Theriot Family Dental

Is a Porcelain Veneer Turning Color a Dental Emergency?

Posted by writeradmin

My daughter received as a gift from a relative a smile makeover. It included eight on the top arch and six on the bottom. A few months later my daughter chipped one of them. We returned to the dentist and he “repaired” it by shaving the tooth down to even it out. He had to do the same to the adjacent tooth so they would look even. About six months later, the two teeth that were worked on have started turning darker. I called the dentist to schedule an appointment and he said that I was being too picky. It didn’t see anything wrong with them and he is “great at color.” I was discouraged, but wondered if maybe we are being too picky, like he said. Now those two teeth have turned a bluish color and there is no denying it. I called to schedule an emergency appointment and they said that aesthetics are not a dental emergency. I’ll have to wait six weeks to get her in. I’m worried that these two front veneers are going to fall off. What do we do?


Dear Cathy,

porcelain veneer being placed on teeth

I agree with you that something is going on with the porcelain veneers. Though many family dentists do not consider esthetics a dental emergency, I am sure you could find a dentist who has more of an emphasis on cosmetic work that will would get you in faster. Your dentist’s comment that you are being too picky and he is great with color, tells me that he has not really studied cosmetic dentistry. If he had, then he would know that it is how the patient feels about the appearance that matters. Plus, a porcelain veneer turning darker is a sign that something is wrong.

When a porcelain veneer changes colors in the manner you have described, it means there is a bonding issue. The color is likely from bacteria or debris that is getting trapped between the porcelain veneers and your teeth. I suggest you call another cosmetic dentist in your area and explain what is going on. They can likely squeeze you in faster than your current dentist is offering, though maybe not the same day as they have established patients to attend to.

This will help you know if this can wait until the porcelain veneers fall off or if they need to be replaced right away. Ideally, you can wait until the bonding fails because that is a simpler solution of making sure the debris is cleaned out and then rebonding the porcelain veneers back to your teeth.

One other thing. It is too late for your daughter but I am adding this for the benefit of others who may be considering a smile makeover. Unless there is something structurally you want to change with the teeth on the lower arch, the standard is just to whiten those and only place veneers on the top arch. This can save you thousands of dollars. The teeth whitening helps them to match the upper arch in color and blend in.

This blog is brought to you by Baton Rouge Dentist Dr. John Theriot.