Will bleaching harm my porcelain veneers? I got porcelain veneers 16 years ago. They were whiter than my tooth color. Despite my disappointment, my dentist could not achieve a perfect match. Now my teeth are darker than my veneers. The hygienist cleans and polishes my teeth well, but they are stained, probably from my smoking and coffee drinking. I need to improve my smile, so I am thinking about bleaching. My hygienist discourages it because she said it would make my teeth whiter than my veneers. I don’t know which is worse – the way my teeth look now or having them whiter than my veneers. My real concern is damaging the veneers. Will bleaching harm the veneers? – Thank you. Daneen from MS
Bleaching your teeth will not harm your veneers. But as your hygienist implied, it will not make them any lighter.
Although you want brighter teeth, the noticeable difference between your teeth and porcelain veneers can leave you disappointed and self-conscious. Your teeth can end up several shades whiter than your porcelain veneers.
Matching Porcelain Veneers and Tooth Whitening
If your veneers are 16 years old, it might be time to consider improving your smile and giving your teeth uniform color. Speak with a cosmetic dentist about possible options:
- Professional teeth whitening followed by replacing your porcelain veneers
- Polishing your porcelain veneers (depending on their condition) to brighten them, followed by composite bonding to match your veneers
Replacing Your Porcelain Veneers
If you decide to replace your porcelain veneers, look for an advanced cosmetic dentist. Unlike your original porcelain veneers, a cosmetic dentist will be concerned about the shade and appearance of your teeth. The goal will be to enhance your entire smile—not just replace the veneers.
Before receiving veneers, you can explain the tooth shade you want. After the dentist provides whitening treatment, your porcelain veneers will be a perfect match. Getting your tooth color close will not be good enough for a true cosmetic dentist.
Only a dentist with an artistic eye and cosmetic dentistry training can achieve beautiful results. And few dentists have the training and skill that it takes.
David Finley, DDS of Monroe, LA, sponsors this post. Dr. Finley is an accredited Fellow of cosmetic dentistry.