My two front teeth have had porcelain crowns on them for years, after I lost my two front teeth in an accident. Recently, they have turned grey and needed root canals. I’ve wanted porcelain veneers for awhile now to replace the discolored teeth. I went to a cosmetic dentist in order to get these new veneers.
I was fitted for temporary veneers while the dentist worked on color-matching my veneers. Even the temporary veneers look nice, but they need to be more symmetrical, and I have some concerns about my gumline. I trusted my dentist, and was fine with him taking his time to get the color right.
However, even after all that time, my porcelain veneers still do not match. On top of one veneer being tinged with grey, the other one is bulky, sticks out, and I can feel it click against my tongue. My dentist did not seem too worried about the colors not matching, saying it could be easily fixed. Why couldn’t he have just taken extra time to match the colors in the first place? I’ve already paid for my veneers, I didn’t expect to have to keep coming back to the dentist after getting them! Was expecting two veneers to match too much to ask?
Edward, from Rhode Island
To answer your question, no, your request was not unreasonable. Porcelain veneers are easier to color match than porcelain crowns, which is what you had before. Inexperienced dentists having trouble matching a crown for a front tooth may request both teeth be crowned; that way, they are guaranteed to match. Also, the ceramic for crowns or veneers is usually processed in a dental lab, and colored by skilled ceramists. Your teeth may not match because the dentist is not discerning regarding the porcelain work his lab sends him.
The dentist who did your porcelain veneers also may not have been a skilled cosmetic dentist. Veneers require tooth preparation, and if your dentist does not prepare the surface enough, the veneer will appear bulky and feel uncomfortable in your mouth. The porcelain used for veneers can be opaque, so if your teeth were grey to start with, you may have needed them bleached before starting the veneer process.
A skilled cosmetic dentist would also have let you see your teeth in different types of lighting, taking photos from different angles. If you were not completely satisfied, he should have sent them back to the lab before putting them in.
If your dentist is not willing to fix the veneers for you, you will need to see another dentist for a second opinion. Cosmetic dentistry is not a specialization, but it is one that they can study through continuing education courses. Be sure to check potential dentist’s websites, especially their smile gallery. If you like the smiles they create, you should be in good hands.
This blog post is brought to you by San Antonio porcelain veneer provider, Dr. Gilberto Tostado. Please note that a cosmetic dentist is not a specialist, but Dr. Tostado is a member of the American College of Prosthodontists, and is highly trained in oral restoration.