I have been pretty happy with my new porcelain veneers. However, last week I noticed a small scratch on one of the front ones. When I went back into my cosmetic dentist, he acted like it was no big deal. He said he wanted to buff it out. He used a thin polishing tool with something he called cups. The original issue was fixed. But, now the glaze is gone in the area of the veneer right around the old scratch. Do you think this area will stain since the glaze is gone?
It doesn’t look bad or feel different. But, I can tell there is a spot that is missing the glaze now.
-Beatrice in Kansas
Thank you for your question. Your gut is correct. An area of the porcelain veneer that doesn’t have proper glaze will pick up stain. Your cosmetic dentist should know better.
Unfortunately, in regard to cosmetic dentistry, any dentist can make the claim to be a cosmetic dentist without any additional training beyond dental school. That’s not to say your dentist isn’t trained properly. But, leaving an area susceptible to staining isn’t what you’d expect from an experienced, excellent cosmetic dentist.
There is a technique that can be used to fix the scratch and still polish it to match the original glaze. In order to properly polish porcelain, a diamond polishing tool and polishing paste is the way to go. Then, to finish the repair, an ultra-fine polishing paste works well. This knowledge doesn’t mean your dentist isn’t an expert. But, it will require a thorough understanding of the process and materials in order to return the veneer to the original state.
If you are happy overall with the porcelain veneers placed by this dentist, it would be okay to go back to see him. But, if you have any doubt about his ability or understanding, it may be best to seek a second opinion. If you decide to stay with the original dentist, you need to request a higher shine. Also, you can mention that you inquired with another cosmetic dentist that has suggested the Brasseler’s Dialite porcelain polishing system. As long as he is receptive, that system should give you the glossy shine you’d expect from refinishing a porcelain veneer.
Hopefully it all works out with no other issues. Best of luck!
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS