Porcelain Veneers for Stained Teeth
By Joe McIntyre, DDS on May 22, 2021
Dental stains and discoloration can significantly impact the appearance of the smile. Unfortunately, deep set stains cannot be treated with regular toothbrushing. Professional teeth whitening offers promising results, but even this cosmetic dentistry treatment is only effective on extrinsic stains, or those that exist on the outer layer of tooth enamel.
At Smiles For Life, we recommend porcelain veneers for stained teeth that will not respond to traditional whitening treatment. Porcelain veneers sit over the natural teeth to conceal dental stains and other aesthetic flaws. These cosmetic restorations allow our patients from Harrisonburg, Staunton, and Bridgewater, VA, to greatly enhance the appearance of their smile.
When Are Porcelain Veneers Better than Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is the most common treatment for dental stains and discoloration. Professional teeth whitening is fast, affordable, and effective, which is why it is so popular. However, teeth whitening is not always the most appropriate treatment for dental stains. Individuals may be better suited for porcelain veneers if:
- Dental stains affect the deeper layers of the tooth
- Dental stains or discoloration have not responded to previous teeth whitening treatments
- Additional dental blemishes are present, such as chips, cracks, fractures, or minor misalignment problems
- Longer-lasting results are desired
Porcelain Veneers Treatment
Porcelain veneers treatment typically takes place over three dental appointments that are spaced just a few weeks apart. At the first dental appointment our dentists listen to our patient’s cosmetic concerns, and make design specifications that they believe will best address imperfections to enhance the smile. A temporary set of veneers, or a wax-up, is made using these specifications. The teeth are then prepped for veneers placement (this requires the removal of a thin layer of tooth enamel), and the temporary veneers are placed.
About a week after the temporary veneers are placed, patients return for their second dental appointment. At this meeting, we get patient feedback about how the veneers fit, whether they felt comfortable, and any potential aesthetic concerns. Based on this information, we can make adjustments to the final porcelain veneers design. When everything is set, we send a final model to our partner laboratory, so that permanent porcelain veneers can be made.
Within a couple of weeks, the permanent veneers are complete and patients return for their final stage of treatment. Using a tooth-colored dental compound, porcelain veneers are “glued” to the facial surface of the teeth. A special dental light hardens the compound to complete the bonding process.
Will My Smile Look Natural after Porcelain Veneers Treatment?
Porcelain veneers enhance tooth color and hide cosmetic flaws without detracting from the smile’s natural beauty. Patients are able to retain a natural-looking smile because of the high quality materials that are used to fabricate the veneers, and the skill of the ceramists who make them. Using dental-grade porcelain that mimics the translucency and sheen of tooth enamel, skilled ceramists custom-craft each veneer based on design specifications. The final result is attractive restorations that conceal dental flaws while blending in seamlessly with any untreated teeth.
Contact the Dentists at Smiles for Life
If you suffer from stubborn dental stains that are keeping you from fully enjoying your smile, you may be an ideal candidate for porcelain veneers. To learn more about this versatile cosmetic dentistry treatment, send a message to our team of dentists at Smiles For Life, or call us at (540) 828-2312.