I had porcelain veneers placed on four teeth almost a month and a half ago. Since they’ve been on, my gums have been inflamed. I went in to see the hygienist and she said it is probably that I’m babying the teeth and not brushing well enough. I can assure you that is not the case. Then, at my one-month follow up the dentist removed some excess cement. That helped a little but it has been a week and a half since then and they are still inflamed. My dentist doesn’t seem concerned but I’m worried, not to mention in pain. What do you recommend?
Our experience has been patients love their new smiles so much, after getting porcelain veneers, they tend to take better care of them, not worse. Isn’t it a tad annoying when medical professionals blame the patient when they can’t figure out what is wrong?
Cosmetic dentistry is both an art and a science. The health of the gums is one of many things the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry looks at in evaluating cases when dentists are working toward accreditation.
In the case above, the gum inflammation on the lateral incisors would be an indication this dentist did something wrong, causing the case to be rejected by accreditation examiners as a means of demonstrating competency.
While there are several reasons your gums could be inflamed, I’m leaning heavily toward your dentist not removing all the excess cement. You said he removed some at your one-month follow-up appointment. When done properly, all the excess cement would have been removed immediately after they were bonded. There shouldn’t have been any to remove at the follow-up appointment.
A couple of other possibilities would be uneven margins or the porcelain veneers going too far under the gumline. To truly know what is going on, though, you’re going to need to see an expert cosmetic dentist.
Getting a 2nd Opinion from an Expert Cosmetic Dentist
The first thing I want you to do is go to the website of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. (aacd.com). They have a link to find a cosmetic dentist. However, make sure you check the boxes for an accredited dentist. Membership is easy. AACD accreditation requires real skill.
Pick one which is reasonably close to you and schedule an appointment for a second opinion.
Finally, make sure when you go, you get a “blind” second opinion. This means you won’t tell them which dentist did the work or anything they said could be the problem. You want the accredited dentist to give his unbiased opinion without anything to sway him.
Best of luck.
This blog is brought to you by Lousiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.