Posted on: 3 June 2021Share
Dental veneers conceal a range of issues, from surface imperfections to extensive staining. Your teeth had a minute amount of their surface enamel removed to accommodate the depth of the veneers, which were then bonded to the outward-facing surfaces of your teeth. It can be disheartening when, years down the track, those veneers are looking a bit worse for wear. They might be noticeably discoloured, which won't budge no matter how diligent you are with cleaning your teeth. Can your veneers be freshened up?
Veneers Can Discolour
Veneers are a long-term solution, but they're not a permanent one. They're porous (although to a different degree than natural dental enamel), so they are susceptible to staining and general discolouration. The level of discolouration is partially determined by the materials used to construct your veneers, and porcelain veneers generally experience less (or rather, slower) discolouration than composite resin (acrylic) veneers.
Composite Resin Veneers
You may not necessarily remember what your veneers are made of, but this is easy for your dentist to determine. You may have opted for composite resin veneers because the price was lower than their porcelain counterparts. It's difficult to freshen composite resin veneers, and any methods your dentist can use are unlikely to give you the results you need. If it's within your means, your dentist may suggest that your composite resin veneers have reached the end of their lifespan. While they might still be intact, their physical appearance means it's time for an upgrade. Ideally, this would be the time to have porcelain veneers fitted, but even a new set of composite resin veneers will result in a drastic enhancement to your smile. But what happens when you already have porcelain veneers, and these need some improvements?
Porcelain veneers can be polished, although once again, this might not give the level of improvement you were hoping for. Dentists polish teeth using a prophy paste, which contains an abrasive compound (generally pumice) to remove surface discolouration, and there are prophy pastes designed specifically for dental restorations such as veneers. Your dentist may be able to polish porcelain veneers, and then it's up to you to decide if you're satisfied with the results. There's a limit to the effectiveness of this method, so it might be time to replace your veneers.
Talk to your dentist about freshening up your veneers. This may be possible, but it might also be time for a replacement.