Are Porcelain Veneers Reversible?

dentist matching shade of veneers

The Short answer is: No. Veneers are not reversible. They are, however, a long-lasting, immediate, and effective way to improve the appearance of your smile. Veneers can give you back the confidence needed to feel comfortable with your appearance at work and at home.

Veneers are chosen for a combination of reasons:

  • To enhance the look of teeth
  • To restore the look of teeth
  • As a patch for cracked or chipped teeth
  • As a repair for eroded or damaged enamel

What are Dental Veneers?

What exactly are Veneers? WebMD describes “Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) as wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length.”  Veneers improve the look and feel of teeth while also protecting the tooth from additional erosion or damage.

What happens to my teeth when I get veneers?

In any likelihood, veneers require preparing the teeth to receive a new layer. This is the case for both the leading types of veneers–porcelain and composite. To do so, the natural enamel layer is either etched with an acid or grinded to prepare a rough surface for the adhesive to stick to. Additionally, if you have decay or cavities in your teeth, they will need to be cleaned out before being contained beneath a veneer. Some enamel will be removed.

The enamel layer is the protection for your teeth. Without it, your teeth will be more susceptible to decay and staining.  For this reason, when you remove the layer, you’ll always need a seal over the tooth. If a veneer breaks or comes loose, you will need to replace it. 

woman getting her veneers matched at dentist

Help! A veneer came loose

Replacing a loose veneer is a task for a dental office to handle. Again, you do not want to capture more bacteria beneath the veneer. Over the counter dental glues, epoxies, adhesives are not sufficient for veneer repairs and may actually be harmful to the veneer. Visiting a dentist is best. Porcelain veneers, in all likelihood can be reapplied easily. Composite veneers, due to their construction are not able to be reapplied. 


After initially preparing your teeth, the dentist will either take a mold of the specific shape of the remaining tooth or a 3D scan. If your veneers are being produced in a production lab, they will take several weeks to get back and installed. During this time, the dentist is confident your teeth will be safe enough without a sealant. So an unprotected tooth is not ideal, but it is not a true dental emergency.

What if I hate the way these look?

Veneers are chosen with your cosmetic dentist for a look that is natural. In the early days of veneers, gleaming white, perfectly shaped false teeth were common. That was the case for dentures and crowns as well, but the industry soon learned that planned, intentional flaws and dimmer shades were more natural. People didn’t want perfection: they wanted natural.


Now, veneers are made with several goals in mind. Ideally, they are proportionate, straight, have unique facets, and include intentional imperfections to appear authentic. Shading is not brilliant, bone white but made to match your other teeth and even exhibit variations within a set of veneers. 

What if My veneers no longer match my real teeth?

Certainly, your veneers are an improvement upon what was there before. At the time of production and installation, they were the perfect look for your mouth. However, as the remaining teeth age and the shade yellows or darkens, your veneers will not. They are frozen in time, so to speak. This is a concern for veneer owners wanting to whiten their remaining teeth. Whether a veneer is on a single tooth or on an entire row, the bicuspids and molars beyond the canines will continue to be susceptible to discoloration. Bear in mind that your veneers will not change color and before beginning a whitening routine or treatment, consult with your dentist about shading concerns.

Commonly Asked Questions

can I have veneers removed?

You can certainly have them replaced for a different set/design/color, but there is no going back to your natural teeth. Because the enamel layer has been partially removed leaving your teeth exposed will lead to staining and easy access for bacteria, acids, and decay. When you first get your veneers, the dentist will prepare your teeth by removing some of the enamel. More will be removed if you also have cavities that have formed. In extreme cases, teeth can look quite jarring when the veneer is removed, but for the most part, the preparation does not remove as much as some fear. 


I can see my natural tooth at the base of my veneers; are they shrinking?

As your remaining teeth change and gums recede with age or disease, your veneers may become more noticeable. You may explore getting replacements to match. You can certainly use your veneers as a barometer for your oral health. If they begin standing out, it could be a sign that other disease is present. Consult your dentist if you are seeing this because your veneers are not shrinking; your gums are.


I am shocked at how fake veneers look

Modern veneers are made to look natural and likely your shock is only from your own perspective. We are so accustomed to seeing our own reflections that we lose perspective on what others see. If you are looking in the mirror and hating your look in the few days after getting veneers, allow yourself a few more days to get used to the new feel and look. If you are still displeased, visit with your cosmetic dentist about options for replacing them.

Trust the Experts

If you’ve decided that veneers may be the right fit for you, congratulations are in order. We can help start the process and answer any remaining questions you may have at Greenspoint Dental. Greenspoint Dental has been restoring and rejuvenating smiles in North Houston since 1997. We have experienced the dissapointment of fading smiles and the joy brought by new ones. We would be pleased to meet you and explore ALL the options