Completely Dissatisfied with my Porcelain Veneers! Can I Have Them Filed Down and Not Get New Ones?

I had 10 porcelain veneers done in 2008... And to this date I'm still not satisfied with my look as they just don't fit my mouth. I then found a dentist in another country (was relocated for a new job), and had him filed down the veneers. Is there a way I can just have my current veneers filed down instead of having to redo everything again? Will they crack? Can dentists tell how much more they can file down by having X-ray? Will it hurt my natural teeth? Sigh this is too costly and I regret...

Doctor Answers 6

Hmm that's a tough one: Yes and no

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HYou can have them filed down (contoured) but the risks are they they will feel rough because you'll be removing the glaze on them AND you could induce micro-fracturing in the veneers.   Additionally it might be hard to find a dentist to contour them because basically once they start contouring they "own" what happens to them (Fracture / break) and then would be afraid they'd be held liable for replacement.  

Unhappy with venners, can I have them filed down

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Sorry to hear you are unhappy with your veneers, In terms of filing down the veneers that can always be done but understand that when you adjust a lot you will ultimately change the color as well.  They can crack easily and may crack after they are adjusted.  In my opinion I would replace them.  That would be your best option. 

Leonard Tau, DMD
Philadelphia Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Can I Have my Porcelain Veneers Filed Down and Not Get New Ones?

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Porcelain veneers can make amazing smile changes. One of the issues I am observing in cosmetic dentistry right now is that "everyone" is a cosmetic dentist. There are a lot of approaches to making veneers that tend to make them not look right.

Do some research first. Find the most experienced, cosmetic dentist that produces that most consistent results. Don't let anyone else touch your veneers any more. If you keep having them filed, shortly they will look worse, then there will be no hope for this set of veneers.

A highly skilled cosmetic dentist will give you the best chance of making this set look as good as possible. They may be able to be improved, but after not liking them for four years, you will probably never love them. You will have to accept some compromises.

At some point, you will need new porcelain veneers. Again, make sure to have the BEST cosmetic dentist possible. Make a very specific list about what you don't like, and what your concerns are. Don't start the new veneers until you are highly confident that these issues have been addressed.

Carefully assess your concerns while you are in the temporary phase. Most of these concerns should be addressed here. Don't let the final veneers go on until you feel comfortable with what you have previewed.

This will likely be much more expensive that what you paid before. The skill, care, judgement and artistry to deliver this level of care is rare. BUT, when you finally have the smile you will be priceless!

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You can "characterize" (reshape) porcelain veneers to a small extent but not without risk

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Having placed porcelain laminate veneers since 1983, there are some patients who have had previous porcelain veneers and/or crowns that may be able to have some reshaping, or what we call "characterization," when there is a bulk of porcelain thickness and the changes do not affect the structural integrity of the restoration. With that said, this can also have risks associated as it is difficult at times to judge the thickness and margins of the porcelain. There is also an issue of the glazed finish of the porcelain being removed and the color affected. The re-polishing of the porcelain may not be as lustrous as the original restoration. 

You cannot file the veneers or any porcelain restoration too much.

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I am sorry to say that the answer to your question almost always is NO. You cannot file the veneers or any porcelain restoration too much. It can crack, it loses its sheen , you may start to lisp or whistle while talking ! 

The cost is a lot, and the investment is high and that is why choosing the right Cosmetic Dentists almost always means more expensive veneers . Good luck to you.

Soheyla Marzvaan, DDS
Orange County Dentist

Can Veneers be Filed Down?

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The more a veneer is filed down, the more it loses any color or translucency that it may have once had. Also, there is no way of knowing how thick the veneer is, even with X-rays, so it is very possible that you will reach actual tooth structure. Also, there is no way of knowing how much of your original enamel was removed when the veneers were originally made. If the veneers are totally removed, your underlying tooth may look worse than before, and it may be sensitive and more susceptible to decay. Bottom line is: Chose Your Cosmetic Dentist Wisely and do your research BEFORE beginning any cosmetic treatment.

Jay Neuhaus, DDS
New York Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.