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Will My Veneers Look Fake?

February 26th, 2024 | 5 min read

By NYC Smile Design

One of the primary concerns for individuals considering dental veneers is the fear of them looking unnatural or fake. 

At NYC Smile Design, we encounter many patients with this concern, and our experience has equipped us to address it effectively. 

This blog is designed to provide you with essential insights into the aesthetics of dental veneers, drawing from our extensive experience in cosmetic dentistry. We aim to help you understand how veneers can be expertly customized to achieve a natural and appealing look. We will discuss key factors that contribute to the authentic appearance of veneers and guide you on collaborating with your dentist to ensure the best possible outcome for your smile.

Understanding Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are incredibly thin yet strong shells, typically made from materials like porcelain or composite resin. These shells are crafted with precision and are custom-fitted to adhere to the front surface of your teeth. Veneers have gained popularity in cosmetic dentistry for their versatility and effectiveness in addressing a range of dental concerns. They are an ideal solution for teeth that may have become discolored over time due to food, drink, or smoking habits, or for teeth that have minor chips or cracks that affect the smile’s appearance.

How to adhere veneers

Moreover, veneers are often sought by those looking to correct slight misalignments in their teeth or to fill gaps without undergoing  orthodontic treatments. Their transformative ability lies in how they are tailor-made to suit each individual’s dental structure and aesthetic goals.

A crucial aspect of dental veneers is their ability to blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth. This blending is achieved through meticulous color matching, ensuring that the veneers perfectly mimic the shade of your surrounding teeth. This attention to detail in matching and customization is what makes veneers a preferred choice for a natural-looking enhancement. When veneers are expertly applied, it becomes nearly impossible to distinguish them from your natural teeth, allowing you to smile confidently without worrying about them appearing artificial or out of place.

The durability and resistance of veneers to stains also contribute to their appeal, making them a long-lasting solution for a brighter and more uniform smile. With proper care and maintenance, veneers can sustain their appearance and functionality for many years, making them not just a cosmetic enhancement but also a valuable investment in your overall dental health and self-confidence.

Factors Influencing the Natural Look of Veneers

The aesthetics of dental veneers play a significant role in ensuring they enhance your smile naturally. Several key factors contribute to this natural appearance:

Color Matching

One of the most critical aspects of veneer customization is color matching. Veneers need to blend seamlessly with your natural teeth, which is why your dentist takes great care in selecting the right shade. The goal when doing a smaller number of veneers is to match the color of your existing teeth closely so that the veneers complement rather than contrast your smile. Often patients will whiten the teeth they are not veneering, prior to starting their veneer treatment, so they may select a lighter color for their final veneers. When doing all or most of the upper teeth, you have the ability to choose a shade lighter than what you started with.  This careful selection process ensures that the veneers neither stand out as too bright nor appear dull compared to your natural teeth. 

Factors that affect the final color of your veneer include the thickness of the actual veneer, the underlying shade of your tooth beneath the veneer (veneers have translucency), the type of material the veneer is made of,  the surface anatomy created on the veneer (affects the light that bounces off the veneer), the choice of bonding material used to bond the veneer in, the shape and thickness of the patient’s lips (creates shadows and grey tones) and finally the color of the surrounding teeth. It is important that patients should know that overbleached teeth are often a difficult color to match and may require more effort to match. Lower teeth are often naturally darker than upper teeth, so it is not unusual to go slightly lighter with upper veneer shade selection.  

The actual shade selected is composed of a choice of hue (the pure color), value (the lightness or darkness of the color, think shade or tint) and chroma (the brilliance or intensity of the color).  Dentists use special shade guides that include these different variations to customize your actual veneer shade.  Specific dental photography is used to communicate with dental labs the present shade of teeth as well as the shade desired. Taking all of these factors into consideration is the method for finding that perfect balance to create a uniform, natural-looking smile.

Veneer color range

Shape and Size Customization

Veneers are not one-size-fits-all; they are individually crafted to fit the unique characteristics of each tooth in your mouth. Your dentist takes into account the shape and size of your existing teeth to design veneers that maintain the natural contour of your smile. This customization is crucial because veneers that are too large, too small, or too uniformly shaped can look out of place and artificial. The aim is to preserve the unique characteristics of your smile while enhancing its overall appearance, ensuring that the final result looks natural and fits harmoniously with your facial features. For those patients that have worn down their teeth from bruxism, tooth grinding or decay, photographs can be used to help determine the shape and size. If they are not available, factors such as facial shape and length can be used to take careful measurements that can help determine what would look and feel best.


Another key feature of high-quality veneers is their translucency. Just like natural tooth enamel, quality veneers allow light to pass through, giving them a depth and luster similar to that of your natural teeth. This translucency is vital in preventing the veneers from appearing flat or opaque, which can be a giveaway of artificial enhancement. By mimicking the light-handling characteristics of natural teeth, veneers can achieve an incredibly lifelike appearance, making it difficult to distinguish them from your actual teeth.

In summary, the natural appearance of dental veneers is achieved through meticulous color matching, careful customization of shape and size, and ensuring the right level of translucency. These factors work together to create veneers that not only enhance your smile but do so in a way that preserves its natural beauty.

Collaborating with Your Dentist

Achieving veneers that look natural and meet your aesthetic expectations requires effective collaboration with your dentist. Clear communication about your desired outcome is essential. Here’s how different types of veneers can play a role:

  • Porcelain Veneers: Porcelain veneers are known for their durability and natural appearance. They have a translucent quality similar to natural tooth enamel, making them highly effective in mimicking the look and feel of your natural teeth. Their resistance to staining and ability to reflect light contribute to a long-lasting, natural-looking smile.
  • Composite Veneers: Composite veneers are made from a tooth-colored resin material applied directly to the teeth. They are less expensive than porcelain and can be a good option for those seeking a less invasive and more cost-effective solution. While they offer a natural appearance, they may not be as durable as porcelain and might require more maintenance.
Different Veneers

Your dentist will consider these options alongside factors such as your facial structure, natural tooth shape, and overall aesthetic goals. They will guide you in choosing the type of veneer that best suits your needs, ensuring the final result aligns with your vision for a natural and appealing smile. Remember, the key to successful veneer treatment lies in a collaborative approach, where your inputs and your dentist’s expertise come together to create the perfect smile.

Choosing the Right Dentist

Selecting a dentist with experience and expertise in cosmetic dentistry is critical. Reviewing a dentist’s portfolio can be an important step in understanding if a practice could be a fit for you.  A skilled cosmetic dentist, like those at NYC Smile Design, will have the artistic ability and technical knowledge to create veneers that look natural and enhance your overall appearance.

Embracing Your Smile

Dental veneers, when expertly crafted and applied, can transform your smile in a way that looks natural and beautiful. The key to avoiding a fake appearance lies in personalized design, expert application, and choosing the right dental professional. If you are considering veneers and are concerned about achieving a natural look, we encourage you to consult with a cosmetic dentist. At NYC Smile Design, our team is dedicated to helping you achieve a smile that is both aesthetically pleasing and authentically you. Contact us for a consultation to explore how veneers can beautifully transform your smile.