Woman Describes Failed Veneer Procedure, Fake Teeth Falling Off

  • Grace Fewell is a marketing manager whose veneers fell off the night after she got them placed.
  • Veneers are glued on top of real teeth, and should last 15 to 20 years before needing replacement.
  • Fewell said her dentist improperly placed her veneers, resulting in bacteria growth and a bad smell.

Veneers, the fake, picture-perfect teeth that influencers can’t get enough of, are supposed to last 15 to 20 years. Grace Fewell’s began falling off the night she got them. 

Fewell, a marketing manager based in Tampa, Florida, told Insider she decided to get veneers last year for a whiter and brighter smile. But Fewell’s dentist incorrectly placed the veneers, which resulted in them popping out of place as she ate and while she slept. 

Veneers are a cosmetic dental procedure where dentists shave down a patient’s natural teeth and glue on a custom-made set of porcelain fakes. Once a person commits to veneers, there’s no reversing the procedure — the fake teeth last about 15 to 20 years before needing replacement. 

Social media might be behind the high demand for the perfect photo-ready smile, and many are flying overseas to get cheap veneers. Though they’re especially popular among celebrities and influencers, musicians like Bad Bunny and Kehlani publicly stated that they regretted the procedure because of discomfort.

A picture of Grace Fewell stretching her mouth to show the top row of her teeth, where one veneer has fallen off.

One of Grace Fewell’s veneers fell off the night she got them in.

Grace Fewell

Fewell, too, still has some regret over her pricey veneers. Along with falling off, Fewell said her initial set of veneers were more yellow than she wanted, and they began to smell bad after bacteria grew in the gaps between her real teeth and fake teeth.

She stopped seeing friends for months until she got her veneers replaced altogether.

“If you’re trying to chase the new TikTok trend, you should really be thankful for what you are given because your body has so many functions that you don’t even realize are important,” she said.

Veneers fell off one after another following a botched procedure

After she got her braces off as a teenager, Fewell discovered she had peg lateral incisors, a condition where the teeth on either side of the top two front teeth are smaller than average. Though she couldn’t afford a permanent fix at the time, Fewell decided to look into veneers when she turned 25 and moved to Tampa for work. 

The dentist, who she chose after days of research due to his high Yelp rating, recommended she get veneers placed on her six top teeth for a natural-looking smile. “I was ambitious, I just started a new job,” Fewell said. “I was ready to achieve this look that I was going for, so I went ahead and gave him the thumbs up to start.”

But Fewell said things felt off right from the start. For one, the doctor didn’t take any dental impressions or photos to determine the precise shape of her veneers. And during the 3½-hour-long appointment to shave down, or “prepare,” her teeth, Fewell said the doctor frequently left the room to see other patients.

Fewell said she was disappointed with her final look, which she said was yellower and less uniform than she expected. “I left the office and was not super happy,” she said.

Then, that evening Fewell’s fake teeth began falling off. 

First, the veneer on her right canine fell off while she was eating tofu. The next day, she woke up to another veneer having fallen off into her mouth overnight. And the day after that, another broke loose.

Fewell’s said she rushed to her dentist, but he did not offer any explanation as to why her teeth were falling off. 

Though the dentist glued her veneers back on, they continued to come loose and needed to be readhered repeatedly.

“I thought to myself, ‘What have I done? I’m 25 years old, this should not be happening,'” Fewell said. “I felt like I had no control because I had no idea how to fix this.” 

Fewell stopped socializing after her botched-veneer job

For months after she got veneers, Fewell became anxious before every meal, worried that taking the wrong bite would result in another fake tooth falling off. She avoided talking to coworkers at her new job, and turned down company holiday parties and social gatherings, in fear a veneer would come loose. 

“I basically just sat inside on the couch,” she said. “It really made me sad and depressed, and nasty and reclusive since I didn’t want to see anyone at all.”

Fewell eventually sought another doctor’s help, who told her that her teeth had not been prepared properly the first time. The new doctor said too much of her natural tooth was removed, which is why her veneers kept falling off. The new dentist also noted gaps between her real teeth and veneers, which allowed for bacteria growth that caused her veneers to taste and smell bad, Fewell said.

Grace Fewell lying back in a dentists office with a pair of black safety glasses on, a mask over her nose, and her mouth held open with a silicone mouthpiece.

Grace Fewell’s first dentist improperly shaved down her teeth, which led to her veneers coming out of place.

Grace Fewell

The new dentist suggested Fewell start over again. He took measurements and photographs of Fewell’s teeth, consulted with her on the size and color she wanted, and meticulously re-prepared her teeth for 4½ hours before giving her the smile she wanted.

“I was basically able to go home that day and eat chips for the first time in like five months,” Fewell said. “I was in awe that I was just able to do that.” 

Fewell said she still has some regret over her lifelong dental decision

Fewell ended up spending $9,403 for her final set of veneers. Her failed veneers cost $8,950, but she got that reimbursed in full after sending her original dentist a letter with the guidance of legal counsel.

Though Fewell is happy with her second set of veneers, the experience took a toll on her mental health. She said she wishes she appreciated her real teeth more, or at least listened to her gut when she felt uncomfortable with the first dentist. 

Grace Fewell smiling to show off her new veneers after undergoing her second procedure.

Grace Fewell had to get her initial veneers replaced by another dentist.

Grace Fewell

Fewell also said she wishes she took the lifelong financial commitment to veneers more seriously since she’ll likely need to replace them several times throughout her life.

Fewell advises people interested in veneers to get several quotes and consultations before settling on a doctor. But, if teeth aren’t a big insecurity for you, Fewell said you’re probably better off without veneers. 

“If you have pretty teeth or if you have standard teeth that don’t have any issues that are healthy, you don’t need this procedure,” she said.