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How is my porcelain veneer stained already?

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My ugly front teeth drove me nuts. Porcelain veneers were placed on my front four teeth and I couldn’t be happier. That is, until a cleaning appointment I had last year. Since then I have been watching this little gray stain begin to take shape on the very edge of one of my veneers. Is there anything that can be done to fix this? I wouldn’t think that I should have to worry about my porcelain veneers getting stained, but maybe I’m wrong? Any insight is appreciated.

– Bill in North Carolina

Bill,

It is always difficult to give specific recommendations without having seen a photograph if the issue or having seen you in person. Also, you failed to mention how much time has passed since you had the porcelain veneers placed.

Typically, porcelain veneers are very highly stain resistant. Actually they are more stain resistant than your natural teeth. When porcelain veneers become stained, it is usually due to a couple different issues. It is possible that the glaze has been compromised. Sometimes this happens at a cleaning with powerful polishing devices or even from some of the cleaning agents that are used. The other possibility is that something has gotten between the veneer and the tooth which is causing the discoloration.

If the veneers are ten years or older and the staining seems to be confined to the edge of the veneer, then is is possible there is some leaking taking place. The margin of the veneer may have begun to break down and some bacteria or particles may be causing the gray stain you are describing. If this sounds like what is happening, you need to get into see your cosmetic dentist and have it checked out. You could be at risk for an increase in tooth decay from an issue like this.

On the other hand, if the stain is on the surface, then it is possible that it could be polished out. Sounds like it’s time to get back into the office and have the dentist investigate things. You want to be proud to show off your smile and not concerned about the stain. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Lexington cosmetic dentist Hamburg Expressions.