I thought porcelain veneers were supposed to be very stain resistant. I am a smoker, but I expected my porcelain veneers to last much longer than just one year. It’s been a little over a year and they’re turning an odd yellowish/gray color. What do I do?
Yes, porcelain veneers are stain resistant. In fact, they are much more stain resistant than your natural teeth. If they are picking up stains then something is wrong. You didn’t mention what kind of stains they are. I’ll go over some basic possibilities that may help you.
First, if the staining is just around the edges of your veneers, then it is possible that what is actually picking up stains is the bonding. This would be considered regular maintenance. It is fairly easy and does not cost much. Your dentist will use some special polishing strips to clean that up.
Another possibility is if the staining is mostly at the top of your porcelain veneers. This can happen if your dentist left some margins open. That means that your veneers have a bit of space between their edge and your gums. This is bad, enabling food and other bacteria to get trapped. This will lead to decay and gum disease.
A third possibility is that the veneers are not flush against your teeth the way they should be. If that happens, things can get caught between the veneers and your teeth, again leading to decay. This is usually characterized by staining across the whole tooth, not just the top or edges.
Finally, I should warn you that some dentists are not as ethical (or knowledgeable) as they should be. This means they will actually give you composite bonding but call them porcelain veneers. Unfortunately, these are not as stain resistant and will not last nearly as long.
So how do you know which?
My recommendation is that you see and AACD accredited dentist and have them look at your porcelain veneers. If it is the first issue, you’ve got an easy simple fix. With the next two possibilities, you will need to replace the porcelain veneers. It is up to you whether you have the same dentist replace them, or ask for a refund and then have another dentist do the actual replacement.
If it is the final possibility where he didn’t give you porcelain veneers but told you he did, then I would only ask for a refund. I would not trust that dentist again.
This blog is brought to you by Des Moines Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Phelan Thomas.