I have four porcelain veneers. They have stayed very white and I have been pleased with them. However, there was a change after my most recent dental cleaning. There is a small gray stain at the top of one of the veneers at the margin. I am not sure if it is damaged, but do find the timing suspect. Is there a way to fix this?
I am at a disadavantage here of not being able to examine your porcelain veneers. However, I can give you some generalities. Porcelain veneers are both very stain resistant as well as color stable. When they do stain, it is only because of a handful of reasons. In some cases, a porcelain veneer will pick up stains on the edges where the bonding is. These can be polished out and should be considered a regular part of maintenance. Your dentist can do it quickly with special polishing strips at your checkups about once a year or so. This does not sound like what you are talking about.
Another reason for stains on porcelain veneers is on the surface if the glaze that protects the veneers is damaged. This can happen if your hygienist uses something like a power prophy jet or acidulated fluoride during your appointment. This can also happen if you use over the counter whitening toothpaste for an extended period of time. Most people don’t realize that these type of toothpastes use abrasives to whiten the teeth. If this were the type of stains you were having, it would stain over the entire surface of the tooth. If you want a whitening toothpaste that is safe for porcelain veneers, I recommend Supersmile Toothpaste.
If your porcelain veneers are older, say about ten or twenty years, you could be dealing with microleakage. In this case, stain starts right at the edge of the porcelain veneer and involves one to two millimeters of the veneer. It would confine itself to the edge of the porcelain veneer. It this is not addressed it can turn into decay. Unfortunately, the way of repairing this is to replace the porcelain veneer.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michael Weiss.