I have been debating forever if I should spend the money on myself and finally pulled the trigger on getting porcelain veneers. And when I look in the mirror, I just want to cry. They look like chicklets! They are bulky and white boxes over the eight teeth I had done. I called my dentist to explain that I really am unhappy and he tells me, “You just aren’t used to them. They will grow on you.” Really?!? That is just not acceptable. I am terrible at confrontation and feel helpless. Do you have any advice on what I should do?

– Courtney in Oregon


Wow, it sounds like your expectations have fallen drastically short! You are correct in that is just not an acceptable response from your dentist either. Unfortunately, what you may have discovered after the fact is that not every dentist that places porcelain veneers is an excellent cosmetic dentist. Only a very small percentage of dentists can do beautiful cosmetic dentistry. You also may not realize that cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty area with dentistry, so any dentist can claim to be a cosmetic dentist. You are not alone. Many patients find out the hard way. To be an excellent cosmetic dentist requires extensive post-graduate training in the dental bonding materials and techniques. A true cosmetic dentist would consider the work an absolute failure if you weren’t in love with your new smile.

It also sounds like you may have chosen no preparation veneers, like Lumineers or some other ultra-thin brand. These types of porcelain veneers can appear bulky and can make the teeth look longer than normal. This is mostly because there was no shaving down of the tooth. When this step is skipped, a life-like result is very difficult to obtain.

Beautiful porcelain veneers are an art. It takes a dentist that is passionate about creating beauty. If your current dentist doesn’t work with you to make this right, it may be time to find a cosmetic dentist that has the right credentials and a strong portfolio of work to back it up. Thank you for your question. Hopefully, it saves another person from the heartache of fake looking veneers.

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This post is sponsored by Atlanta dentist Flax Dental.