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I got veneers almost a year ago now & I am noticing staining between my teeth. I do smoke, but i thought veneers were pretty hard to stain? Should I make an appointment with the cosmetic dentist that did them? I’m still paying on these, almost finished paying them off. I don’t want to continue paying if this is going to get any worse. I can send a pic if you want. Thanks!!
– Kayla from South Carolina
I would like to have a picture of these, because it could be one of a couple of different things going on. Lacking a picture, I will take my best guess.
You’re right that the porcelain itself won’t stain unless the glazed surface is damaged somehow, like with a power polishing machine like Prophy Jet, or with a fluoride treatment with acidulated fluoride. If either of those had happened to you, however, there would be staining across the entire surface of the porcelain veneers.
Since your staining is between the teeth, it seems likely that it is at the margins where the porcelain meets the tooth. There are two or three reasons that this area could be attracting stain. If there is a gap between the porcelain and the tooth, that would be tricky to fix. But my guess is that there is just some area of bonding composite here, and that is pretty easy to polish. But I would go back to the dentist who did these veneers for you and not expect a general family dentist to know how to do this correctly. This area most likely was polished when you had your veneers bonded. It may just need to be re-polished.
When I practiced, I encouraged my porcelain veneer patients to schedule regular re-polishing appointments where my hygienist would use ultra-fine polishing strips in this area and a special ultra-fine aluminum oxide polishing paste, to keep this area as smooth as possible and resistant to stain and plaque accumulation, to prolong the life of the veneers as much as possible. The point is that this is an ingredient of maintenance, and not anything that indicates that the veneers were poorly done. As such, I would expect to pay for this visit. For most patients, any accumulated stain would be minor. If you’re a smoker, though, it would be more obvious.
You can check out my page of tips for porcelain veneers post-operative care where I explain this polishing maintenance and address the possibility of staining.
– Dr. Hall
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does advanced internet marketing for dentists.