One of the main benefits of getting porcelain veneers is that they are essentially stain-resistant. While this provides you with a sparkling smile when you have the work done, over time your natural teeth will gradually change color and may not match the original tone of your veneers.
One of the most commonly used methods of brightening up natural teeth is teeth whitening, but can you whiten veneers? If you’re wondering how to whiten veneers in the traditional sense, most veneers are not porous and will resist the treatment. So in that sense, no, you cannot whiten your veneers.
So what are the options if your natural teeth don’t match your veneers? Well, it all depends on the root cause of the issue. If there’s a light stain on the veneers themselves, this can usually be buffed out by your dentist or dental hygienist.
A slight change in the perceived color of the veneer is often caused by the darkening of the underlying tooth. Even teeth protected by a porcelain veneer are vulnerable to natural discoloration, so your dentist may be able to apply whitening gel to the tooth underneath, improving the overall tone of the veneer when it’s replaced.
Your cosmetic dentist should have matched the color of your veneers to your natural tooth color, but if you’ve had them for a reasonably long time there may be a color matching issue as teeth naturally change. You can whiten your natural teeth to try and match the tones together, however, it’s often hard to predict the exact outcome of the teeth whitening process.
If you only have a couple of veneers, typically on your front teeth, then it may be worthwhile having your natural teeth whitened and then getting new veneers to match the new color. This can be one of the most cost-effective options, though over time your natural teeth will begin to darken again.
Another option is to go for the full set of veneers, essentially making your teeth naturally resistant to staining. This can be an expensive process, so it’s not for everyone, but the results are about the best possible solution to mismatched tooth coloring.
The key is to be vigilant with your dental care and have regular check-ups. Many people report slight discoloration where their veneer meets their gums. This is caused by natural gum recession, something which happens to everyone as we get older, and the natural tooth becoming visible between the veneer and the gum. Regular check-ups will identify this issue early and allow your dentist to treat it.
As with most dental treatment, your dentist will recommend the best solution for you and your teeth. Everyone has their own unique set of teeth, and what works for one may not work for the other.