I have a question would like you to help me. I have 8 veneers on the fronth teeth and I am wondering will the veneers loosen or break when a hygenist use dental tools to clean along the gumline during regular cleaning? Thank you and I look forward to hear from you.
Vu from Ontario
This is a good question. No, the hygienist won’t pull the porcelain veneers off or break them. They’re too strong for that. But yes, you do need to be concerned about possible damage that a dental hygienist can do to your porcelain veneers–she or he could chip them or dull the surface. It’s safest to have your cleaning done in the office of an expert cosmetic dentist, but if you have this checklist of “no-no’s” to give the hygienist, and you’re up front about what you want the hygienist to do and not do, you could have your veneers cleaned in any office:
- Power polishing equipment will ruin the surface. Some hygienists like to use Dentsply’s Prophy Jet. It’s a power polishing unit that sprays a mixture of sodium bicarbonate and water on your teeth and gets them really clean very quickly. Your porcelain veneers will look great at the end of the appointment, but the glaze will be completely gone and they will begin to stain as soon as you get home. This is the worst thing a hygienist can do to your porcelain veneers. There are other brands of power polishers that will also harm your veneers.
- An ultrasonic scaler can also damage the veneers right on the margins. It can cause little chips on the edges that will then become places where stain and plaque can accumulate and where decay will later start.
- Heavy duty manual scalers can also chip the margins, if they are used right on the margins of the veneers. Sometimes your hygienist needs to use these scalers, but she or he just needs to be careful not to be scraping hard right on the margins.
- Also, coarse polishing pastes with coarse pumice can scratch the veneers a little, and can scratch the luting composite at the margins a lot. Hygienists should only use fine or ultra-fine polishing pastes, preferably with an aluminum oxide grit–no pumice.
- And finally, some dental hygienists like to give fluoride treatments even to adults. Beware, if you have porcelain veneers, that they don’t use acidulated fluoride, which will etch the surface of the porcelain and remove the glaze, similar to what power polishing equipment does. They should use a neutral fluoride gel.
I hope that’s helpful.
For more information, see:
Our page on taking care of porcelain veneers.
We recommend for people with porcelain veneers that they use Supersmile whitening toothpaste daily, because it is so effective at removing stains but yet it is gentle on cosmetic dental work.
Our page on general cosmetic dentistry maintenance, with tips on taking care of various cosmetic dental work.
Click here for a cosmetic dentist referral.
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.
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