I loved my porcelain veneers from the second I saw them. I felt beautiful, confident and it changed my whole demeanor. But, after only two years, I’m not loving them so much anymore. After the first year, I started noticing some light staining on them. I couldn’t figure out if it was something I was doing. But, my regualar cleaning cleaned them right up. Unfortunately, after only a few weeks from the cleaning, I noticed the stains were coming back again. Is there something that I’m doing at home that’s causing this? I have been trying whitening toothpaste, but it’s not working.
-Shelli in Michigan
Porcelain veneers usually don’t change color for years. They typically keep a smile looking pristine for 10+ years, if they are well maintained. But, it sounds like the protective glazed surface may have been scratched or compromised. Think of it like a porcelain dish being scrubbed with an abrasive pad. It will leave microscopic scratches all over the dish. Then, the dish is susceptible to picking up stains. This is likely what has happened to your veneers. Not only will the stains continue, bacteria and decay will also be a problem.
From what you have described, this is what has occurred with your porcelain veneers. Did you see a cosmetic dentist for your regular cleaning? Most cosmetic dentists know that there are special precautions required when polishing teeth. But, sometimes dental hygienists will use tools that are abrasive and can damage the glaze. That may or may not have contributed to the problem. The other thing you mentioned was teeth whitening toothpaste. That is another no-no. The whitening toothpaste is also too abrasive for porcelain veneers. The whitening agents are harmful and can damage the glaze. The micro scratches collect grime and bacteria over time.
So, the bad news is, you may need to have them redone. Then, moving forward be sure to avoid all whitening toothpastes. Most cosmetic dentists will make their recommendations on a specific brand they prefer. One that is popular among excellent cosmetic dentists is Supersmile toothpaste. It is available online or at some cosmetic dentist offices. Also, when you return for dental cleanings, be sure there is no abrasive polishing equipment or harsh polishing agents used on them. Again, you may want to stick to a reputable cosmetic dentist for cleanings too. Their hygienists will know how to treat your cosmetic dentistry work. That would help prolong and protect your investment. At home, use a soft toothbrush and a gentle toothpaste. You may opt to brush more frequently too.
I wish there was better news about repairing the damaged porcelain veneers. But, once that protective glaze is compromised, there isn’t anything that can be done.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS.