I’m getting porcelain veneers in January and trying to decide on the shade. My dentist tells me that BL4 might be brighter than I think. I want pleasingly white teeth, but I do not want them to look fake. I looked at shade guides, but I am not sure how they will look on my smile and skin tone. Is BL4 too white to look natural? Thank you. Jared from North Dakota
Thank you for choosing our office for your question. First, we will give an overview of BL shades for our readers.
What Are BL Tooth Shades?
BL tooth shades measure teeth whiteness with bleaching. Ivoclar developed the system, and BL shades are whiter than the brightest shade of natural teeth. The shades are BL1, BL2, BL3, and BL4. BL1 is the most brilliant shade, and BL4 is slighter whiter than the whitest natural tooth shade.
How Can You Choose a BL Shade for Your Veneers?
We included a photo of the Ivoclar shade guide for bleach teeth. Next to it is a classic shade guide for natural teeth. A1 on the classic shade guide represents the whitest natural tooth shade for most people. B1 on the classic shade guide is standard for baby teeth, not adult teeth.
- B1 – If you want your teeth to look natural, choosing veneers beyond B1 on the natural shade guide might make people notice you had work done on your teeth to make them so white.
- BL4 – BL4 is slighter whiter than BL1. Depending on your personality and preferences, you may want people to notice your smile right away. BL4 will advertise your bright smile, but it will not look as stark as BL3, BL2, and BL1
So, you can decide if you want an immediately noticeable white smile with veneers that have the wow factor (BL4) or a softer white (B1). But you do not need to rush the decision. Look at the shade guides with your dentist in different lighting and discuss them further.
You can also look back at your dentist’s smile gallery of porcelain veneers. Look for patients with your skin tone and ask your dentist which shade of veneers you see in the photos. It can help you decide on your veneer color.
Brian LeSage, DDS of Beverly Hills, sponsors this post. Dr. LeSage is an accredited Fellow of cosmetic dentistry.