Tag Archives: cleaning porcelain veneers

Did My Dentist Ruin My Porcelain Veneers

I traveled to another town to have porcelain veneers done by an expert cosmetic dentist. They were stunning. I’ve never been happier about my smile. Yet, just a week after my first checkup with my family dentist they look terrible. They’re dull looking and starting to pick up stains. I told them I had porcelain veneers because the cosmetic dentist told me it’s important to let my family dentist know so they do my cleanings properly. I think they did something to ruin them. What do I do?

Emily

Dear Emily,

Woman covering her mouth with hand.
Not all dentists are created equal

While you did the right thing by telling your dentist about the porcelain veneers, it’s very possible he doesn’t know how they’re supposed to be cleaned. Even if he does, if he didn’t take the time to instruct the hygienist, then it’s very likely that they were the culprits which ruined them.

By any chance did your hygienist use a prophy power jet or anything similar? That would have taken off the glaze of your porcelain veneers. Without the glaze, your veneers will look dull and begin to pick up stains.

You have two options:

  • Have the cosmetic dentist re-polish them to get them shiny again.
  • Have the cosmetic dentist replace them.

Notice both times I said the cosmetic dentist. Your family dentist will likely not know how to do either of those things correctly as they didn’t even know how to clean them. Because they’re the ones who damaged them, they should pay the cost of repairs.

You were smart to go to an expert cosmetic dentist. Too many patients make the mistake of thinking their family dentist can give them a smile makeover. Inevitably, they end up with a disappointing smile. Sometimes they end up with a smile worse than the one they were trying to improve.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader. Check out his beautiful smile guarantee.

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.