My porcelain veneers are only two years old, but they are not as bright as new. My smile makeover does not look fresh anymore. I am disappointed because I thought veneers were colorfast. Although I drink coffee every morning, I never drink more than two cups. The dentist who placed the veneers asked if I smoke or am a heavy coffee drinker. I have an appointment with the dentist in two weeks, but I do not want my dentist to blame me for the discoloration of my veneers. Is there anything I can do to make them look better, or is this something only a dentist can do? – Thank you. Marcello from ATL
Thank you for your question. You are wise to ask how to improve your smile makeover before using products such as abrasive whitening toothpaste that will scratch the surface of your veneers.
Do Porcelain Veneers Stain?
Porcelain veneers are colorfast and covered with a glaze that helps them resist staining. But if the glaze is damaged, it can increase the risk of stains.
Factors that may damage the glaze on porcelain veneers:
- Abrasives – Abrasive whitening toothpaste can create tiny scratches in the glaze that attract stains.
- Dental cleaning or polishing techniques – Power polishing equipment, pumice pace, air-powered cleaners, or acidulated fluoride can etch porcelain veneer glaze and cause stains.
- Tobacco use – Regular tobacco use can cause surface stains on veneers.
- Heavy coffee drinking – If you are a heavy coffee drinker, it may leave surface stains on your veneers.
What Can You Do to Brighten Porcelain Veneers?
Although whitening toothpaste or bleaching gels will not whiten porcelain veneers, either of these methods will help when your veneers do not look new anymore:
- Use toothpaste that will not harm restorative dentistry – Supersmile is non-abrasive toothpaste that removes surface stains on cosmetic dentistry work. But it will not remove deep stains.
- See an expert cosmetic dentist – A skilled cosmetic dentist can polish porcelain veneers, restore their original shine, and refresh your smile makeover. Polishing will increase stain resistance. If the glaze on your veneers is damaged, polishing will not remove the damage, but it will improve discoloration.
Dr. Steven Brooksher, an accredited cosmetic dentist in Baton Rouge, sponsors this post.