I have porcelain veneers that are only about 14 months old. They’re beginning to pick up stains in between the teeth. While I do smoke, I was told these were very stain resistant. Are mine defective?
It is true that porcelain veneers are very stain resistant. In fact, they are more stain-resistant than your natural teeth. Without an image of the type of staining you are experiencing, I can’t give you any definitive cause. However, I can go over some basic types of staining that can happen with porcelain veneers and what the solution is.
Staining over the Entire Surface
First, if you are experiencing staining over the entire surface of the veneer, then it is likely your glazing has somehow been removed. This can happen when your hygienist uses something like a prophy jet or acidulated fluoride with your cleaning and checkup. Experienced cosmetic dental offices rarely have this occur. However, often people have their cosmetic dentistry done in one place and their general dental work in another. The general dentist’s office may not realize what can damage their veneers.
A second option with staining over the whole surface is when there is a gap between the veneer and the tooth. In this case, food and other bacteria carrying items can get between the two. Not only does that make it look like the porcelain veneers are stained, but it can do severe damage to the teeth bringing on extensive decay.
In either of these cases, the veneers will need to be repaired or replaced at the dentist’s expense.
Staining on the Edges
If there is a gap between the margins of the veneers and the tooth, that is a tricky fix, but it would need to be done because decay will again be an issue. However, much of the time, it is just an area of composite bonding there. When your dentist placed your veneers, he polished that up well. Over time, they will pick up some stains that can be easily polished out again. This should be considered regular maintenance for your new smile. As a smoker, yours will be more obvious than others so you’ll want to keep up with that maintenance.
When you go back in to have them polished, go to the dentist who originally did your porcelain veneers. Your family dentist may not know the method or even have the necessary tools to do the procedure.