Veneers and the 10 most common mistakes

Book an Appointment Call Now

January 15, 2017

Smile makeovers with veneers are becoming very common, and our patients are demanding them more often. Many dentists now offer this service to meet patient demand.

Veneers are a wonderful service that can have a significant impact on our patients’ smiles and self esteem, and can even be a life-changing event. But when done poorly these can be devastating for the patient and dentist.

Veneers can be one of the more technically challenging procedures dentists perform. They typically involve multiple teeth, affect the patients’ occlusion, and deal with multiple colors of tooth structure. They need to be created in harmony with the soft tissue, can affect the patients’ speech, and require a working knowledge of many different dental materials. On top of that, we place veneers right where the patient and public can see them so that they are out there for everyone’s inspection. Truly, veneers can be one of the most stressful procedures we provide.

They can also be one of the most rewarding. To have the ability to positively change people’s smiles, to make them happy, and to improve their self-esteem is one of the wonderful gifts dentistry can provide.

Over the past 27 years I have placed literally thousands of veneers, and have replaced hundreds. Of the redos I’ve completed, I placed some of them, and many were placed by other dentists. Drawing from this experience I want to share some of the more common mistakes I’ve witnessed, and how to prevent them.

Common Mistake No. 1: Failure to address soft-tissue symmetry

In an ideal smile the patient should have gingival symmetry. In the ideal maxillary anterior arch form the gingival heights of the centrals should be 1 to 2 mm apical to the laterals, with the canines at the same height or just slightly lower than the centrals, then a gradual shortening of the gingival form moving posteriorly. Failure to address the gingival symmetry before starting treatment can affect the final esthetic outcome of the case.

Gingival changes can be made orthodontically or surgically. In a case where there is rotation and/or malposition of the teeth to be veneered, orthodontics is often the treatment method of choice.

If the teeth are in proper arch alignment, we either perform a gingivectomy using a laser (Waterlase MD, Biolase), or refer the patient to our periodontist for bony crown lengthening. Gingival issues need to be identified and addressed with the patient at the initial treatment planning. They will greatly affect the final outcome and often require additional time to complete treatment, and often involve a specialist.

Common Mistake No. 2: Failure to do a lab wax-up

Veneer cases can be very complex to design and achieve an optimal result. For years we we’ve required a lab wax-up of any veneer case we’re about to start, whether it is two or 20 veneers. The wax-up of the case allows the dentist to see the final visualization of the case. The wax-up can be duplicated and a preliminary prep model fabricated to allow the dentist to practice the prep design on a model before going to the mouth.

A wax-up allows the dentist and patient to see the final results in 3-D before treatment is started. This is often helpful to ensure patient satisfaction with the final result. The wax-up can also be used to make a matrix for the fabrication of the provisional restorations, which are not only highly esthetic, but allow for accurate inspection of new occlusal patterns and phonetics.

Common Mistake No. 3: Failure to work with an experienced esthetic ceramist

Porcelain veneers are an art form, and as much as we dentists would like to think that our wonderful preparations are what make beautiful veneers, we are in truth heavily reliant on our ceramists to create the real esthetics our patients want.

Figure 1 is an eight-year-old porcelain veneer case completed locally on Nos. 6 to 11. The patient came to our office to inquire if it was possible to improve the esthetics of her smile.

In our discussions on how to achieve her esthetic objectives, we agreed to replace the veneers on 6 to 11, and place new porcelain restorations on 4, 5, 12 and 13 to create the smile she wanted (Figure 2).

What was very interesting was that when we removed the old restorations at the preparation appointment, the preparations by the previous dentist were done extremely well. But because that dentist accepted less than esthetic work from the dental lab, the final esthetic result of the original veneers was a failure.

The need for an excellent esthetic ceramist cannot be understated. Any dentist who wants to place porcelain veneers needs to develop a great relationship with an artistic ceramist if he or she wants patients to rave about their new smiles.

Common Mistake No. 4: The rule of 4-8-10

Figure 1 is a good example of the 4-8-10 rule. All too often I see (and usually have to replace) veneers placed on Nos. 6 to 11. Dentists get caught in a trap laid by patients. A patient will come in for a consultation and request to have porcelain veneers placed on the anterior six teeth. The patient asks for this because when he or she looks in the mirror, all he or she sees is the anterior six teeth. The patient thinks that esthetically changing these teeth will make the difference he or she is looking for.

In reality, when a patient smiles, the anterior eight and often 10 teeth appear. By not considering this when discussing a smile makeover, dentists can often end up with a less than ideal result. The 4-8-10 rule means that in most veneer cases the most appropriate treatment plan is either treating teeth 7 to 10 or treating the anterior 8 to 10 teeth.

If the patient is happy with his or her teeth color or we can bleach the teeth to an acceptable shade, then often the best and most conservative approach is to veneer the anterior four teeth.

However, if the patient wants to make a dramatic change in the color of his or her teeth, then we need to evaluate all the teeth that show in the patients’ broadest smile. It is these teeth that will require veneers. In most people the first premolars are prominent in their smile, and in many patients the second premolars can be seen in a broad smile. The number of teeth displayed determines how many teeth need to be esthetically restored.

Common Mistake No. 5: Staining under veneers

A common problem I see when consulting with patients about redoing veneers that have recently been placed by other dentists is staining under the veneer.

Figure 3 is a dramatic example of a young lady who came into our office this summer. The four veneers were placed six months earlier, and within days the staining was noted. Although often blamed on “microleakage,” staining is the result of using a ferric sulfate solution as a hemostatic agent. Figure 4 shows what the prepared teeth looked like when we removed the original veneers. This black pigmentation is very typical of what will happen when ferric sulfates are used around all ceramic restorations.

Common Mistake No. 6: Failure to photograph the caseIf hemostatic agents are needed around veneers, the dentist should use products that contain aluminum chloride as the hemostatic agent. Viscostat CLEAR (Ultradent) and Expasyl (Kerr) both contain aluminum chloride and are excellent hemostatic materials.

Proper photography of any esthetic case is very important on many different levels. Most importantly, pre op and post op photography are your legal documentation of the case. In the very rare event that your cosmetic dentistry comes under legal scrutiny, X-rays and study models will be nowhere near as important as your photography of the case. I feel so strongly about this that I will not start a case without complete photo documentation.

The photography of the case will be extremely helpful in allowing your ceramist to see everything that you see clinically. From face shape, complexion and lip fullness, to stump shades and provisionalization, photos will help an experienced ceramist provide you and your patient with an even better result.

Before and after photos of completed cases are placed in our book of completed cases, displayed on the walls of our office and posted on our Web site. Photography of well-done cases can be a wonderful marketing tool.

Common Mistake No. 7: Take two “perfect” final full-arch impressions

It may sound unnecessary, but I feel it is very important with cosmetic cases to take two final full arch impressions. I have done this for the last 10 years, and for 10 years I have never had my ceramist ask me to bring the patient back to retake an impression. Even if the first impression looks perfect, I still take a second. When a model is poured up in the lab and trimmed under a microscope, there is always a chance that I did not see a void at a margin.

The last thing I want to do is call patients who have just given me a lot of money and trust me with their new smiles to tell them we have a problem and they need to return for another impression. This does nothing to build patient confidence in my ceramist or me. I have always felt it was well worth the time and effort to send two “perfect” impressions.

Common Mistake No. 8: Failure to communicate with the patient

Usually when I see one of my own patients or a patient for a second opinion who has an issue with the final esthetic outcome of a veneer case, the most common problem is miscommunication. I have learned the hard way that it is critical to take as much time as necessary to listen to and discuss the patient’s goals for cosmetic dentistry.

Common Mistake No. 9: Starting a case that should have never been startedTo be very clear about what the patient wants, we use diagnostic wax-ups, computer imaging, and our library of before and after photos. Conversely, we take a lot of time discussing our limitations as they specifically relate to the patient’s case. If we recommend orthodontics or periodontal surgery and the patient declines, we must be very clear (verbally and in writing) that this will have a negative effect on the outcome. Similarly, multiple missing teeth, previous dentistry in Hollywood, FL, a hyperactive upper lip, a poor skeletal relationship, etc., can have an impact on the final result and should be discussed and documented.

Mistake No. 8 leads to Mistake No. 9. During the course of communicating with a patient there can be clinical issues, psychological issues, philosophical issues or personality issues that indicate you are not the correct dentist for a particular patient. There are many different factors that can lead to declining a particular patients’ treatment. But the most important thing is to understand that it is appropriate and in everyone’s best interest to say no sometimes.

Certainly for all of us there can be clinical factors that make a case more challenging than we expected. But there are also personality issues that can come into play. If during the communication process you get the feeling you cannot make this person happy, chances are you probably can’t. Over the years I have learned the hard way that I do not have to treat everyone who comes into my office. My mentor, Dr. Ross Nash, says some of his best cosmetic cases are the ones he never started.

Common Mistake No. 10: Failure to have the proper education

Porcelain veneers may be one of the most difficult procedures we can perform. There are so many critical esthetic and functional considerations that must be accounted for to ensure a great result. This is certainly not the sort of procedure that can be learned with a one-weekend course. Veneers require a significant amount of time dedicated to learning and study.

We can gain tidbits of good information from journals. We can begin to get comfortable with basic concepts in a well-delivered lecture. But it is over-the-shoulder training, model work, and live patient education that can really help an inexperienced dentist become better quickly.

I had the honor of practicing with Dr. Ross Nash for five years. During that time I had the opportunity to watch and learn from one of the best how to do veneers correctly and conservatively. It is possible to get similar training with over-the-shoulder and live patient courses. Dr. Nash provides these courses. I have also had the opportunity to take other advanced training courses from Dr. Larry Rosenthal (Aesthetic Advantage), Dr. Bill Dickerson (LVI), Dr. David Hornbrook (the Hornbrook Group), Dr. John Cranham and Dr. Joe Blaes.

All of these dentists have helped me improve my technique and broaden my understanding of the complex issues involved in porcelain veneers.

I would strongly encourage any dentist who wants to provide porcelain veneers to get a good educational foundation before starting to prep teeth on paying patients. Many of the second opinions and redos I see in my office are cases done by dentists who lacked experience and training.


The above is a list of issues that I frequently see, and when you avoid these mistakes you will enjoy more consistent success with your porcelain veneer cases. One of the greatest services we can provide is taking an unhappy and self-conscious person and rebuilding their smile into something they have only dreamed of having. Professionally, it is the most rewarding service I provide.

Because of what we can now do with porcelain veneers to change people’s smiles, the entire perception of dentistry is dramatically changing in a positive direction. To continue this trend we need to do our best on each esthetic case.

These “mistakes” are easy to overcome if we recognize that they exist.

RELATED Choosing the Perfect Shaped Porcelain Veneers 

Share With Your Friends:

Back to Press Center


What a great experience at the dentist!! I wish I had found these guys years ago, maybe I wouldn't be so afraid of the dentist. Thought I needed a root... read more

Craig Balsam (Wellington, FL)

No teeth fell out mid cleaning. 10/10

Erik Purdy (West Palm Beach, FL)

This is the best dentist in the world who really cares about each and every patient and makes your smile look perfect! After visiting the new office you will be... read more

Kseniia Dursinova (Sunny Isles, FL)

I switched my dentist because i was dissatisfied with their service and decided to go to Dr.Gorbotov's office for my wisdom tooth extraction. I never thought I would see the... read more

Oleg Solovey (Sunny Isles, FL)

The dentist fit me in last minute when my normal dentist was unavailable I tried them on the recommendation of a friend after I broke a veneer and had 3... read more

Mark Krawiec (Hollywood, FL)

From the minute I walked in the dr Gorbatov office till the and of my treatment I was pleasantly surprised with professionalism and care of Dr and his staff. I... read more

Anna (Hollywood, FL)

Jessica at the front has helped me tremendously and the Dr has made the large amount of work that I have had done painless

Celeste Clossin (Wellington, FL)

Hello, Dr.Gorbatov is truly THE BEST ,so please just forget about all the rest! I truly witnessed MIRACLE IN MAKING!!! My sister now have a MOVIE STAR SMILE! Thank you... read more

Valnea Del Bianco (Hallandale Beach, FL)

I feel I have the best care possible under Dr. Gorbatov and his team. His work is top quality and because of him I know my teeth and the health... read more

Alex P. (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

I have lived and worked all over North America. One of the greatest challenges of relocating is finding the best dental practice. "Center For Dental Excellence" was recommended to me... read more

Gregory Sutton (Wellington, FL)

Benjamin R. (West Pam Beach, FL)

Wonderful service

Noel Reyes (Lake Worth, FL)

I have been having a lot of issues with my teeth for quiet some time, including broken molars and bad procedures at other dental facilities. I came to Dr. Gorbatov... read more

Felix Spengler (Miami, FL)

Great staff I was nervous but they made me feel at ease. I am confident that they will give me the smile that I airways wanted. The receptionist personality is... read more

Uuggh uggh (West Palm Beach, FL)

For me, dental work always came with the presumption of pain and discomfort. That's why it was always very difficult to get any recommended work done, because all I'd have... read more

Iry T. (Hallandale Beach, FL)

My experience was great.Doctor is very professional.I really recommend.The best place to go for your dental.

Olga Meverden (Sunny Isles Beach, FL)

Excellent Service! Friendly, Clean and Prompt!

Deidre Reid-Thomas (West Palm Beach, FL)

I have been Dr. Gorbatov's patient for over 8 years and have always received excellent service. The facility and staff are wonderful. I would highly recommend A Center for Dental... read more

Teresita Camacho (Lake Worth, FL)

I went to the office to get teeth cleaning! The receptionist was overwhelmed with something, but she was the sweetest. My dental hygienist did great job, made sure I feel... read more

Elizaveta C. (Miami, FL)

Excellent service , friendly & professional !!!

Mauricio Bonifacio (Sunny Isles, FL)

Good quality office, and dental work.

Igor Gonchar (Hallandale Beach, FL)

The receptionist goes above and be on for the customers. Excellent service the doctor treats you with all his attention feels like I’m right at home and explain everything detailed.... read more

Sophie Garcia (Royal Palm Beach, FL)

Thank you doctor for my beautiful smile!

V V (Hollywood, FL)

Love Dr. Gorbatov! He is skilled, professional, thorough, nice, and always keeps me comfortable. The assistants and office staff are great too. I highly recommend Dr. Gorbatov!

fannabl (Hallandale Beach, FL)

Wonderful facility and staff, very professional.

(Sunny Isles, FL)

Very good cleaning

Riley Purdy (West Palm Beach, FL)

Painless, professional and efficient. Dr Gorbatov is great!

Suzanne Wilt (West Palm Beach, FL)

Great service Knowledgeable doctor Friendly staff 5+ stars!! Someone hacked into my account and gave false review. Not me!!! Outstanding service @ Dr Gorbatov Dentistry!!!!

Ellen Zlobinskiy (Hallandale Beach, FL)

High-level professionals. Thank you, Dr. Gorbatov. I'm going to recommend your clinic to my friends. With best regards!

Vlad Shishko (Sunny Isles, FL)

Love the staff and great service!!

Rebeca Saravia (Dania Beach, FL)

Dr. Gorbatov is an outstanding dental surgeon and professional in every sense of the word. He and his entire staff are wonderful--- by far the most knowledgeable and compassionate of... read more

Salt&Light (West Palm Beach, FL)

Dr. Gorbatov is an excellent dentist. I went to several other dentist and they all wanted to do a root canal, but Dr. Gorbatov was able to save my tooth.... read more

Arthur Rubinovich (Sunny Isles, FL)

Dr. Gorbatov is an excellent dentist whose main priority is making sure his patients are comfortable and get the best dentistry he can offer. He provides an attentive service, and... read more

Natallia Harbacheuskaya (Hollywood, FL)

I’ve been coming here for almost 10 years now and can surely say that the customer service provided is one of the best in town. Make sure to be nice... read more

Hype Kay (Royal Palm Beach, FL)

I recommend this place to anyone that needs any type of dental work done , I always feel welcome from the moment i sign in untill my visit is over... read more

Lyn F (Wellington, FL)

I would like say that this office is at the TOP of my list. The staff is awesome, it is very clean and you made at home as soon as... read more

Jazlyne Jimenez (Lake Worth, FL)

I know Dr. Gorbatov and use his service already for 15 years since we moved to Florida. He is an amazing doctor capable to do all types of dental and... read more

Eugenia Aulov-Volchek (Sunny Isles Beach, FL)

The dentist is very friendly and gentle during procedures.

Sofie M (Sunny Isles Beach, FL)

I finally found a great dentist who does its all, root canals, caps, and implants. I needed major work on my mouth all at once, although it was expensive because... read more

Diane O’Brocki (Loxahatchee, FL)

Had an amazing experience. Staff was very caring and nice. They are very honest

Billie Selinsky (Wellington, FL)

Entire office & staff is very accommodating and attentive to all your needs. The dentist was very nice and professional and really took the time to explain to me everything... read more

Tiffany D. (Hollywood, FL)

This is IT!!!! As good as it gets!!! If you want a celebrity smile call his number.

Jacob F. (Miami)

I've been looking for a good dentist since So. FL lacks them. Not anymore, great professional services, and best of all, you will find a personal touch. You will truly... read more

ML GG (Hollywood, FL)

Absolutely amazing. Jess and Jessica at the front made me feel so comfortable and helped me conquer my fear of the dentist. The office is clean and welcoming I completely... read more

Hayley Kaplan (Wellington, FL)

Very professional office. Good dentist.Clean dental office

Anna K. (Hollywood, FL)

I want to say that I never write reviews. However I have to say that this dentist center is amazing! From the moment you enter you feel like family. Everyone... read more

Lisa Jerkins (Wellington, FL)

I had a procedure done by Dr. Gorbatov, it was amazing, I didn't feel anything, he has very gentle hands and techniques and I didn't even feel the shot! I... read more

Jessica Y Montero (West Palm Beach, FL)

Very professional nice staff great service.

(Aventura, FL)

Loved coming here, very nice Doctor and wonderful experience with a great cleaning. Receptionist is awesome too.

Lina Lobo (Greenacres, FL)

I are retired dentist and visit dr Gorbatov,s office like a patien for dental works. We graduate the same school New York university and l can tell you the dr... read more

Shmuil Aronovich (Hallandale Beach, FL)

Well I’ve been going to Dr. Gorbatov since 1996.... Yes ! I’m a loyal. With all the dental issues I’ve had, he’s been able to resolve them and been keeping... read more

Burke Crump (Wellington, FL)

Incredible how I was just taking my mother to her dentist appointment to me ending up becoming a patient, Jessica greeted me with such warmth and compassion and immediately noticed... read more

Aracelis Figueroa (Wellington, FL)

Fast service and the best staff! I highly recommend this Dentist. I've been going to this Dentist for 2 years and I travel far now just to come here. They... read more

Christine (Orlando, FL)

Everyone in the office is super amazingly fantastic! They're informative and understanding. Dr. Gorbatov has done great work on my teeth! The dental hygienist has been a charm, makes every... read more

John Kern (Hollywood, FL)

I have been going to this office now for the past 3 years. From Jessica working the front, to having my teeth cleaned, and both Drs. working on my teeth,... read more

Joanne Purdy (Wellington, FL)

Awesome service. Highly recommended

Iliana Gonzalez (Royal Palm Beach, FL)

When I first found this office I was terrified of the dentist and I had constant anxiety when seeing dentists. Now I look forward to cleanings and my anxiety is... read more

Hayley Kaplan (Wellington, FL)

I was very fortunate to find Dr. Gorbatov right when I had a major issue with an old crown that fell off and led to a major infection just a... read more

Octavian Miron (Aventura, FL)

Since me and my wife moved to Florida from Nj several years ago, we were looking for good dentist, the one we can trust. We tried a few but were... read more

Tatiana Lapushchik (Hollywood, FL)

I always have a great experience when I come here, the staff is wonderful and I would not change my dental office for anything in the world.. Jessica is amazing... read more

Shiloh Robinson (Wellington, FL)

I had been looking for a dentist for a few months and I was referred to Dr. Gorbatov and I can certainly see why. I've always been a little skeptical... read more

Jazlyne Jimenez (Hallandale Beach, FL)

Thank you personally and from the bottom of my heart for the kindness and consideration you showed my mom, Catherine the other day! ?

Patrizia Rondelli (Hollywood, FL)

I've been looking for a good dentist since So. FL lacks them. Not anymore, great professional services, and best of all, you will find a personal touch. You will truly... read more

ML GG (Aventura, FL)

S u p e r b ...Immaculate dentistry! I was impressed with a GREAT attention to details! His work is truly an ART and priceless! Everyone in the office is... read more

Gordana Skracic (Aventura, FL)

Dr. Gorbatov placed an implant for me, I am extremely happy with the result, I had absolutely no pain during the procedure after few month doctor put a crown, looks... read more

Sergey Kasatkin (Sunny Isles Beach, FL)

I have been with the dentist for a few years now and love the care I receive. You are taken care of from the front desk person, through your visit!... read more

Juan Rodriguez (Greenacres, FL)

Been going here forever and they do an excellent job with all your dental needs and even with cosmetic dentistry as well!

Lauren Harris (Lake Worth, FL)

I had a great experience with Dr. Dmitry Gorbatov. He was able to save my tooth from getting a root canal. All the staff was really nice, and attentive. I... read more

Arthur R. (North Miami Beach, FL)

This is the Best Dental Office I ever was. Great personality, gentle touch and perfectionism in all aspects of cosmetic dentistry. Thank you Dr. Gorbatov for creating Smile I always... read more

Yuriy Gorobets (Hallandale Beach, FL)

Thank you Dr. Gorbatov for the great experience, your gentle touch and quality work you have done on my teeth. I have been very pleased with your professional, yet personable... read more

Irina D. (Port Orange, FL)

Very helpful and amazing response time! Found them on Instagram and I'm happy I did!

Cece Esk (Hollywood, FL)

I take my 90yr great grandmother to this office and they are so kind and she feels so loved here. Every visit she receives excellent service and quality work. Thank... read more

Farron Ann (Wellington, FL)

Very happy with quick service, suggestions & prices. Will be a repeat customer

Jaclyn Franceschini (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Had a great experience with Dr.Gorbatov, he is really professional and doing great his job always with a smile)) Definitely recommending him

Tanya Kusiumova (Sunny Isles Beach, FL)

First time here the staff and Dr were so informative and professional thank you for making my experience run so smooth ?

Evelyn Garcia (Greenacres, FL)

Very high professionalism, excellent atmosphere and responsiveness of employees have made this business one of the best. A well-functioning team led by one of the best professionals of the US... read more

Lili Ivanova (Sunny Isles Beach, FL)

The atmosphere in this office is beyond believe, I instantly felt comfortable with Dr Dimitiri and his assistant Yuri. They work great together. I had 6 veneers put in and... read more

Ruslan Gahramanov (Sunny Isles Beach, FL)

Dr. Gorbatov was very thorough and went over all concerns I had (I'm not really a fan of the dentist). He is definitely the nicest Dentist I have ever been... read more

Sofia Rodriguez (Hallandale Beach, FL)

A Center for Dental Excellence is fantastic. They’re understanding and extremely competent. Not only is the dental care itself excellent, but their quality of caring about their patients is unparalleled.... read more

Haylee J (Aberdeen, FL)

Very impressed with Dr. Gorbatov's ethics. He truly cared about my situation, the fact that I was from another city and had limited time off of work to address my... read more

Tatiana Safonova (Sunny Isles Beach, FL)

I have been going to Dr Gorbatov at A Center For Dental Excellence for many years now and their use of "Excellence" isn't just a marketing ploy and they definitely... read more

Lawrence F. (Lake Worth, FL)

You are the best guys! You definitely make me smile more :) Thank you sooooo much! Olga Aksenova ❤️

Olga Axenova (Hallandale Beach, FL)

Book an Appointment
Skip to content


Fill out email and/or message