I have considerable abrasions/erosion of my teeth along the gumline caused by brushing my teeth too roughly in the past.
If I get porcelain veneers, will the treated teeth be prone to staining and cavities along the edge of the gum because of the abrasions?
Does having porcelain veneers, since the protective enamel layer of the teeth is removed in the process, make your teeth especially vulnerable to cavity, decay, and staining, even if you are very conscientious and diligent in your oral hygiene regiment?
Is staining inevitable with veneers?
Upon first having them bonded, how long do they last before they become stained?
How much does it typically cost to have the margins professionally polished?
And how often must this be done?
Please consider my questions under the hypothetical condition that good, regular oral hygiene is maintained.
Also, is it necessary to severely restrict yourself from enjoying a lot of foods and drinks in order to increase the lifespan of the veneers and avoid/prevent staining?
– Lauren from Massachusetts
Wow, you’ve got a lot of questions! I’m not going to have time to answer them all, but I’ll try to help you understand your situation.
Dentists for many years thought that the notches that occur on your teeth next to the gumline are from brushing too hard. While aggressive brushing can wear away your teeth, recent studies have shown that in most cases, these notches are from biting stress, otherwise known as bruxism. Clenching and grinding your teeth causes them to flex at the neck of the tooth, at the gumline, and this causes weakness at this spot and you end up with notches there. Click here for more information about grinding and other TMJ problems.
Porcelain veneers should cover up any of these notches. But the cosmetic dentist would be wise, before placing porcelain veneers, to find out if the patient has a bruxism problem, and to address that problem in order to maximize the lifespan of the veneers.
And porcelain veneers are very stain-resistant. They can pick up some stain, but they stain less than your natural teeth. My best advice for handling the stain is to use Supersmile toothpaste every day to help maintain the veneers.
And you shouldn’t really have to restrict your diet with porcelain veneers. If they are well made, they are very resistant to new tooth decay or other problems. You would be wise, however, to follow good oral hygiene habits – brushing and flossing daily – to help protect your investment. As far as eating, the best thing you could do would be to avoid frequent snacking. If you’re nibbling potato chips or other snacks frequently during the day, that could cause decay problems along the edges of the veneers.
I hope this is helpful.