Can Porcelain Veneers Be Whitened
Porcelain veneers are a fast and effective treatment for masking dental flaws and transforming the smile. With proper care, porcelain veneers can provide stunning results for 10 years or more.
Porcelain veneers aren’t as prone to stains in the same way that the natural teeth are. Even so, they can discolor over time, leading some to wonder “can porcelain veneers be whitened?.” Kansas City, MO, dentist John Goodman explains how veneers become discolored and what can be done to improve their appearance during patient consultations. For answers to your questions, we welcome you to schedule a appointment.
Why Might Porcelain Veneers Become Discolored?
Porcelain veneers can last ten years or longer with proper care and maintenance. In that time, porcelain veneers may begin to stain. Some things that can cause veneers to become discolored include:
- Highly pigmented foods and drinks: Although porcelain veneers do not stain as easily as the natural teeth, they can become discolored over time from repeated exposure to dark-colored foods and drinks, such as blackberries, coffee, red wine, and spaghetti sauce.
- Damage to the supporting tooth: If a tooth supporting a porcelain veneer becomes damaged, either from an injury or decay, it can cause the natural tooth to turn yellow, which in turn can make the veneer look discolored.
- Aging: The gums tend to recede with aging. This can expose part of the natural tooth supporting a veneer. Because the natural teeth are more prone to staining than veneers, it can be noticeable when gum recession occurs. Sometimes it may seem like veneers are discolored when in fact it’s a discolored, exposed portion of the underlying tooth.
- Old veneers: Older veneers were sometimes made of a more porous porcelain or even plastic. As a result, older veneers have a tendency to stain more than modern veneers.
Do Teeth Whitening Treatments Work on Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain veneers don’t respond to teeth whitening treatments in the same way as natural teeth. At-home whitening treatments tend to have no effect on brightening discolored veneers and professional teeth whitening can’t revive veneers to their original shade of white.
Although whitening treatments aren’t the most effective option for rejuvenating the appearance of veneers, there are other options to enhance the appearance of veneers.
What Can Be Done to Whiten Veneers?
For some people, veneers can be whitened simply with a professional cleaning and polishing. If discoloration is still too significant, veneers may be replaced at our Kansas City practice with a new set of brighter, whiter veneers.
However, the best way to keep veneers looking their best is to avoid discoloration in the first place. Some ways to prevent discoloration include:
- Avoid dark foods and drinks, like red berries, coffee, red wine, and sodas
- Brush your teeth after eating or drinking dark colored foods
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating to remove food debris and pigments when brushing isn’t an option
- Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently remove plaque and food remnants and prevent scratching your veneers
- Schedule a dental exam and cleaning every six months
Schedule a Consultation
If your veneers are starting to become discolored, we welcome you to send us a message at our Kansas City practice to discuss ways that we can brighten your smile.