I am really frustrated that my porcelain veneers are turning gray. I have only had them for about six months and at first they were white and I loved how they looked. One of them seems to be darker than the others. The underlying tooth was already darker than the others, so I’m wondering if that has anything to do with it. When I talked with my dentist about the concern of it showing through to begin with, he said that for that particular veneer, it would need to be made thicker than the others so the color didn’t show. Do you think it is my tooth color showing through the veneers at this point? Or could it be something different causing the discoloration?
The reason I wanted porcelain veneers in the first place was to improve the appearance of my yellow teeth. Now, I have gray veneers! I have already had one of them replaced because it wasn’t on straight. So, that issue was just fixed. I’m starting to have doubts about my dentist and if I should continue working with him. I’m not sure he really knows what’s going on.
I would gladly take any recommendations you may have.
-Vicki in Arizona
This is unfortunate that you find yourself in this situation.
First, it sounds like your dentist may not be experienced in cosmetic dentistry. This is not too uncommon. Less than two percent of dentists have the passion and skills to create beautiful porcelain veneers. There is not a designation within dentistry for cosmetic dentistry, so this means that any dentist can make the claim that they are a cosmetic dentist without the necessary training or expertise. It sounds like your dentist may be in over his head.
The main issue is that the four porcelain veneers aren’t matching one another. This cannot be addressed by making one thicker. It sounds like one was crooked and now you are dealing with them changing color. At this point, your instincts about doubting this dentist’s ability are wise.
It sounds like it would be best for you to find another excellent cosmetic dentist in your area to get this situation fixed. You need to do some research and find a dentist with extensive training and credentials in doing beautiful porcelain veneers. You also should ask to see a portfolio of work so you can see before and after examples of their actual patients. When you find the right dentist, you will likely know. They will genuinely care, be happy to explain what has happened and set a clear treatment plan moving forward. A true cosmetic dentist is passionate about aesthetics. They will not settle until you absolutely love your new smile. Also, most excellent cosmetic dentists will guarantee their work in what they may refer to as a beautiful smile guarantee. This means you will have multiple opportunities to see exactly what they will look like before they are permanently bonded in place. If at any time in that process, you don’t love the way they look, they will send them back to the lab until they are perfect.
Most dentists abide by a strict code of ethics. And there is a good chance that your current dentist realizes he is in over his head. At this point, your best course of action is to try and request a refund for the failed porcelain veneers and look for a new cosmetic dentist.
It is quite possible that the new cosmetic dentist may want to start completely over. The course of action will likely be a recommendation to bleach your natural teeth to a color that will neutralize the yellow stains. Then, after the teeth have been whitened, you may have to wait a couple weeks for the color to stabilize. At that point, there won’t be an issue with any color showing through underneath the porcelain veneers.
If you still have an issue with one dark tooth, the dentist may need to prepare the tooth deeper than the others and possibly apply an opaquer over the prepared tooth. This important step will ensure all of your teeth are uniform in color. Then, the porcelain veneers can be matched perfectly to the surrounding teeth. In order to get this right, the laboratory and the cosmetic dentist will need to work closely together. That isn’t something you need to worry about. An expert cosmetic dentist likely has an existing lab that they routinely work with.
It is difficult to tell you exactly what went wrong with your first set of veneers since I haven’t seen you in person or a photograph of your case. Micro-leakage is a possibility if the veneers weren’t bonded to your natural teeth correctly. This means something may have gotten between the natural tooth and the veneer. Or if the gray color is even, then it may be an issue with the protective glaze over the veneers. Still another possibility is that the veneers themselves are not pure porcelain or of high enough quality. When the protective glaze has been applied properly to porcelain veneers, the color is quite uniform. There shouldn’t be any color change if they are cared for properly, and it sounds like your veneers started white and then have changed color. This indicates that something went wrong during the application process. Whatever the case, it doesn’t sound like they can be fixed without having them replaced.
Sorry that you are having to go through this experience. But, thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully this information is helpful as you determine your next steps. Also, it may be helpful to others considering porcelain veneers.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS