Porcelain dental veneers can be added to the teeth fairly easily to reduce the appearance of dental flaws and to enhance your smile. The veneer process is fairly easy and straightforward. However, you will need to care for the tooth coverings carefully to avoid some common issues. These issues may include the discoloration of the veneers. Keep reading to learn about some things that can cause discoloration and how the issue can be avoided.
The Formation of Cavities
Most people think that veneers slip over the entire surface of a tooth. While the tooth coverings do cover a large portion of the enamel, they do not cover the entirety of the tooth. Veneers are glued to the front, side, and top surfaces of the tooth. This means that the back part of the tooth is left exposed. This occurs for several different reasons. Leaving the back portion of the tooth alone helps the tooth retain some of its strength and structural integrity. This is ideal since the tooth will need to go through some grinding where between .5 and 1.5 millimeters of the enamel is released.
Since the back part of the tooth will remain natural, it will be susceptible to the effects of decay. If a cavity does form in one of your teeth, then the brown, gray, or black appearance of the decay will show through the veneer. Both porcelain and resin are translucent and the cavity will look like a tooth stain.
If you want to prevent this sort of discoloration, make sure to seek out regular dental checkups. While you may be able to make an appointment with your dentist for a checkup about once a year, you should think about scheduling six month appointments instead. This will help with the identification of cavities within a timely manner.
Also, it will help you to go through treatment sooner rather than later. Some cavities will grow deep enough that the veneer will need to be removed to treat the decay. Veneers may need to be replaced completely since they are typically damaged or destroyed when they are removed. This can then make the seemingly simple cavity treatment quite expensive.
Along with regular checkups, you should pay special attention to the backs of your teeth when you do brush and floss. This can minimize cavity concerns in the first place.
The Scraping of the Veneers
If you do want to reduce cavity concerns, then you may purchase a fairly aggressive toothpaste that contains a strong abrasive agent. Strong abrasives can remove the plaque that causes cavities and they can also clear away the debris that may be contributing to tooth staining. Unfortunately, these types of toothpastes can also scrape the porcelain that sits on the outside of the veneers.
Porcelain is a non-porous material that will not stain. While this is true, the veneers can hold debris and coloring agents. They hold the materials in the small cracks and scrapes, just the natural tooth enamel will. If you notice this type of discoloration, your dentist can polish the veneers. However, the polishing process does remove a small portion of the porcelain. Too much grinding can then thin the veneers significantly.
If you want to prevent veneer stains, then keep the tooth coverings free from scratches. Avoid the use of abrasive toothpastes and use ones that contain gentle or natural cleaners. Toothpastes that are made with sea salt or baking soda are both good choices. Use the pastes with an electronic toothbrush as well. This will help with the removal of debris like plaque without placing as much pressure on the veneers. The best toothbrushes are ones that have pressure sensors that stop the toothbrush from moving and working if you press down on the teeth too much.