I just had four porcelain veneers placed on my front teeth. The veneers are AT LEAST a shade darker than the remainder of my teeth. I was very distressed about this after I saw them, but my dentist assured me they are the whitest shade available. Is it possible for me to whiten these?
I am very sorry this happened to you. It sounds like you went to your regular family dentist for this procedure. You may not be aware that doing smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school. For a dentist to develop true skills as a cosmetic dentist, they have to invest in post-doctoral training. Unfortunately, cosmetic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty. That means any general dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist without investing in the training. Your dentist sounds like one who doesn’t have the training.
There are several things hinting at that. First, it sounds like he bonded your porcelain veneers on before you had a good look at them. The best cosmetic dentists care about how the patients feel about the results. To ensure that they get the smile they really want, they’ll use a temporary try-in paste and let their patient look at the results in several different lights. If the patient isn’t absolutely thrilled with the results, the veneers go right back to the lab to make any desired changes.
A second give away is the fact he told you he gave you the whitest shade. Many years ago, before teeth whitening became so popular, dentists used the shade guide shown directly below:
Whenever a dentist needed to make a dental crown for a patient, they would use this guide to get the crown as close as possible to a patient’s other teeth. They could always find one they needed, until the 1990’s. Whitening your teeth had become popular and accessible. Now patients were coming in with shades whiter than the shade guide. This is because teeth whitening doesn’t just whiten teeth stains. It can even whiten the natural pigment of the tooth. Cosmetic dentists use the updated shade guide which included much whiter shades (shown below).
Teeth Whitening and Porcelain Veneers
In regard to your situation, teeth whitening will not work. The gel used to whiten teeth only works on natural tooth structure, not dental work. The only way to get your porcelain veneers whiter is to have them re-done. My suggestion is you ask your dentist to do them again using the updated shade guide or to give you a refund and allow you to go to a trained cosmetic dentist. Those who you can be assured have the requisite skills and artistry are AACD accredited. If he gives you a refund, I’d look for one of those.
This blog is brought to you by Lexington Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Fred Arnold.