Signs of bad veneers

Veneers are one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry options for improving the appearance of front facing teeth. They are made from thin pieces of porcelain or composite resin that are custom molded to fit over the front and top sides of teeth.

Veneers provide three main benefits:

  1. They mask unwanted stains or discoloration
  2. They hide chips, gaps, or irregular shapes
  3. They improve the alignment and make teeth look straight

Veneers act like a false front or shell over the teeth. Because a small amount of natural tooth enamel must be removed to place them, veneering is considered a semi-permanent restoration that can last 10-30 years with proper care. Compared to alternatives like dental crowns, veneers are less invasive in most cases.

When done properly by an experienced cosmetic dentist, veneers look and feel very natural. They match both the color and form of surrounding teeth. But unfortunately, bad or poorly placed veneers are not uncommon. When made poorly or installed incorrectly, they will appear artificial, bulky, or fake-looking.

Below are some warning signs to watch for with bad veneer work:

Signs of bad veneers

Signs of Poorly Done Veneers

1. Appearance is Off


Healthy tooth enamel is semi-translucent with slight variations and depth to color. Bad veneers often look opaque or flat. Subtle natural gradients of neck/gum color are lost.


Teeth normally have some natural roundness and irregularity. Bad veneers are often too uniform, long, wide or bulky.

Gum Fit

Nice veneer margins blend smoothly into the gums without a sharp ledge or gap. Poor fits have overhanging edges clearly visible or gaps allowing inner tooth view. 


Bad bonding or excess dental cement lets veneered teeth shift slightly when touched. Properly placed veneers should not slide around.

2. Functionality Problems

Speech Issues

New veneers at first impact speech clarity for a couple weeks while your tongue and lips learn their new positioning. But continued impaired speech like whistling or lisping indicates poor fitting veneers.

Biting Problems

If veneers are too thick or uneven, they throw off your bite alignment and make biting or chewing difficult from the raised contact.

Tooth Sensitivity

Good preparation minimizes nerve exposure and risk of pain with hot or cold foods. If you have chronic temperature or pressure sensitivity it may indicate underlying problems with the veneer bonding, decay or gum trauma. 

3. Durability Concerns

These issues point to fundamental flaws in how the veneers were created or installed:

Damage or Chipping

While a very hard material, veneer shells can still chip or crack from extreme biting forces or trauma.  But minor fractures from normal use exposes brittleness.

Discoloration or Gaps at Gum Line

Poor dental technique or bonding allows early warning signs of decay like color changes or gaps along the veneer edge next to gums. 

Popping Off

Excess dental cement, poor tooth preparation or bonding means veneers loosen prematurely or pop off too easily from minimal pressure. 

Dealing with Bad Veneers

When you notice signs of bad dental veneers, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to ensure the health of your teeth and maintain an aesthetically pleasing smile. Here are steps you should consider:

  • Schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as you notice any signs of concern, and clearly communicate your observations, detailing any discomfort, changes in appearance, or issues with functionality.
  • Allow your dentist to conduct a thorough examination of the veneers and the underlying teeth. X-rays or other diagnostic tools may be used to assess the condition of the veneers and their impact on your oral health.
  • Work with your dentist to identify specific issues with the veneers. This could include issues like chipping, discoloration, misalignment, or poor bonding as discussed above.
  • Depending on the severity of the issues, your dentist will recommend either repairing the existing veneers or replacing them entirely. In some cases, minor adjustments or repairs may be sufficient, while in others, complete replacement may be necessary.
  • Discuss with your dentist the available options for replacement or repair. This may involve choosing different materials, adjusting the size or color, or exploring alternative cosmetic dentistry solutions.
  • If the issues with the veneers are due to underlying dental problems, such as decay or gum disease, address these issues simultaneously to prevent future complications.
  • If you undergo replacement or repairs, carefully follow any aftercare instructions provided by your dentist. Attend follow-up appointments to ensure that the adjustments or replacements are successful and that your oral health remains optimal.
  • Understand the reasons behind the issues with the initial veneers. It could be due to factors such as poor craftsmanship, improper fit, or inadequate oral hygiene. Implement any recommendations from your dentist to maintain the longevity and health of your new veneers.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups to monitor the condition of your veneers and overall oral health. Early detection of potential issues allows for timely intervention, preventing more significant problems.
  • If you have concerns about the recommendations or if issues persist, consider seeking a second opinion from another qualified dentist to ensure a comprehensive assessment.

Lastly, adopt and maintain a robust oral hygiene routine to prevent future issues with dental veneers. Regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings contribute to the longevity of your veneers and overall oral health.

Prevention with a Reputable Cosmetic Dentist

These warning signs highlight the importance of working with an experienced cosmetic dentist trained in proper veneer placement. Ultimately, durability and aesthetics come down to:

a. Multi-Step Tooth Preparation

The multi-step tooth preparation process is a cornerstone in ensuring the durability and aesthetics of dental veneers. Moderate enamel removal is a critical aspect of this preparation, allowing for optimal bonding between the veneer and the tooth surface. 

By carefully removing a specific amount of enamel, dentists create a textured surface that enhances the adhesive strength, ensuring a long-lasting bond. Importantly, this process is designed to be minimally invasive, preserving the overall structure of the tooth and avoiding alterations to the bite, contributing to both the durability and functionality of the veneers.

b. Detailed Impression Transfer and Model Design

The meticulousness of the impression transfer and model design is paramount for achieving both durability and aesthetic precision in dental veneers. Accurate impressions serve as the foundation for crafting veneers that seamlessly fit the contours of the patient’s teeth. 

Utilizing advanced materials and techniques, dentists capture detailed impressions that accurately represent the tooth’s shape and surface characteristics. The precision in model design, derived from these detailed impressions, directly translates to veneers that not only look natural but also align perfectly with the patient’s bite, ensuring longevity and functional harmony.

c. Layered Custom Colorization Matching Surrounding Teeth Tone

Layered custom colorization is an artistic and technical approach that significantly contributes to the aesthetics of dental veneers. Dentists meticulously match the color of the veneers to the surrounding teeth, creating a seamless and natural appearance. 

This process involves layering different shades to mimic the complexity of natural tooth color, ensuring that the veneers integrate harmoniously with the overall smile. Beyond aesthetics, this attention to detail also prevents visual discrepancies, enhancing the longevity and visual appeal of the veneers over time.

d. Secure Bonding with Minimally Invasive Cement

The final step in the veneer application process involves secure bonding, a crucial factor for both durability and aesthetics. Dentists use minimally invasive cement to affix the veneers to the prepared tooth surface. The use of such specialized cement not only ensures a strong bond but also minimizes any potential damage to the natural tooth structure. 

This secure and minimally invasive bonding process not only contributes to the long-term durability of the veneers but also enhances the aesthetic outcome by creating a seamless and natural transition between the veneers and the natural teeth.

Final Note

By combining precision, technology, and artistic skill, dentists can create veneers that not only enhance the visual appeal of a smile but also withstand the test of time with resilience and functionality.

Be wary of fast, cheap deals for smile makeovers with veneers. Quality dental laboratories and materials are a factor too. Prior patient reviews and examples of work should be examined. While risks exist with any procedure, choosing a reputable dentist minimizes chances of a poor outcome.


  • Editorial team

    A team comprising oral health care professionals, researchers, and professional Writers, striving to impart you with the knowledge to improve your oral health, and that of your loved ones. 

  • Lilly

    Lilly, aka, Liza Lee, is a passionate community oral health officer and our lead writer. She's not only well-versed in performing a multitude of dental procedures, including preventive, restorative, and cosmetic, but also an avid writer. Driven by the significant oral health burden all around her, Lilly strives to build capacity and promote oral health. She envisions making a lasting impact by advancing research, prevention, and promotion efforts to alleviate oral health disparities. Please share your views and opinions on my posts.

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