Category Archives: Porcelain Veneers

Thin Versus Traditional Porcelain Veneers

I can’t decide between two types of porcelain veneers for my smile makeover. I like the idea of the really thin veneers because of the no prep, but some of them have bad reviews. The traditional veneers seem to have better reviews, but you have to grind your teeth. Is there a real benefit to the traditional ones or would I be safe with the thin ones?


Dear Avery,

A dental tool holding up a porcelain veneer
Getting a beautiful smile makeover requires an expert cosmetic dentist

While it is great that you are doing research before investing in your smile makeover, you are investigating the wrong thing. It’s not the brand or type of porcelain veneers you get, such as ultra-thin versus traditional porcelain veneers.

Instead, the biggest factor in getting porcelain veneers is to get the best cosmetic dentist you can in your area of the country.

Smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school. Instead, any dentists interested in this sub sector of their field, have to invest in the training after they finish dental school. In order to get a beautiful smile, you have to find an expert cosmetic dentist.

There are two ways to go about this.

Finding an Artistic Dentist to do Your Porcelain Veneers

My recommendation is you go to the website and look up cosmetic dentists in your area. This website carefully screens any cosmetic dentists who wish to be listed in order to assure patient they are capable of giving them the smile of their dreams.

They’ve investigated both their technical prowess as well as their artistry. If you use one of their recommended dentists you will get a stunning smile. In fact, most of them have what is known as a beautiful smile guarantee.

They’ll know the subtleties between brands and will pick the one which best matches the characteristics you want in your dream smile.

One thing which may put your mind at ease. With traditional porcelain veneers, it doesn’t mean you’ll have to grind down your teeth. We don’t grind the teeth, that is for dental crowns and they’ll often end up looking like a nub in order to get the crown placed over the tooth.

With porcelain veneers, only the tiniest amount of structure is removed. It’s generally about the width of the fingernail.

This blog is brought to you by Newton Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.

Worried about Porcelain Veneer Repair

I had porcelain veneers done. I like them, but once I got home I noticed one had a scratch on it. I called the office because I was worried it would break. He told me not to worry but come in the next morning and he’d smooth out the scratch. I did and he fixed it right away. I think I may be panicking but now it seems dull to me where he repaired it. Am I imagining things? Am I being too picky?


Dear Jessica,

Porcelain veneers being placed on a tooth

Sadly, you’re probably not imagining things. It sounds like your dentist smoothed out the scratch but didn’t polish the glaze back up. This tells me he’s not a dentist who’s invested a lot of time learning cosmetic dentistry.

It’s important you get this repaired right away. He’s removed the glaze on your porcelain veneer. This is what gives your porcelain veneers their shine. Even more importantly, it’s what keeps them from picking up stains. Soon, that dull spot will start to become stained and will be an obvious blight on your teeth.

Repairing Porcelain Veneers That Lost their Glaze

You have two choices. There is a diamond polishing kit which can work to repair the glaze on your damaged veneer. Unfortunately, I don’t think your dentist is aware of this procedure, nor will he have the equipment needed to perform it. If you want to go this way, you’ll likely need to find an expert cosmetic dentist.

Look on the website to see what cosmetic dentists they recommend in your area. Anyone on their list will be able to do a good repair.

Your second option is to have your dentist just redo another veneer for that tooth.

Whichever you decide, you’re within your rights for him to pay for the repair or replacement. Just make sure you let him know as soon as possible. Otherwise, he could try to blame you for the problem. This way his “repair” is still fresh on his mind.

Cleaning Porcelain Veneers

One other thing to note. As your dentist isn’t an expert cosmetic dentist, his staff is not likely well trained on how to deal with them during cleaning. Whatever you do, do not let your hygienist use any type of power polishing equipment, such as a Prophy Jet.

That will take the glaze completely off every veneer you have.

This blog is brought to you by Newton Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Saving Money on Porcelain Veneers

My husband calls me the frugality queen. I do like to save as much money as possible. He knew I’ve always been disappointed about the condition of my smile because my parents never took us to the dentist. For our anniversary, he purchased a smile makeover for me. When I found out how much it was I almost had a stroke. I did some checking around and this dentist is higher than most of the cosmetic dentists in our area. There are several who will do it for thousands of dollars less. Would it be possible to switch to one of the more affordable dentists?


Dear Karyn,

Porcelain veneers being placed on a tooth

While I’m sure your husband appreciates the ways you try to save him money. This is one area where looking for a more affordable dentist could actually be disastrous. Do this one little thing before you write off the more pricey dentist. Look on the website and look up cosmetic dentists in your area. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you found his name on there.

This site lists expert cosmetic dentists, after verifying both their technical skill and artistry. They cannot just pay to be listed. It’s extremely useful because you can feel secure that any dentist listed on their site will give you a stunning smile. Creating porcelain veneers is an art form. To do them right takes significant skill.

Why Not Get a Cheap Cosmetic Dentist?

There are thousands of cosmetic dentistry horror stories. In fact, at our office, we’ve had to repair quite a few of those. Patients come to us after their family dentist tried to give them a smile makeover. They can be a great family dentist, but often they’re in way over their head when it comes to remaking a smile with porcelain veneers.

One such lady came to us in tears. Her brand new smile was much worse than the original smile she went to her dentist in the hopes of improving. Now she’s out thousands of dollars and has to start over.

Here’s what I suggest. Check out all the dentist’s qualifications. If they’re all listed on, then you can price shop. But, I’d take the additional steps of looking at their smile gallery to see if you like the type of results they get. Then, check out their reviews online. You want to be sure they’re pleasant to work with. Finally, call and ask if they have a beautiful smile guarantee.

Any expert cosmetic dentist will stand behind his or her work.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Did My Dentist Ruin My Porcelain Veneers

I traveled to another town to have porcelain veneers done by an expert cosmetic dentist. They were stunning. I’ve never been happier about my smile. Yet, just a week after my first checkup with my family dentist they look terrible. They’re dull looking and starting to pick up stains. I told them I had porcelain veneers because the cosmetic dentist told me it’s important to let my family dentist know so they do my cleanings properly. I think they did something to ruin them. What do I do?


Dear Emily,

Woman covering her mouth with hand.
Not all dentists are created equal

While you did the right thing by telling your dentist about the porcelain veneers, it’s very possible he doesn’t know how they’re supposed to be cleaned. Even if he does, if he didn’t take the time to instruct the hygienist, then it’s very likely that they were the culprits which ruined them.

By any chance did your hygienist use a prophy power jet or anything similar? That would have taken off the glaze of your porcelain veneers. Without the glaze, your veneers will look dull and begin to pick up stains.

You have two options:

  • Have the cosmetic dentist re-polish them to get them shiny again.
  • Have the cosmetic dentist replace them.

Notice both times I said the cosmetic dentist. Your family dentist will likely not know how to do either of those things correctly as they didn’t even know how to clean them. Because they’re the ones who damaged them, they should pay the cost of repairs.

You were smart to go to an expert cosmetic dentist. Too many patients make the mistake of thinking their family dentist can give them a smile makeover. Inevitably, they end up with a disappointing smile. Sometimes they end up with a smile worse than the one they were trying to improve.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader. Check out his beautiful smile guarantee.

Can Porcelain Veneers Cause Bleeding Gums?

I just had porcelain veneers placed about six months ago. I noticed a month or so afterward that my gums would occasionally bleed when I brushed my teeth. I invested in a water pick to make sure I was getting everything I could, but it didn’t help. I had my six-month check up this week and the hygienist said it looks like I’m developing the start of gum disease. Because this started shortly after I got my porcelain veneers, could they be the cause?


Dear Miriam,

A dental tool holding up a porcelain veneer

It sounds like you’re doing everything right and taking good care of your smile. While I do suspect the porcelain veneers are involved in what’s going on with your teeth and gums, they are definitely not the reason.

Porcelain veneers do not cause bleeding gums. Poorly placed porcelain veneers can, though. If you went to an inexperienced cosmetic dentist, they may not even realize they’re the cause. This is just business as usual for them.

Do a Porcelain Veneer Check

I want you to find an expert cosmetic dentist in your area. Look on the website. A dentist can request to be placed on their list, but they can’t pay to be listed. Instead, they have to pass some stringent requirements. Dr. Hall, who runs the site, verifies their training, their technical skill in cosmetic procedures, as well as their artistry in creating beautiful smiles. If they don’t meet his stringent requirements, they won’t get listed. It’s that simple.

Have one of their recommended dentists check your porcelain veneers. Let them know what is going on but not who did your smile makeover. That’s just a precaution in case they’re friends with your dentist. You don’t want them to feel torn between honesty and protecting their friend’s reputation.

There are two possible causes for what I suspect is happening to you.

  • Excess cement or bonding material

If your dentist didn’t get all the bonding material away from your gums, it could be causing irritation to your gums and that would lead to bleeding.

  • Bulky Margins

In the dental industry, bulky margins simply mean the porcelain veneers aren’t sitting flush against your teeth as they should. Instead, you’ll have a ledge and uneven edges. Things can become trapped on the ledge, which breeds bacteria. That, in turn, will lead to gum disease and decay. This will need to be repaired or you’ll end up needing fillings on the edges of your veneers.

Your dentist should fix either of these issues free of charge. You may need the testimony of the other cosmetic dentist to “convince” him though.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Disappointed Dentist Said No to Porcelain Veneers

I wanted to get porcelain veneers. I’ve got several chipped teeth and ugly stains. I asked my dentist to give me porcelain veneers to fix them, but he said no. When I asked him why he said because as the dentist he’d know what would work and what wouldn’t. He did say he was willing to whiten my teeth but thinks veneers would be a mistake. I think I’d be okay with his decision if he would just tell me why. What am I missing?


Dear Caryn,

A dental tool holding up a porcelain veneer

I think the biggest thing you’re missing is a dentist who understands cosmetic dentistry. Yours obviously doesn’t and rather than admit that he tries to lord over you with the “I’m the doc and you’re not” comment. That’s a complete cop-out and unfair to you. If he’s going to tell you no, he owes it to you to tell you why.

My guess is (and this is truly just a guess) is that he doesn’t know how to do the procedure. He also didn’t suggest any alternatives for you outside of giving you teeth whitening. What about the chips on your teeth?

What if You’re Not a Porcelain Veneers Candidate?

The first thing I’m going to suggest to you is to get a second opinion. Porcelain veneers are a great procedure for the two issues you’ve described. They can give your teeth a brilliant white color while repairing the chips at the same time. In fact, they can even change the shape of your teeth if you’re interested in that. Because of that, I’d like you to find out if there truly is a reason for you not to get them.

If for some reason you are not a good candidate, all is not lost. There are options. First, go ahead with the teeth whitening. Next, for the chipped teeth. Dental bonding can fix chips very well. The reason you want to do the whitening first is so your dentist can match the bonding to the new color of your teeth. The bonding won’t whiten after it’s placed on your teeth.

Who Should Place Your Porcelain Veneers?

Let’s assume for the moment that you are a good candidate. Your dentist likely did you a favor by not agreeing to do your procedure. You wouldn’t have gotten a beautiful smile. What you need is an expert cosmetic dentist. To find one in your area, I’d check the website. They only recommend artistic, skilled cosmetic dentists. Make sure they have some form of beautiful smile guarantee.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Can I Get Porcelain Veneers If I Have an Overbite?

Something my dentist said doesn’t seem right. I want to get porcelain veneers. He said because my overbite almost completely covers my bottom teeth I can’t and need crowns instead. Is that right? I would think crowns would be harder than veneers in that situation. I know I’m not a dentist, but I still wanted to double check. Something else to consider is my teeth are very stained from some medicine I took when I was a kid, so I’ll want to somehow make my bottom teeth match even though my top teeth cover most of them.

Karyn G.

Dear Karyn,

Porcelain veneers being placed on a tooth

Wow! I wish I had a buzzer of some sort…and possibly a time machine. At your appointment when your dentist made that seriously lame excuse, I’d have buzzed it and shouted, “Points for trying!” then dragged you out of his office fast.

Your dentist is obviously not a cosmetic dentist. He’s more comfortable doing porcelain crowns then porcelain veneers, so he makes up an excuse that you astutely picked up didn’t make any sense. Crowns make so much less sense because it affects the back of your teeth. Plus, with crowns, you’d have to grind healthy tooth structure down to nubs.

Getting the Best Porcelain Veneers Results

For you to get a good result, you’ll need to go to a different dentist. You want a highly skilled cosmetic dentist, especially considering the staining you mentioned on your teeth. When you said staining from childhood medicine, I’m thinking you may have tetracycline stains. This also means you need an expert cosmetic dentist even more. Tetracycline stains are especially difficult. You have to get the veneers opaque enough to cover the stains, but still get a natural, translucent look.

So, now that you know you need an expert, how do you find one?

My recommendation is you look on the website. They only recommend the best cosmetic dentists in each area. They have to demonstrate both technical skill and artistry. They cannot simply pay a fee to get on the site. You’ll be safe with anyone on their site.

As for whitening, yes, you’ll whiten the bottom teeth. With tetracycline stains it can be difficult, but Kor Whitening has had more success than most. A good cosmetic dentist will know that though, so you should be fine.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steven Bader.

Does it Damage Veneers to Use Whitening Strips?

I have four porcelain veneers. I really love them. They’re as beautiful today as they were when I first got them. The problem I currently have is the adjacent teeth. My visible smile is wider than those four teeth. While the veneers have held their white color, my natural teeth haven’t. I really need to whiten them but I’m afraid of damaging my porcelain veneers. Would it be safe to whiten the nearby teeth?

Amanda S.

Dear Amanda,

Newton Porcelain Veneers

I’m glad you’re so happy with your smile makeover. Don’t feel too bad about your natural teeth not keeping up. Porcelain veneers are more stain resistant than your natural tooth structure. Because of that and the fact that most smiles are wider than four teeth, most expert cosmetic dentists place six veneers at a minimum, but usually eight or ten. That way you don’t have to battle your adjacent teeth having a color difference from your veneered teeth.

Teeth whitening won’t harm your porcelain veneers. Whitening only affects natural tooth structure. You’re going to bump up against two problems, though.

1. It’s very hard to match teeth whitening to other dental work. Usually, you’d do the whitening procedure first until you achieved the level of whiteness you wanted. Then, you would add the porcelain crowns or veneers, depending on your procedure. Whitening after your veneers are placed means you’ll just have to get it as close as you can. It’s kind of a guessing game.

2. The second problem you’re going to face is your teeth will become discolored again. Then, you’ll be faced doing this whole procedure again with another guessing game.

It might be simpler to have veneers placed on the exposed teeth that match your current veneers. That way your color will stay consistent within your smile.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Why Are My Porcelain Veneers Staining?

I thought porcelain veneers were supposed to last for years. I’m really discouraged. I saved up for years to get them.  When they were first put on I felt like I could smile without embarrassment for the first time in years. But, they only lasted until my first dental cleaning (six months later).  Just a few weeks after that, they’ve started picking up stains– stains I can’t get off with brushing. What’s going on?

Elisabeth T.


Because they started picking up stains right after your first cleaning, I suspect you had a run in with a power cleaning tool at the dentist. Is it possible you had a hygienist who is new and inexperienced with cosmetic dentistry? If she used anything like a prophy jet, then the glaze has likely been removed from your porcelain veneers. That would definitely lead to them picking up stains.

If that’s the case, they should replace them. You’re right that porcelain veneers should last for years, especially if you’re taking care of them.

Be careful not to use anything like a whitening toothpaste on them. Those contain micro-abrasive materials which can scratch the surface of your veneers causing gunk to build up in the scratches.

There is a special toothpaste you can use that’s designed specifically for cosmetic work. Supersmile is one of the best.  However, that won’t help you until your glaze is restored. Very few dentists know the diamond polishing technique that can restore it. In all likelihood, your dentist will need to replace them. He’ll also need to educate his staff on how to handle porcelain veneers during cleaning visits. The same thing can happen to other dental work, such as porcelain crowns.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

My Porcelain Veneer is Crooked

I’m so overwhelmed with how ridiculous I look right now that I don’t know what to do. I had a small chip on a front tooth which became damaged and fell off. I’ve moved to another city so I had to go to another dentist. She told me that dental bonding can’t be re-done and I’d need to get a crown. I didn’t want to get a crown put on a healthy tooth for just a small chip. We compromised on a porcelain veneer. When she showed it to me, it looked fine. Then she bonded it on. They sort of rushed me out of the office after that, so I didn’t get a second look at it. On the drive home, it felt weird with my tongue. I could feel a gap between the porcelain veneer and my natural tooth. That worried me so the moment I made it home I rushed to the bathroom mirror. My veneer was bonded on crooked. I called the office, but they insist it looks fine and I gave approval when they placed it. Plus, they say once something is permanently bonded, nothing can be done. I can’t go about looking like this. What are your recommendations?

Audrey B. – Ohio


There are some major warning bells going off in my head about this case.  First, let me say you were right not to get the dental crown. Wasting healthy tooth structure is never a good idea. Unless there’s something you’ve not mentioned, there isn’t any reason dental bonding couldn’t be re-done. My guess is your new dentist doesn’t know how to do dental bonding, but she didn’t want to admit it.

I’m guessing she probably wasn’t thrilled about doing a porcelain veneer either, but didn’t want to make it look like she couldn’t do it. It sounds like they couldn’t get the bonding quite right and rushed you out the door.

It’s possible they could make some minor adjustments, but based on what you’ve described it will take much more than some minor adjustments. The porcelain veneer needs to be re-done. You might be better off getting a refund and have another, more experienced cosmetic dentist take over the case.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.