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Brian LeSage, DDS, FAGD, FAACD

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My porcelain veneers are too shiny. Is too late?

My porcelain veneers are so shiny that I think they make my teeth look fake. The shine is so obvious in my pictures. My dentist thinks it looks fine and brushes off my requests to reduce the shine. Is there a way to minimize it? I will do it even if I must switch dentists. Thanks. Drew from Oregon


Shine and texture of the surface of your teeth are essential aspects of a smile makeover. But both aspects must be well-balanced. And even more essential is that you—the patient—like your smile. Otherwise, your new smile can decrease your confidence or embarrass you.

Properties of Porcelain and the Glisten of Your Smile

Before and after photos porcelain veneers photos from Brian Lesage, DDS

Porcelain veneers before-and-after photos from Brian LeSage, DDS, FAGD, FAACD, of Beverly Hills

Porcelain has a natural sparkle that makes it look real. But for it to look natural on your teeth, a dental ceramist must add texture. Natural teeth have varied textures, and as we age and our teeth wear, texture decreases. A dental ceramist works closely with your dentist to design porcelain veneers. Your description sounds like your veneers are flat, lacking texture. And that can make them look fake.

The photo to the right is an example of texture with dental ceramics. When you look at the patient’s teeth, the surface is shiny but irregular. The teeth sparkle naturally.

What to Do If Your Veneers Are Too Shiny

If your veneers are too shiny, they lack texture. The issue is not uncommon for people who receive veneers from their family or general dentist. But advanced cosmetic dentists know how to add texture to the surface of your veneers.

Dentists with training in aesthetics agree that they are successful when a patient loves their new smile. And cosmetic dentists don’t bond on porcelain veneers until you are confident about your smile makeover. If you’re hesitant, the dentist will ask questions to understand what you don’t like. They will either make the corrections or send your porcelain veneers back to the lab to get it right. It seems that your dentist lacks that level of concern, Drew.

Reducing the shine in porcelain veneers

  • Working with your current dentist – You can speak with your dentist again about your disappointment and ask him to remake your veneers. You invested in a smile makeover and should get what you want. If your dentist agrees, let him know that you must see your new veneers on with a try-in paste before he bonds them to your teeth.
  • If you must find a new dentist – If your dentist is uncooperative, you can ask for a refund. And then, your priority is to find a dentist with advanced cosmetic dentistry training. Your new dentist might be willing to contact your current dentist and help you get a refund.

Best wishes for getting the smile you want.


Brian LeSage, DDS, FAGD, FAACD, of Beverly Hills, sponsors this post.

Polishing a Porcelain Veneer the Right Way

Two weeks ago, I saw a scratch in the porcelain veneer on my left front tooth. I scheduled an appointment with my cosmetic dentist. She looked at my tooth and said she could buff it out. Although she buffed my tooth and it feels smooth, when I dry the tooth and look at it in the mirror, I notice that it is no longer shiny. It looks matte. She told me that she used cups and a thin polishing mechanism, not a prophy jet.  I am concerned that the dull area will stain. Is this common, or will I need a new veneer? – Thanks. Andrew from New Mexico



A matte finish makes porcelain more susceptible to stain. A skilled cosmetic dentist can polish the veneer, give it luster, and almost match the original glaze. Although it doesn’t require the same specialized skill as a smile makeover, polishing a veneer involves knowledge of the process and specialized materials.

How Can a Dentist Polish Porcelain?

A single porcelain veneer held by dental forceps

Polishing porcelain veneers isn’t as challenging as completing a smile makeover

A cosmetic dentist can polish porcelain by using meticulous polishing techniques along with diamond polishing instruments, polishing paste, and ultra-fine diamond polishing paste at the end.

If your current cosmetic dentist placed your veneers and you’re happy with his work, you can return to her. Ask for a higher shine and tell her that you received a suggestion to use Brasseler’s Dialite porcelain polishing system to restore the gloss to your veneer.

Increase Your Comfort with a Second Opinion

If you’re not sure if you want your dentist to polish your veneer again, schedule an appointment with an accredited cosmetic dentist for a second opinion. Dentists who earn accreditation have advanced training in dental aesthetics. They demonstrate advanced skill and technique by passing rigorous exams and submitting successful patient cases that they completed from start to finish.

Brian P. LeSage, DDS, a Beverly Hills accredited cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.

Polishing a Porcelain Veneer the Right Way

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.”
– Thích Nhất Hạnh

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