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

Love Ariana Grande’s Smile? 3 Things to Know Before Asking Your Cosmetic Dentist for a Makeover

Head-and-shoulders photo of Ariana Grande smiling. Her hair is in a ponytail, she is wearing diamond earrings, a diamond necklace and a black spaghetti-strap top or dress; for information on cosmetic dentistry and smile makeovers from Dr. Michael Szarek an accredited cosmetic dentist in Massachusetts.

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande is one of the most followed celebrities on social media. And millions of girls say they love Ariana Grande’s smile. While it’s not realistic for fans to become patients of Ms. Grande’s cosmetic dentist, many of them want to know how they can get a smile like Ari’s. What’s the attraction?

Cosmetic Dentistry for a Perfectly Imperfect Smile

Many people who want a smile makeover ask their cosmetic dentist for perfectly even, perfectly symmetrical, perfectly white teeth. But that’s not what Ari’s smile is about. Her central incisors (front center teeth) are noticeably longer than her surrounding teeth. And the teeth on either side of her smile lack perfect shape. Her smile is bright, but not stark white. Youthful girls like the look of Ariana Grande’s teeth because they are different and natural looking, and fans want to copy it. But what should you know before asking your dentist for a smile makeover that will resemble that of your favorite celeb?

1. It Starts With a Consultation

If you’re thinking about changing your smile, it is highly recommended that you schedule a consultation with at least two accredited cosmetic dentists. Why an accredited cosmetic dentist? There are several reasons:

  • Before applying for accreditation, a dentist has completed extensive post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry and has years of experience in the field.
  • Accreditation requires very high levels of clinical skill.
  • Written and oral examinations and extensively documented patient cases are required by applicants.
  • Highly aesthetic results are only produced by dentists who are artists and understand the tools and techniques required to achieve the results you want. Accredited cosmetic dentists are accomplished artists.

2. What to Expect

A cosmetic dentist will listen to your smile goals and provide the following input:

  • How the smile you want can be achieved
  • Digital models of how you’ll look with your new smile
  • How your facial structure and genetics will affect your desired results
  • Suggestions for a smile design that will really compliment your facial features—whether it looks similar to Ariana Grande’s smile or is an expression of your own personality
  • An explanation of the cosmetic dentistry options for your smile makeover, which might involve a combination of treatments

3. Which Cosmetic Dentistry Treatment Will Be Used?

If you want a look that resembles Ariana Grande’s smile—or one that is authentically yours—the treatment you receive will vary based on your oral health, the condition and shape of your teeth, and of course, your budget. Treatment might include one or more of the following:

  • Porcelain veneers – Customized thin wafers of porcelain are bonded to the front of your teeth. Often, your teeth must be prepared for porcelain veneers so they look natural from the gumline to the edge. Porcelain mimics natural teeth, and an accredited cosmetic dentist can produce stunning results with it.
  • Dental bondingCosmetic dental bonding is less expensive than porcelain veneers, but it doesn’t last as long. Still, a dentist who is an artist understands how to manipulate bonding so the color, shape, and gloss look natural. In time, bonding picks up stains and needs to be periodically polished by your cosmetic dentist and eventually replaced so it stays fresh and vibrant.
  • Teeth whitening – Teeth whitening is recommended before you receive veneers or dental bonding. The cosmetic work is then crafted to match the shade of your newly whitened teeth.
  • Contouring – The skilled hands of an artistic, accredited cosmetic dentist can contour, or shape, your teeth into the desired look.

Interested in a Smile Makeover?

If you want to transform your smile with cosmetic dentistry, don’t schedule an appointment with a dentist and insist on a certain look or treatment. Schedule a consultation with an accredited cosmetic dentist to discuss your goals, your options, and the results you can expect. You will get amazing results that just might give Ariana Grande’s smile a little competition.

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



If you’re interested in new trends in cosmetic dentistry, read about San Diego Bioclear—a technique that improves tooth shape, spacing, and color.

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.


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.



Do I really need to replace all of my crowns so they match?


I have 8 crowns on my top front teeth that are 17 years old. I know that I am fortunate that they lasted so long, so no complaints here. One of the left canine crowns is lose. I am worried that it will come off. I saw my dentist and he said rather than replacing one crown he really needs to replace them all. I went into the office expecting to have the one tooth fixed, but not needing a new crown on every tooth. Do I really need to have all of the crowns replaced at the same time? Do they all need to be replaced anyway? Thank you. Anita


Anita – One lose crown doesn’t mean that all of your crowns need to be replaced. In general, it might be easier for a dentist to ensure the crowns match by replacing them all, but a skilled cosmetic dentist can perfectly match the replacement crown.

If you’ve had crowns for 17 years, it might be time to replace them. A cosmetic dentist will need to measure your crowns at the margin, their overall condition, and your bite to determine if they are wearing out. If any part of your natural teeth is exposed due to wear from the crowns, tooth decay can occur.

Another consideration is the color of your crowns. If they look worn, or if you want a brighter smile, eventually all of your crowns will need to be replaced. If you want a whiter smile and only replace one crown at a time, keep in mind that your new crowns will be noticeably whiter than the others.

It’s more affordable to receive crowns in phases, but the crowned teeth won’t match until all of the work is done.

Speak with your current dentist and with two accredited cosmetic dentists. An accredited cosmetic dentist has extensive post-graduate training in designing smiles that look completely natural.Let each dentist know your goals for your smile and find out how treatment can be made affordable for you. Remember that an examination is required to determine the condition of your crowns and teeth. Each dentist should let you know your options. Compare your options and decide which dentist you want to replace your crowns.

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