When I first got my porcelain veneers they were really white. Lately, they’ve been picking up my coffee stains. I don’t want to give up coffee, but I’d like to get them as white as they were again. I know that over the counter whitening won’t work, because I tried it, but would the whitening from my dentist work?
I am glad you wrote. How you handle this will depend on the reason for the stains. The glaze on your porcelain veneers is extremely stain resistant. In fact, they are more stain resistant than even your natural teeth. This would repel even coffee stains, except maybe for temporary surface stains. The solution to that would be to get Supersmile toothpaste. This uses a chemical enzyme which safely removes surface stains from both natural teeth and cosmetic dental work. Never use the type of whitening toothpastes that are commonly sold. Most of them contain abrasives that will damage both your natural teeth and your dental work.
However, if the glaze has been removed from your porcelain veneers, this will not work. Unfortnately, neither will teeth whitening, which only works on natural tooth structure. There are a few things that can damage the glazing on your porcelain veneers. Two of them can happen at your dentist’s office, so I will start with those.
1. The use of a Power Prophy Jet. Don’t allow your hygienist to use this on your cosmetic work, or even dental crowns. This will completely remove the glazing on your dental work and it will not take long for the veneers to pick up stains.
2. Acidulated fluoride. This won’t completely remove the glaze, but will etch it, giving you pockets of stains.
One thing you can do that will damage the veneers is using the type of whitening toothpastes that are commonly sold. Most of them contain abrasives that will damage both your natural teeth and your dental work.
If the glazing has been removed or damaged you have a couple of options. The first is to replace them. If your dentist damaged them because of one of the things mentioned above they should help with that cost. A second option is to see an expert cosmetic dentist who has the skills and equipment to polish them back to their original shine. It will not be the same as the glaze, but it will remove the stains as well as help them to avoid stains a bit better. From there, Supersmile toothpaste will really help keep the stains off.
This blog is brought to you by East Cobb Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.