Porcelain veneers or invisalign

I’m hoping you can help me. In order to improve my smile I decided to get porcelain veneers on my upper teeth. There are not a lot of major cosmetic issues, I just wanted them whiter and brighter. I have one minor crooked tooth, but nothing I would want braces for. The reason I’m writing is that my dentist is suggesting I get invisalign first, and then the veneers. That just seems like an unnecessary step. What do you think?

Kara- New Jersey


It is hard for me to tell without seeing your case. I guess it is possible you have a serious bite problem, and that is why he’s recommending invisalign. However, most cosmetic dentists would either recommend one or the other. It would be a good idea in this case to get a second opinion. When you go to the other dentist, don’t tell him what your dentist said, that way you are more likely to get a truly independent second opinion.

Porcelain veneers are a good option if there are problems with the shape of your teeth, or you are extremely impatient about getting your new smile.  They can also mask a crooked tooth.

Invisalign invisible braces can actually straighten your teeth. They are much faster than traditional braces, working in about 6-12 months. You’re also able to whiten your teeth simultaneously, because the aligners can also be used as teeth whitening trays. This is the option I would use if you are not in a huge hurry and the shape of your teeth are fine.

This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.


Problems with new veneers

I recently had 6 porcelain veneers placed on my upper front teeth, but have some serious problems with the work that was done. At first the two canine teeth were too bulky. To fix this my dentist began polishing the right one, which created a dark spot on the tooth. This mistake was obvious even to the dentist who agreed right away to replace it. They are still a little too bulky, but I don’t know what we can do about it and it isn’t too horrible. I think I can live with that part. The second part though, I can’t, and I don’t know what to do and am hoping you can give me advise. Before he glued them on he showed me what they would look like. But he only showed them to me in daylight. The windows were open and there was a lot of natural light. The color looked great to me. But, when I got home that evening, the veneers looked darker, almost grey. They are quite a bit darker than the rest of my teeth, which I had bleached to match the color I wanted my veneers.

I called my dentist, but he said that he showed them to me beforehand and I thought they were fine. That is true, but I didn’t know they could look differently in various lighting. He says there is nothing he can do. Is that true? I now hate my smile. Not only did I spend all that money, but I am dreading smiling for the next ten to twenty years with grey teeth. I’m in tears just thinking about it.

Jaycee L.- Michigan


Unfortunately, you are not the first patient that has contacted me regarding disastrous cosmetic work. I know I wasn’t there and didn’t see your case, but it sounds to me like your dentist was learning as he went. Maybe he doesn’t have a lot of experience and training with porcelain veneers. There are some brands of veneers that you only have to pass a simple informational test to be certified to place them.

The problem you are having with the veneer color  is called color metamerism. Under one light, the porcelain matches your natural teeth. Under another light, they don’t. Your dentist may not have been familiar with this issue if he didn’t have sufficient training.

Any true cosmetic dentist will have a passion for esthetics. He will want the results as beautiful just as much as you do. If you aren’t satisfied with them, he certainly shouldn’t be either. It isn’t true that he can’t do anything about them. He could replace them. However, I don’t think that is the best scenario for you. He doesn’t seem to know what he is doing cosmetically. I would push for a refund and look for a highly qualified cosmetic dentist to place your new ones. If you’re not sure where to find a great cosmetic dentist, you can look on the site mynewsmile.com. They screen cosmetic dentists for their education, as well as clinical expertise and artistry. You’ll be able to trust the ability of any dentist listed on that site.

I’m sorry for your bad experience. Hopefully this can be remedied and you’ll have a smile you are proud of!

This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.