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Steinberg Dental Team 2023

Don’t Fall for 360-Degree Veneers

Question submitted by Julia

I planned on getting a smile makeover with porcelain veneers and my dentist said due to my smile structure, I would be a better candidate for 360-degree veneers. I specifically asked how much structure would need to be removed from the tooth and they assured me that hardly any would be touched. With that assurance, I went ahead.

The problems started quite soon. First, a couple of the veneers popped off. That is when I noticed that my tooth was a small nub. They did put it back on and I asked them about how small the tooth was. They assured me that was normal. I’ve got to say that I would not call this hardly any. When the veneers popped off for the third time, I became worried about the soundness of the smile makeover. Then, they told me temporary veneers are designed to come off easily. That made sense to me so I tried not to worry.

Now the permanent ones are in and I just had one fall off. I’ve lost complete confidence in this dental office and do not know what to do. Is there any advice you have for me?


Dear Julia,

A side by side comparison of tooth preparation for dental crowns as well as porcelain veneers

I am so glad you wrote. I have some tough news for you. To start with, there is no such thing as 360-degree veneers. Porcelain veneers go on the front of your teeth and hug the sides a little. 360 implies that they wrap around the teeth completely.  That sounds to me like porcelain crowns. In addition, the tooth preparation that you described for me sounds much more like dental crown prep than porcelain veneer prep. You can see a comparison of the two types of tooth preparation in the images above.

I cannot say this with absolute certainty, but my guess is that the reason your dentist steered you toward the dental crowns because he was not trained in porcelain veneers. This is sadly a common issue. A dentist does not want you to lose confidence in them by telling you that they do not know how to do something. Instead, they recommend something that they can do while making up some excuse.

The thing that bothers me about this is that he didn’t steer you to crowns. Instead, he pretended to give you veneers by renaming the procedure. This is an serious integrity issue, something you likely also noticed by the lie about the amount of tooth structure that would be removed.

My second problem with this is the fact that he cannot even keep in the dental crowns. This is one of the first procedures dentists learn in dental school and there is really no excuse that he can’t keep it in place. I would ask for a refund and then look for a prosthodontist to repair this. However, make sure they have some cosmetic skill. Look at their smile gallery to make sure they have the artistry to create something beautiful for you. If your dentist gives you trouble about the refund, be sure to let him know that you are aware he lied to you and there is no such procedure as 360-veneers. He weakened your teeth by giving you crowns instead of veneers.

This blog is brought to you by Tucson Prosthodontist Dr. Howard Steinberg.