Tag Archives: porcelain crowns

Why Are My Porcelain Veneers Staining?

I thought porcelain veneers were supposed to last for years. I’m really discouraged. I saved up for years to get them.  When they were first put on I felt like I could smile without embarrassment for the first time in years. But, they only lasted until my first dental cleaning (six months later).  Just a few weeks after that, they’ve started picking up stains– stains I can’t get off with brushing. What’s going on?

Elisabeth T.

Elisabeth,

Because they started picking up stains right after your first cleaning, I suspect you had a run in with a power cleaning tool at the dentist. Is it possible you had a hygienist who is new and inexperienced with cosmetic dentistry? If she used anything like a prophy jet, then the glaze has likely been removed from your porcelain veneers. That would definitely lead to them picking up stains.

If that’s the case, they should replace them. You’re right that porcelain veneers should last for years, especially if you’re taking care of them.

Be careful not to use anything like a whitening toothpaste on them. Those contain micro-abrasive materials which can scratch the surface of your veneers causing gunk to build up in the scratches.

There is a special toothpaste you can use that’s designed specifically for cosmetic work. Supersmile is one of the best.  However, that won’t help you until your glaze is restored. Very few dentists know the diamond polishing technique that can restore it. In all likelihood, your dentist will need to replace them. He’ll also need to educate his staff on how to handle porcelain veneers during cleaning visits. The same thing can happen to other dental work, such as porcelain crowns.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Should my crowns touch my other teeth?

Hello,

I have had several crowns, and I was recently fitted for two new crowns. One of them is going to be a porcelain crown and the other gold. The upper rear and adjacent molars are the two teeth that I’m referring to. The end product is leaving a gap of at least one millimeter or so from the bottom teeth which also have crowns on them. I was under the impression that they should touch the opposing teeth. Was this done correctly? I’d like to know because I think I need to have another one done on the other side.

– David in Pennsylvania

David,

To answer your question, yes, a dental crown should touch the opposing tooth. So much goes into the study of how teeth come together. This study is called occlusion and is very in depth. There are many factors that dictate precisely how and where crowned teeth touch.

Another important factor to consider is how the upper and lower teeth come together in regard to how your jaw and bite function. A properly aligned jaw should have all your teeth touching at the same time when you clench your jaw. There are two patterns of occlusion when moving your teeth from side to side. The first is called canine-protected occlusion where only your canine teeth are touching. The canines are designed to handle the additional sideways stress because they have longer tooth roots.

The other pattern of occlusion for side to side movement is called group function. This means that when you grind your teeth sideways, all of the posterior teeth touch evenly because they are sloped similarly.

You may or may not have heard about a test that a dentist can use to check your bite. A thin plastic strip is placed between your back teeth. The strip is very thin, approximately 0.05 millimeters thick. Basically, wherever the strip is placed on the back teeth, you should be able to keep the strip in place while the dentist tries to remove it. Your bite should hold it in place.

Even if your back teeth are touching, they still may not be touching correctly. In turn, this could throw your bite out of alignment. This is serious because it is one of the factors involved with TMJ disorder.

This post is sponsored by Newton, MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

Related link: TMJ therapy

Have you heard of a dentist wanting to place a crown on each tooth?

I am an adult that wore braces as a teen. I thought this took care of my misaligned teeth. But the other day the dentist told me that my bite was off and that he wanted to place a porcelain crown on every single tooth. Do you know if this is appropriate? I want a smile that looks nice but this sounds extreme to me.

– Linda in New Jersey

Linda,

That is a very aggressive treatment plan, especially with the dentist stating that your bite is off. If you had a major problem with the way your jaw was functioning, then a full mouth restoration may make sense. It is difficult to interpret what his reference to your bite being off is really addressing without actually seeing your case firsthand. Truthfully, everybody has a bite that is off in some way or another.

That said, TMJ disorder is a very serious condition that can cause your teeth to be worn down, as well as painful headaches. Sometimes when a TMJ dentist is treating this condition, porcelain crowns may be placed on each tooth. But again, a full mouth restoration is extremely complex. If this is the situation you are in, you need to make sure the dentist if very well trained in post-graduate courses in TMJ. There are specialized institutes like the Pankey Institute or the Las Vegas Institute that are nationally known for treating TMJ. Another treatment that is a more of a typical first step is a removable splint to test a new bite alignment. At that point if the problem is not remedied, crowns may be the next step.

It sounds like it may be beneficial to seek the opinion of at least one other dentist, specifically one that is experienced in treating TMJ.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

Missing front teeth

When my daughter was in elementary school, she had a playground accident that damaged her two front teeth. They ended up having root canals and crowns put on them. She keeps getting these bumps on her gums that indicate infections. She’s 22 now, and we’re thinking these teeth need to be replaced. She’s very self-conscious about her teeth. My husband and I want her to feel good about her smile. Is there a tooth replacement specialist? What should we look for? I don’t mind paying extra for good care. I just don’t want to pay exorbitant fees.

Seliana G. from Oklahoma City

Seliana,

I would recommend getting dental implants and crowns. When done right, they look and function just like healthy natural teeth. She’ll feel very good about her smile. You do have to be careful you go to someone with adequate expertise both in placing implants and in artistic cosmetic dentistry.

Make sure the dentist you choose has done a lot of post-graduate training with dental implants. This isn’t a regulated part of dentistry, so any general dentist can place them. That is fine if they’re qualified. One way to find a good cosmetic dentist is to look on the mynewsmile.com website. They recommend artistic cosmetic dentists by state. You’ll still want to ask about their implant training.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.