know nothing about how to choose a brand of porcelain veneers.) is known for chipping. First I am wondering how after 6 years she even remembers what brand I have and why she is lying about it being my choice. So I am guessing that there is another issue that she is not going to talk about. Shouldn’t porcelain veneers last longer than 6 years? Ceyda


Yes, porcelain veneers should last longer—much longer—than six years. If quality veneers are properly bonded to your teeth, and if you take proper care of them, they can last 15 to 20 years. You are nowhere near the lifecycle of quality veneers, so quality must be the issue.

  • Brand – It is possible that the dentist who placed your veneers chose an inferior brand. That occurs sometimes to keep costs down and make getting veneers more enticing for patients. But as you have experienced, if they don’t last, what good is it?
  • Bonding – Another possibility is that your veneers were not correctly bonded to your teeth. It takes a lot of skill and the expertise of a highly trained cosmetic dentist to bond veneers to last. If they are poorly bonded or weak, they can chip.

Unfortunately, you probably do need new veneers. This time find an experienced cosmetic dentist in your area. If you can find one who is accredited, or who has extensive training in aesthetic or cosmetic dentistry, it will help you get amazing results. Select a few top cosmetic dentists first, have consultations with them, and compare your options before you select a provider for your new veneers.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.