BL2 vs BL3 Veneers Color: Difference in Whiteness

Written & Reviewed by Dr David Chen

The colors BL2 and BL3 are bleached shades for veneers and they are both extremely white but the BL2 is slightly whiter than the BL3.

How much whiter is the BL2 you say?

BL2 and BL3 veneer color tabs pulled up
BL3 and BL2 shade tabs

Well, the difference isn’t as big as you’re probably thinking. As a matter of fact, we’d be surprised if you could even recognize someone on the streets with BL2 veneers vs a BL3 shade.

In other words, what we’re trying to say is that the difference in whiteness is negligible in our opinion and we’ll prove it to you.

How white is BL2 and BL3 for veneers?

Both the BL2 and BL3 color are a part of the BL shade family by IVOCLAR. The BL stands for bleached shade and there are four colors in total: BL1, BL2, BL3, & BL4.

Bleach BL shade guide - porcelain veneers
Bleach BL shade guide for porcelain veneers

BL shades ranked in order of whitest to darkest:

  1. BL1
  2. BL2
  3. BL3
  4. BL4

Everything just looks white when you only look at the BL shades, thus we’ve included the full veneer color chart below which shows all of the BL shades as well as B1, A1, A2, A3, and A4.

Veneer color chart with BL shades
Veneer color chart with BL shades

In the image above, the whitest shade is on the left and it gets progressively darker as you move towards the right.

Are these colors natural?

To be crystal clear, NONE of these shades are natural by any means because there isn’t a single human on this planet that naturally have teeth this white.

The only way to get your teeth to these colors is via a combination of teeth whitening and getting porcelain veneers bonded onto your teeth. Essentially, all of these bleached shades are 100% artificial and unnatural.

Yes, BL2 and BL3 are both unnatural bleached colors for veneers.

In case you were curious, the whitest natural tooth shade would be B1. We’ll compare what BL2 and BL3 look like vs B1 so you get an idea of the difference in whiteness.

Clearly as you can see, both of these two shades are whiter than B1.

Image comparison

Yes, BL3 is slightly darker or less white than BL2 but the difference really isn’t that big. You really have to look very closely in order to even see the difference at times. Then there is also the fact that under certain lighting and backgrounds you may not be able to tell which one is even whiter.

Below are a lot of images that we took of BL2 vs BL3 against various different backdrops.

You can certainly tell the difference in the level of whiteness for certain backgrounds.

Video comparison

If the still photos weren’t enough for you, we also made a video to show you up close what the BL2 and BL3 colors look like. We also compared it to what a dental crown in the shade A1 looks like just to give you some extra perspective.

Video comparison

Are they good veneer colors?

Both the BL3 and BL2 colors are good colors for veneers since they’re whiter than natural teeth. The whole point to getting veneers is to change the color of your teeth so if it doesn’t get whiter, it would’ve been a failed cosmetic procedure.

Overall, most people do choose a bleached shade whenever they get veneers because they want their smile to stand out. They want their mouth to make an impact when they show off their chompers.

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who wants veneers in the A4 shade if you know what we mean. In case you were curious, here is a comparison of the bleached shades vs A4.

Shade A4 in between BL2 and BL3
Shade A4 in between BL2 and BL3

I don’t know about you but I would consider A4 to be a “bad” color for veneers…

Exception: When it can be a bad color

Despite what we’ve just said, there is one situation where choosing one of these two bleached shades can be a bad decision. That is if you’re getting a single veneer done because you chipped a tooth and the rest of your teeth are NOT a bleached shade.

The reason we consider that a bad choice is because if your adjacent teeth are say shade A2 but you choose a BL2 veneer, that would never match. That porcelain laminate will not be able to blend in with the rest of your dentition if you did that.

When you choose colors for your restoration, one of the goals is to make it blend in seamlessly with the rest of your dentition. If it sticks out like a sore thumb, everyone will know that you’ve had dental work done and that isn’t what you want.


Objectively, the BL2 veneer shade is a tad whiter than the BL3 veneer color. However, you do have to look very closely to even be able to tell the difference. They’re both so extremely white that even dentists have a hard time telling at times.

Nonetheless, you really can’t go wrong choosing either of these two shades for your new porcelain laminate veneers. Your teeth will be whiter than average and we can pretty much guarantee that.


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