I am planning on asking my cosmetic dentist the same question I am asking you, but want to go into the appointment with as much knowledge as possible. Just over six months ago I had a total smile makeover done on my upper teeth with porcelain veneers. For the bottom teeth, we just did teeth whitening. I chose my cosmetic dentist very carefully and he is one of the tops in the field. The smile makeover itself was stunning and I was thrilled with the results. It cost me quite a bit of money, but I have looked at it as an investment. I’ve been very diligent with my oral hygiene as I want this to last for many years to come. My routine consists of brushing twice a day with Crest 3D Glamorous White Toothpaste, flossing once a day, and then rinsing with Listerine Whitening 6 in one with Fluoride. Despite all this effort, my porcelain veneers have lost their shine. Now they look quite dull instead of having the lovely sheen they had when I first came home with them. I went online where someone suggested I use baking soda. I did, but did not see any improvement. Can you help me here?
I am delighted to hear that you were satisfied with your smile makeover and that you are striving to take such good care of it. Let’s start with what you are using to care for your smile. Both the toothpaste and the mouthwash you are using can cause some minor damage to your porcelain veneers. Nothing to the extent you are describing, but they will contribute. Typical whitening toothpaste at the stores rely on abrasives to remove the stains on your teeth. With porcelain veneers, these abrasives will scratch the veneer and eventually, leave it very susceptible to staining. Listerine, like most mouthwashes, contains alcohol. This will also damage the veneer, but it mostly damages the bonding materials.
As I mentioned before, this isn’t really enough to lead to the amount to anything significant this quickly, I can think of two things that would result in the damage you are describing. The first is if your dentist provided you with composite veneers instead of porcelain veneers. While porcelain is extraordinarily stain-resistant, even more so than your natural teeth. Composite, however, picks up stains quite easily. You said you researched your dentist quite carefully, so I am not inclined to think this is the issue. It would take a very unethical dentist to place composite veneers but call them porcelain.
A second possibility is that your hygienist used something on your porcelain veneers that damaged the glazing. A couple of things you need to avoid during your cleaning/checkup appointments are the power prophy jet and the acidulated fluoride. If you go to a practice that does a lot of cosmetic work, the staff should be well trained enough to know this, but it is always possible you had someone new.
Your dentist can repair this. He should do so at his cost. Once they have that shine again, I want to make sure you have the right toothpaste to care for them. If you want a whitening toothpaste, the only one I recommend for people who have had any type of cosmetic work, especially a complete smile makeover, is to get SuperSmile Toothpaste. This is specially formulated to work with cosmetic procedures. There are no abrasives at all. Instead, it uses knowledge of chemical binding to remove the stains on your veneers. It is 100% safe. As for mouthwash, you can forgo it altogether or look for one that does not contain alchohol.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michasel Weiss.