Can Veneers Be Whitened?
Porcelain veneers are one of the most versatile cosmetic dentistry treatments. The thin, shell-like restorations bond to the facial surface of the teeth to conceal aesthetic flaws and enhance tooth size, shape, and color. Veneers are long-lasting and are resistant to stains, but they can discolor over time.
People who notice stains or discoloration on their veneers may ask the dentists at Lake Area Dentistry, “Can porcelain veneers be whitened?” Our dental team helps patients from Lake Charles, DeQuincy, and Sulphur, LA, understand how teeth whitening affects veneers and what can be done to enhance the appearance of stained veneers.
What Causes Discoloration and Stains on Veneers?
Veneers are made of semi-translucent porcelain materials that reflect light like natural teeth. Their glazed surface resists discoloration from highly staining foods and beverages, such as tea, coffee, cola, wine, and berries. Unfortunately, veneers wear down over time.
Aging thins veneers and causes the glazed surface to dull. Worn-down veneers are more porous and prone to discoloration and stains from deeply colored foods. Also, as veneers get worn and thin, underlying teeth are more visible, showing through the restorations and making them appear discolored.
How Does Teeth Whitening Affect Veneers?
When teeth are discolored, professional teeth whitening lifts stains and enhances tooth color to brighten the smile. Because teeth whitening works effectively on natural teeth, it is common to wonder how it affects veneers.
Veneers do not respond to professional or over-the-counter teeth whitening like natural teeth. Teeth whitening treatment utilizes hydrogen peroxide-based bleaching agents to erase stains and discoloration. Bleaching agents are ineffective on the porcelain materials used to fabricate veneers. Teeth whitening treatment can make veneer stains and discoloration more prominent because it brightens adjacent natural teeth, making restorations stand out and look dull, yellow, or gray.
What Should I Do If My Veneers Get Stained?
Veneers do not respond to teeth whitening treatment, but there are steps patients can take to minimize stains and brighten their smiles. Professional dental cleaning is effective on minor stains and discoloration. A cleaning polishes veneers to revitalize their shine and reduce discoloration, particularly around the edges of restorations, where discoloration may show through from underlying natural teeth.
Professional dental cleaning is not suitable for advanced veneer stains and discoloration. In these situations, our dentists often recommend porcelain veneers replacement. Porcelain veneers replacement is a straightforward procedure very similar to initial veneers treatment.
During veneer replacement, old veneers are removed, and the teeth are cleaned of bonding materials. Impressions are taken to be used as guides for the fabrication of new veneers. The dentist places temporary veneers until permanent restorations are complete. Upon veneers completion, patients return to our office, and the new restorations are bonded in place.
Contact Lake Area Dentistry
If you want to enhance the appearance of stained or discolored veneers, Dr. Jeffery A. Hennigan and the team at Lake Area Dentistry can help you achieve a brighter, whiter smile. To determine if you are an ideal candidate for veneers replacement, send us a message online and request an appointment.