Category Archives: Porcelain Veneers

Peroxide on Porcelain Veneers

If I used a DIY mouthwash which included peroxide, would it damage my porcelain veneers? It’s important to me they’re well cared for (as well as the rest of my mouth). If I can’t use that, what can I use?

Tamara

Dear Tamara,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

It’s great that you want to take care of your oral health as well as your porcelain veneers. With great care, they can last a lifetime. To answer your question, a mouthwash which contains peroxide won’t harm your porcelain veneers. However, depending on the frequency of use, it could harm you.

The occasional use of hydrogen peroxide will be beneficial. Regular use, say for a week or two, will lead to an imbalance of the microorganisms in your mouth. When that happens, you’ll develop a painful oral yeast infection. So, if you do want to do it, don’t do it too many times close together. Spread it out quite a bit.

Taking Care of Porcelain Veneers

If using a mouthwash is important to you, there is one particular ingredient in a mouthwash you’ll want to avoid. Don’t use anything that contains alcohol. The reason for that is it will eat away at the bonding on your porcelain veneers. This will lead to them falling off.

There are plenty of mouthwashes on the market which will be safe to use. Just check their ingredients list for alcohol and you’re good to go.

The most important thing you can do is have regular oral hygiene at home and keep up with your dental checkups to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

I usually recommend cosmetic patients use Supersmile Toothpaste. It’s specifically formulated to clean cosmetic dental work.

One other thing to be careful of has nothing to do with you. When you go in for your regular appointments, make sure your hygienist doesn’t use anything like a prophy jet during your cleanings. This will take the glazing off your porcelain veneers.

When this happens, you lose the protection for your veneers and they will start picking up stains very quickly. Bleaching them will be completely ineffective because teeth whitening only works on natural tooth structure.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Dentist Broke Tooth “Fixing a Porcelain Veneer”

I had several porcelain veneers done and they ended up looking awful. I never got to see them before he bonded them on so had no idea how bad they were until I got home. He agreed he’d redo them after I called him and told him how miserable I was about how they looked. Unfortunately, when he tried to remove the first one, he broke the tooth. It broke so completely he ended up having to extract it and now I’m having to get a dental implant. I have a flipper for now because I told him not to remove the others until I have a chance to get a second opinion on what’s going on. I know he’s the professional, but I feel like he can’t be trusted. What’s going on?

Jennifer

Dear Jennifer,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

I have to tell you this is gross incompetence on the part of your dentist. If I am truly understanding what you’re saying here, it sounds like your dentist tried to “pop” or pry off the veneers from your teeth. That is absolutely NOT how this is done.

Instead, porcelain veneers will be gently ground off, sort of how the dentist prepared your teeth the receive the veneers to begin with. If he broke your tooth so badly it couldn’t be saved, I wouldn’t let him anywhere near the rest of your teeth. He doesn’t have a clue about cosmetic dentistry.

1. He didn’t let you see them with a try-in paste before permanently bonding them on.
2. He didn’t make them to your standards.
3, He didn’t know how to remove them.

You’re going to need an expert cosmetic dentist. I’ll tell you how to find one of those in a moment, but first I want to make sure you don’t get stuck with this bill. You’re going to have to be pretty tough and tell your dentist you won’t sue him if he pays for the repairs with the cosmetic and implant dentist of your choice. If he’s wise, he’ll do it.

Finding an Expert Cosmetic Dentist

The problem many patients run into is the skills necessary to go stunning cosmetic dentistry requires significantly more training than they received in general dental school. It takes significant post-doctoral training to know what you’re doing.

You want a dentist who’s invested that time in the additional studies as well having an artistic eye. To find that type of dentist you can look at two resournces, The first of those is the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry website. Once there, you can list a location were you’d like to be treated. The key here, though, is checking you want an accredited cosmetic dentist. These are among the best dentists in the world.

They can give you a stunning smile. However, because it takes many years to reach accreditation, there aren’t many of them around the country.

There is another list. This one is called nynewsmile.com. Like the aacd.com website, they have a link to find a cosmetic dentist. You’ll input your zip code along with how far you’re willing to travel and they’ll give you a list of incredible cosmetic dentists. Many of them are close to being accredited if they’re not accredited already.

Have one of these dentists re-do your smile makeover as well as plan your dental implant. You shouldn’t have anything to worry about with one of them. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

What If I Can’t Get Porcelain Veneers?

I’m disappointed with my smile, but my dentist said I can’t get porcelain veneers because I grind my teeth. Is there anything else I can do to improve my smile? I have a gap between my teeth and they are quite discolored.

Mandy

Dear Mandy,

A single porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

I think your dentist may be a little confused. If the only issue is that you grind your teeth, there is a way for you to get porcelain veneers. It’s possible that he’s not comfortable doing smile makeovers and rather than admit that he’s trying to discourage you from moving forward with that. Don’t pressure him. You will not be happy with the results.

Here’s what I’d recommend. The first thing I want you to do is to get a second opinion. But, make sure you do it with a dentist who’s accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). These are the top cosmetic dentists in the country.

In all honesty, in order to get the gorgeous smile you’re hoping for that’s the type of dentist you’d want to do your veneers anyway.

If Porcelain Veneers Aren’t an Option

There are some cases, where other work has to be done before you can get porcelain veneers, such as when you have gum disease. In other cases, they’re good candidates, but this type of makeover is just over their budget. That doesn’t mean you can’t get an upgraded smile. Here are some great, affordable options:

  • Teeth Whitening: This is the most affordable way to brighten your smile dramatically. It will make you look years younger.
  • Invisalign: This is a great option to straighten your teeth without anyone knowing your wearing orthodontics. Plus, it works in half the time of traditional orthodontics.
  • Dental Bonding: This can repair chips and gaps on teeth.

As you can see there are many ways to upgrade a smile. However, no matter what you do, you’ll want to protect your teeth, especially after investing money in improving it. If your dentist hasn’t suggested a night guard to you, knowing that you’re grinding your teeth, then it may be time to get another dentist.

This is a simple orthotic device you’d wear over your teeth and it will take the pressure off of your teeth when you grind them. Without this, your natural teeth will eventually be worn down to nubs, requiring you to get each tooth crowned.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

My Sister’s Porcelain Veneers Disaster

My sister and I are in constant competition with one another, even when I don’t want to be. I told her I was planning on getting a smile makeover next year. I’m guessing she felt she needed to beat me to it because three months later she called to tell me she just had Lumineers done and has a gorgeous new smile. At first, I was mad. She’s always “one-upping” me. However, after I saw her new smile, I was relieved. She likes it (or at least says she does). But, I think it looks awful. Her teeth are bulky. To me, they look like horse teeth. They’re also chalky looking. I was hoping for something more natural looking, though I do want them to be very white. How can I avoid a fake looking smile? I’ve seen the pictures of smile makeovers and, in photos, they look gorgeous. What went wrong with my sisters?

Lacey

Dear Lacey,

A single porcelain veneer being held up by a dental tool

Having a copy-cat sister is going to turn out to be a true blessing for you. The most important decision to make when it comes to getting a total smile makeover is the dentist you choose to create your new smile. Cosmetic dentistry is an art. Just like two different sculptors have different levels of artistry and skill, the same is true for dentists.

Choosing the wrong dentist is what went wrong with your sister’s porcelain veneers. My first clue to that is you said he gave her Lumineers. Those are a particular brand of porcelain veneers that are highly marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place.

Many expert cosmetic dentists feel the brand is sub-par. The reason for that has more to do with the fact that the DenMat Company, who owns Lumineers, insists dentists use the company’s lab. They’re not known for following the dentist’s directions in a way which creates beautiful results. That’s likely where the chalky look came from.

As for the bulkiness, that’s also a common complaint with that particular brand. They’re advertised as being easy to place because they’re ultra-thin and the teeth don’t have to be prepped as a result. That’s why they’re considered “easy” to place. The problem with that is with some smiles, regardless of how thin the veneers are, without the teeth being prepped you end up with bulky looking teeth.

Finding the Right Dentist to Place Your Porcelain Veneers

If you want a stunning smile, one that will make your sister think twice about rushing into something just to beat you to the punch, then you one a top-of-the-line cosmetic dentist. If possible go to a dentist who has attained accreditation level with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. These are the best cosmetic dentists in the world. They’re so good

If you can’t find an AACD accredited dentist in a near enough distance for you to reasonably travel, don’t panic. There are many other skilled cosmetic dentists, many of whom are on their way to accreditation which takes many years.

You can look at the mynewsmile.com website to find these dentists. They don’t recommend anyone who cannot create a stunning smile. You’ll be safe with anyone on their list. All you have to do is input your zip code and how far you’re willing to travel for your smile makeover.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Will Press-on Veneers Be a Good Option for Me?

I have stained teeth and a chip on a very front tooth. My smile has always embarrassed me. A friend recently got porcelain veneers and her smile is stunning. I was going to do that myself until she told me the price tag. I just can’t afford that. I saw an advertisement for Press-on Veneers. They’re about $1000, which I could afford. However, I don’t want to spend that much money if it won’t give me a comparatively beautiful smile. What do you think? Is it a good option?

Karen S.

Dear Karen,

Porcelain Veneer being placed on a tooth

I’m about to save you a lot of money AND give you an improved and pretty smile. First, don’t get the Press-on Veneers. It’s not what you’re after. They’re not permanently placed and more just fit over your teeth.

Additionally, they’re not made of the same material and will look fake to people you’re having a conversation with. They’ll also be bulky. To the credit of the site who sells them, they’re very open about these issues so customers know what they’re getting into. So what good are they?

They’re a quick cheap solution if you’re having a photo shoot and want a prettier smile. Other than that, I’d look for better cosmetic options.

Porcelain Veneers and Cosmetic Alternatives

Porcelain veneers are the top of the line treatment for a smile makeover. They can change everything about your smile— the shape, size, color, and character. As you noted, they’re also the most expensive of your options.

However, I think you can get a smile you’re proud of for less than half the cost of the Press-on Veneers with the additional benefit of being permanent instead of removable.

You mentioned your teeth are stained and chipped. First, get your teeth whitened. This is a very affordable procedure that can be done either at the comfort of your own home or in one appointment in-office. After the whitening, a dental bonding can be done to repair your chipped tooth.

While any dentist can do the teeth whitening. Dental bonding is done free-hand and requires a skilled and artistic cosmetic dentist. I’d look on the mynewsmile.com website to see who they recommend. The site is very reliable. They will only recommend skilled cosmetic dentists.

I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone, an AACD accredited Dentist.

Scratched Porcelain Veneer

If I have a scratch on a porcelain veneer, does that mean I have to have it completely re-done? I asked my dentist about replacing just the one and he said for them to match I’d have to re-do the whole thing. I can’t afford that so I didn’t know if there were any other options.

Lisa

Dear Lisa,

Porcelain Veneer being placed on a tooth

It may be that your dentist can’t match a single porcelain veneer to the rest of them, but an expert cosmetic could. Some dentists, fairly new to cosmetic dentistry, are still developing their color skills and techniques. Because of that, the only way they can assure a uniform look to your porcelain veneers is by doing the whole set together.

You have a few choices here. You can allow your dentist to re-do your entire set, which will be quite pricey. I wouldn’t recommend that even if you had the money though. It just seems a waste of good resources.

Another option, however, is to have just the single veneer replaced with a dentist who’s qualified to do so. What you’ll want to do is find a dentist who’s AACD accredited. They’ll have the skills necessary to match a single veneer.

Polishing A Porcelain Veneer

Something your dentist may not even be aware of is there’s a way to polish the veneer to remove the scratch, without having to replace it at all. I can write out the procedure for you to take to your dentist or you can go to a dentist who already knows the diamond polishing technique.

If you want your dentist to do it, that’s fine. Just make sure you give him these instructions. Otherwise, he might just buff it which will take off the glaze, leaving you with a matte finish. Not only is that unattractive and won’t match your other teeth, but removing the glaze makes it susceptible to staining.

My suggestion would be for him to get Brasseler’s Dialite porcelain polishing system. It will include diamond polishing instruments and polishing pastes. He’ll need to end with the ultra-fine diamond polishing paste. that will give you back the glossy finish you need to protect your veneer.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone. Check out his smile gallery.

Dentist Blamed My Mouthwash for My Veneers Falling Off

I had porcelain veneers placed on about a month ago. Two of them have fallen off. I went in to see my dentist about it. He agreed to bond them back on free of charge. When I asked them why they fell off, he got offended and blamed my mouthwash. Is that accurate? Am I damaging my porcelain veneers?

Betsy B.

Dear Betsy,

Porcelain Veneer being placed on a tooth

There are certain mouthwashes that could (eventually) cause a problem with your porcelain veneers. I doubt any of them would cause them to fall off that quickly. It sounds like your dentist is passing the buck for his poor bonding technique.

Most mouthwashes are fine to use with your dental implants. The ones to watch out for containing alcohol. Listerine is the biggest culprit. It can contain up to 21% alcohol. If you avoid that ingredient, you should be fine and there are plenty of brands to choose from. Crest Pro-Health and Breath-Rx are two alcohol-free brands. Many dental offices even sell it in-office.

I’m a little concerned with the response your dentist gave you. I don’t like it when professionals don’t take responsibility for their mistakes. The bonding on porcelain veneers is quite strong and, when properly done, lasts the lifetime of the veneers. Yes, there are things which can damage it, but rarely is that seen to wear down so quickly. Is your dentist one who does a lot of cosmetic procedures or just a family dentist who dabbles in cosmetic work? That can make a huge difference in their technical skill, artistry, and even knowledge of their work.

In case they’re not an office with expertise in porcelain veneers, I want to warn you about something before your next check-up. Under no circumstances should your hygienist use any power polishing equipment, such as a prophy jet. This will take the glaze right off your porcelain veneers. Then they’ll become dull looking and pick up stains quickly. In short, it will ruin them. If this isn’t a practice that knows a lot about cosmetics, their hygienist may not be trained in these procedures.

Caring for Your Porcelain Veneers

  • Choose a soft toothbrush

Often, we encounter patients who use hard toothbrushes thinking the firmness means it cleans better. The opposite is actually the case. All the hard brush will do is scratch your veneers and wear down your gums. Even brushing hard can damage your gums, so brush gently.

  • Choose Your Toothpaste Carefully

While we’re on the subject of toothbrushes, let’s talk about toothpaste. First, avoid whitening toothpaste. They have abrasives in it which is supposed to attack stains. They do. But, they also attack the glazing on both natural tooth structure and dental work, like porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns. This will cause them to actually pick up stains more readily. While teeth whitening can help with natural tooth structure, it can’t do anything for dental work.

The best brand of toothpaste for any kind of cosmetic dental work is Supersmile. It’s specifically formulated for cosmetic dental work.

  • Floss every day

This one is pretty self-explanatory. You need to keep healthy gums.

  • Avoid using mouthwash which contains alcohol

We’ve already gone over this in-depth so we won’t rehash it here.

  • Get cleaning from an experienced cosmetic practice

We’ve discussed above the damage power polishing equipment can do. The same is true of a pumice. The problem is there are many things a dentist or hygienist can do to ruin your veneers. That’s why it’s important to go to a clinic who doesn’t need additional training.

  • Consider getting a mouthguard

This is only necessary if you happen to be someone who grinds or clenches their teeth. Those habits can do serious damage not only to your cosmetic work but to your teeth in general. It can lead to chipped or broken teeth and even TMJ Disorder. The problem is most people don’t even realize they’re doing it because they only do it in their sleep. A good dentist keeps an eye out for that and checks for the signs. If you’re not sure, ask your dentist. A mouthguard isn’t very expensive and can protect you from additional harm.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Can Porcelain Veneers Cause Gum Disease?

I recently received a set of porcelain veneers. Not very long after my gums started bleeding periodically when I brush. At my last dental check-up, the hygienist told me I’m starting to develop gum disease. I don’t understand what is going on. I’ve never had problems with either cavities or my gums and am very diligent with my oral health care. Is it possible that the porcelain veneers caused my problem? Have you heard of porcelain veneers causing gum disease?

Brenda M.

Dear Brenda,

Porcelain Veneer being placed on a tooth

What’s going on with your gums certainly isn’t normal. If you haven’t changed any habits and the problem started shortly after the placement of your porcelain veneers, it makes sense that you suspect them. However, porcelain veneers on their own will not cause gum disease. Poorly placed porcelain veneers, on the other hand, can cause loads of trouble.

Is it possible your regular family dentist was the one who placed your porcelain veneers? Because the problem started after you received your porcelain veneers, there is likely a connection. Sometimes, an inexperienced cosmetic dentist has trouble getting the veneers flush against the gums. That creates a ridge where bacteria can get caught and will lead to things like gum disease and decay. This could sabotage your oral health. Your hygienist may not recognize it as a problem because that’s how she is used to seeing it in their office.

Dealing with Porcelain Veneers with Margin Issues</h2

There are a few ways this can be dealt with:

  • Water Pick: If you’re otherwise fine with your porcelain veneers and love the overall smile makeover, you may want to invest in a water pick and see if makes a positive difference. It may just give you the extra kick you need to keep bacteria out from the ridge.
  • Have Your Dentist Check the Margins: If your dentist double checks whether the margins are properly fit and admits they’re not, he should fix them at no cost to you.
  • Second Opinion: Some dentists have a hard time admitting if they’d made a mistake. If you want to be certain you can get a second opinion from another dentist to find out exactly.

A word of advice about getting a second opinion. Make sure you don’t tell them what dentist did your work. Then you’re putting the dentist in the position of saying something against someone he may be close friends with. Instead, just tell him to look at the work and tell you what he thinks. Nothing else.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Can I Use Mouthwash With Porcelain Veneers?

I just invested a lot of money with porcelain veneers and really love them. I feel beautiful for the first time in my life. I’ve always been a mouthwash user. It’s just a habit I’ve developed over the years to avoid bad breath. I don’t want to do anything to damage them and wondered if it’s safe to use my mouthwash on them.

Sarai S.

Dear Sarai,

Porcelain Veneer being placed on a tooth

I’m thrilled you’re pleased with your smile makeover with porcelain veneers. Under a skilled, artistic dentist they can be absolutely stunning. It’s also fantastic that you are looking for ways to take care of them right from the beginning.

Mouthwash isn’t necessary and often is the cause of bad breath which makes you continue using it, but there are mouthwashes that are safe to use with your porcelain veneers. The most important thing is to check the ingredients. You want a mouthwash that is alcohol-free.

Alcohol will eat away at the bonding material that keeps your porcelain veneers secured to your teeth. You’ll start with micro-leakage then the veneers themselves can fall off. Using alcohol-free mouthwash won’t negatively impact your bonding.

Caring For Your Porcelain Veneers

There are important steps you can take to ensure your veneers last for a long time. The most important thing is good oral hygiene. On top of brushing twice a day, make sure you’re regularly flossing. While the veneers protect the parts of your teeth they cover, you can still develop decay in the exposed parts of your teeth. Then you’ll be looking at getting a filling by your porcelain veneers which can be tricky.

The toothpaste you choose is important. You can use over-the-counter toothpaste, just make sure it’s not a whitening toothpaste. Those contain abrasives which can scratch your veneers. The scratched portions can pick up stains. If you want a toothpaste specifically designed for cosmetic work, order Supersmile Toothpaste. This is the ideal toothpaste, but it costs more than your typical over-the-counter brand.

Finally, make sure you’re going to a dental practice that understands cosmetic dentistry for your check-ups and cleanings. They’ll train their hygienists not to use anything like a prophy jet which can remove the glaze from your veneers.

This blog is brought to you by AACD accredited dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Why are my 1-Year Old Porcelain Veneers Staining?

I’ve had porcelain veneers for about one-year. In fact, I’m still paying on them. I noticed today they’re picking up some mild staining between my teeth. I thought they were stain resistant. Is something wrong? What do I do?

Karlyn M.

Dear Karlyn,

A single porcelain veneer being held up by a dental tool

You’re right that porcelain veneers are stain resistant. In fact, they’re more resistant than our natural teeth and should last you many years with proper maintenance. If damage had been done to your veneers, which is possible if your hygienist uses a prophy jet or an acidulated fluoride, the staining is over the entire tooth.

Because your stains are between the teeth, it makes me think you’ve got some composite bonding staining there. Though, I couldn’t tell you exactly without seeing a picture of it. This is fairly easy to solve and is actually just part of routine maintenance for your veneers. However, your average family dentist won’t know this polishing procedure. So, for this particular part of your regular maintenance, I’d go back to the dentist who placed your veneers to begin with.

Proper Maintenance for your Porcelain Veneers

  • Daily Oral Care: Be sure you’re brushing and flossing regularly. While your veneers are decay resistant, the exposed parts of your teeth are not. You’ll need to keep up with your care so you don’t end up needing a filling on a veneered tooth.
  • Toothpaste: I’m sure your cosmetic dentist already told you this, but the ideal toothpaste for you to use is Supersmile toothpaste. It’s specifically designed for use with cosmetic work.
  • Regular Polishing: Just as your veneers were polished when you first received them, you need to schedule regular re-polishing appointments. The hygienist uses ultra-fine polishing strips in this area and an aluminum oxide polishing paste. For smokers, that’s even more important.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.