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How to prevent staining at the margins of the porcelain veneers

Porcelain veneers are more resistant to stains than tooth enamel, but is there a product that can be safely used with veneers to bleach the margins of the tooth where stains may build up? Is it okay to use the commercially available bleach products or do those damage the veneers? Although I don’t drink much coffee, I do drink some so I expect there may be a slow buildup over time.
– Kwan from California

I’m not sure what you mean by “commercially available bleach products.”

If you’re talking about whitening toothpastes, most whitening toothpastes would not be effective at all at removing stains at the margins of your porcelain veneers. Those margins are bonding resin, and ordinary or whitening toothpastes tend to be abrasive and thus hard on that bonding resin. Supersmile toothpaste is great for that. It’s effective at removing stains but is non-abrasive.

Tooth bleaching systems that are used in dental offices, such as Nite White, Zoom, Sapphire, Boost, Kor, Opalescence, etc., are all safe for using with porcelain veneers, but they will selectively whiten the teeth and not the veneers or the bonding resin.

I would not use any over-the-counter whiteners, as you could risk damaging your teeth or your porcelain veneers.

The best prevention for those stains at the margins of porcelain veneers is for the dentist to make that margin as undetectable as possible. If the tooth is prepared slightly with a slight edge at the margin of the porcelain veneer, then when the porcelain is bonded to the tooth, the dentist can create a flush margin that is perfectly smooth. Simple flossing will then keep this clean. This is one disadvantage to Lumineers when the teeth aren’t prepared at all – the dentist ends up with a little bump where the porcelain meets the tooth, and that attracts stain.

If those margins become stained in spite of using Supersmile toothpaste and in spite of being made smooth, I would ask your expert cosmetic dentist to have his hygienist polish those with ultra-fine polishing strips.

This blog is sponsored by Naperville cosmetic dentist Dr. David Newkirk.