Can dental veneers be reshaped or altered once they’re placed?

As cosmetic dentists we complete a lot of dental veneer procedures for our patients.  We aren’t only experts at designing and installing veneers, we also understand the potential pitfalls that can happen if things aren’t done right.  Our process is always to have a long consultation with the patient to make sure they understand everything that’s involved and that the size, shape and colour of the veneers is going to look great.

That being said, it has happened that a patient changes their mind after treatment completion and decide they want their teeth to look different.  It’s a very rare occurrence but that’s when the question of can dental veneers be changed after they’ve been placed arises.  We also get patients who come to us because they are unhappy with dental veneers they’ve received somewhere else.

It’s unfortunate but the truthful answer is there often isn’t much to be done once dental veneers are put in place.  That’s not to say we can’t complete minor reshaping but generally the whole veneer(s) will need to be removed and replaced for a different look.  It’s crucial to plan properly and get them right the first time to avoid the hassle and expense of a having dental veneers redone.

How to alter veneers

Depending on what the issue is we may be able to re-sculpt veneers but it’s usually quite complicated.  For example, if the veneers are too long, we may be able to shave them down a bit, but this depends on the veneer material and how much material is left covering the actual tooth.  Reshaping means sanding and drilling, which causes vibrations that could easily crack or risk micro fractures in the veneer material.  
Even if the veneer looks fine after a reshape, there is still a risk that it could break during normal use later on.  Either way, veneers are usually fit pretty tightly and taking any significant amount of material off is usually not possible.

The same goes for the shape of the veneer, where only minor changes can usually be made.  It’s possible to take the point off a prominent canine tooth or round the corners on square looking veneers, but major cosmetic changes typically can’t be done. 

In terms of colour, the material veneers are made from is designed to be very stain resistant, so they will stay the same colour for decades with proper care.  It’s usually a great feature but it also makes it difficult to darken or lighten the veneer colour to any great effect. 

Removing unsatisfactory veneers and redoing the whole process is the only guaranteed route to the smile you want.  That’s why it’s vital that dental veneers are designed and installed properly on the first go. 

How to ensure your dental veneers are installed correctly the first time

Dental veneers aren’t only time consuming to get, they’re also not an inexpensive cosmetic upgrade.  The veneers you choose will be a large part of your smile and you’ll definitely want them to look the way you intend.  That means taking the necessary steps to make sure you’re satisfied with the results.

Choose a great cosmetic dentist

Your cosmetic dentist can make all the difference to the quality and success of your dental veneer smile makeover.  That’s because they’ll be the ones prepping your teeth and designing the veneers.  They’ll be communicating with the lab (who fabricates the veneers) and then evaluating the quality of your finished veneers.  Your cosmetic dentist will also be the one installing the veneers onto your teeth.  It’s not often a straightforward process so you’ll want a dentist with the experience and skills to make sure everything is right every step of the way.

Choose high-quality veneers for your smile

There are a lot of material choices on the market and not all dental veneers are of equal quality.  Some material doesn’t look all that natural or lacks the lustre you’d want for your smile.  The strength of the finished veneer is also in question, especially if a thin veneer is preferred.  Not all materials are capable of being shaped into delicate shapes and will create a bulky appearance.

Always consult your dentist about the details

The most common problem that arises with dental veneers is that patients aren’t happy with how they look.  This is usually due to a failure during the consultation and design process where the wrong type, shape or colour were selected.  Do want your teeth enlarged and extra bright, or do you want something more subdued and natural looking?  The choice is yours, but you must speak up and work with your dentist to create the perfect design.  Our cosmetic dentists are great veneer technicians and can make suggestions, but it’s ultimately up to you to choose the look you want.

In conclusion

Dental veneers can make a world of difference to your smile, both cosmetically and functionally, but they need to be designed and installed correctly.  Our Martindale cosmetic dentists have decades of experience with dental veneers and know how to guide all our patients through the process successfully.  Our team is well known by our patients for delivering great work and beautiful smiles.

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