Question:

I recently had 4 porcelain veneers fitted to my front 4 upper teeth. As their color was to be matched with my existing teeth, I first had the teeth whitened using a bleach/UV light procedure which left the natural teeth very white. The caps were then fitted and the color blended perfectly and I was very pleased with the porcelain veneers. However, they seem to have developed a yellow coloration already (two months) and stand out from my still very white natural teeth. Is there a product you would recommend to help improve their whiteness?


—Tom in London, England

(spelling has been Americanized)


Tom,

There is something wrong with your porcelain veneers. Porcelain is very color-stable. It will not yellow if it is glazed by the laboratory, and I can't imagine that your lab didn't put the glaze on. I have dealt with cases where patients were given what they thought were porcelain veneers and they turned out to be made from a cheaper resin material instead.


If they are truly porcelain veneers, then they are absorbing stain because they weren't glazed, or because someone removed the glaze. That's hard to imagine if they're only two months old. If they truly are porcelain (and I'm skeptical) an expert cosmetic dentist should be able to help you get it bright again. Unfortunately, our referral service doesn't extend to the U.K. Maybe your letter will motivate us to include the U.K. in our listings.


I am assuming that you aren't continuing to bleach your teeth after receiving the porcelain veneers, because if you are, that will make your natural teeth whiter than the the veneers.


It is also possible for certain power polishing equipment used in some dental offices to damage porcelain veneers so that they become rough and gradually turn more yellow.


Good luck,

Dr. David Hall


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By Dr. David Hall

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