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My Replacement Porcelain Veneer Does Match the Others

Posted by AllSmiles

I relocated in May of last year. I was due for a six-month cleaning in July, but I did not find a dentist due to the pandemic. I have eight porcelain veneers, and one of them broke last month. Unfortunately, I had to find a dentist quickly to replace the veneer. Now that I think about it, I should have called my former dentist for advice. When this new dentist got the veneer back from the lab, it was too light. He returned the veneer, and the lab tech baked a glazed on it to make it darker. The dentist removed some glaze to match the shade of my shade other veneers. We both thought it was okay, but now I see that the veneer is still a little too dark. And the veneer is not as shiny as the others. This experience is making me nervous because I do not know this dentist well. I just found him online because my veneer broke. Is it too late to lighten the veneer? Thank you. – Trevor


Thank you for your inquiry.

We understand that you chose a dentist because your porcelain veneer broke. And a broken veneer is a good reason to see a dentist right away. Unfortunately, it sounds like you found a dentist with limited training in dental aesthetics.

Replacing one veneer, manipulating the color, and matching it to existing veneers is tricky and requires special training. If the dentist you chose lacks experience in cosmetic dentistry, it may be challenging for him to match the shade.

How to Match a Veneer to Other Teeth

Although it is possible to polish off some tint to try to match other veneers, your new dentist’s technique was risky. Many advanced cosmetic dentists would send a photograph of your teeth to the lab tech to see the discrepancy in color, along with a detailed description of what needs to change. Sometimes it takes two or three try-ins to get the color right, but a skilled dentist will not bond the veneer unless it is a perfect match. And if a cosmetic dentist needs to manipulate veneer tint, they adjust tints beneath the veneer, not tint on the surface.

It sounds like your dentist is not familiar with the tinting process or does not stock tints to apply beneath a veneer. If your dentist continues to repeat the process, it could disturb the tint and further change the color.

Returning the Gloss to Your Porcelain Veneer

Your dentist can use diamond polishing wheels and polishing pastes to return the gloss to the porcelain. Expert cosmetic dentists usually have these items. If your current dentist must order the supplies, he may not have experience using them.

Improving the Shade of Your Veneer

The tip of dental forceps hold a porcelain veneer
A skilled cosmetic dentist can match a veneer to other teeth

A dentist achieves color match with proper lighting. Although your veneer might have appeared to match under artificial light in the dental office, you can see the color difference when you go outdoors in the sunlight. Expert cosmetic dentists check shade next to a window or use color-correct lighting in their office.

You can give this dentist another chance to color match the veneer, or you can find a dentist with post-graduate cosmetic dentistry training and years of experience. We recommend that you at least get a second opinion from a skilled cosmetic dentist.


Dr. Thomas Goebel, a Moline, Illinois dentist, sponsors this post.