Do Porcelain Veneers Stain? What Causes It and How to Avoid

Written by:

Dr. Justin Soon

Published on:

Do Porcelain Veneers Stain? What Causes It and How to Avoid

Porcelain veneers treatment is a popular cosmetic dental procedure. It helps cover up stained, chipped, or misshapen teeth. They are long-lasting, durable, and can last several years with proper care. This article will discuss what porcelain veneers are, what causes staining, how you can avoid it, and more.

Porcelain Veneers: A Quick Overview

Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain bonded to your teeth’s front surface using a special dental adhesive to hide your teeth’s imperfections. They have different colours and shades to match your natural teeth. Thus, you can choose your preferred shade that will be custom-crafted based on your specifications. Numerous brands are available in the market, each with its own set of pros and cons.

Dental veneers can significantly improve your smile’s appearance if you have dental imperfections such as stained, chipped, or misshapen teeth by changing the colour, shape, size, and length of your teeth.

It’s important to note that they are not right for everyone. You may be a good candidate for veneers if you have good oral health. However, if you have gum disease or other dental problems, your dentist may recommend addressing such concerns before getting veneers.

Do Porcelain Veneers Stain Easily?

Porcelain veneers are made of a non-porous material, which means they will not absorb stains easily like your natural teeth, or even composite veneers. They can last for several years without staining. If they do, you may need to have them replaced or repaired by then, depending on your dentist’s recommendation.

Moreover, you must remember that the bonding material used to attach the veneers to your teeth can become stained over time. This can result in a discoloured line around the gumline.

Also, if you don’t practice good oral habits like brushing your teeth regularly and flossing daily, your teeth and gums can become stained, making your veneers appear stained.

How to Avoid Staining Your Veneers

Porcelain veneers are resistant to staining, but they are not immune. There are still some things that you need to do to avoid this, such as:

  • Practising good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste that has fluoride in it and flossing daily. This helps remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums, which can cause staining.

  • Avoiding veneer-staining foods and beverages, such as coffee, tea, and red wine. These products can help stain your veneers if they are not removed promptly. If you happen to drink these beverages, it’s best to rinse with water afterwards.

  • Visiting your dentist for regular cleanings and dental checkups. Professional teeth cleaning can remove any surface stains on your veneers.

  • Wearing a bite guard if you tend to grind your teeth at night. This can help protect your veneers from damage.

Benefits of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers have many benefits, including:

1. Improving the Appearance of Your Smile

Not everyone has a perfect set of teeth, as some have stains, discolourations and abnormalities in shapes and sizes. Porcelain veneers can help improve the appearance of your smile by addressing the following dental issues:

  • It helps cover up stained, chipped, or misshapen teeth
  • It makes your teeth look straighter
  • It helps improve the appearance of teeth with gaps

2. Boosting Your Self-Esteem

If you have always been self-conscious about your smile, porcelain veneers can help boost your self-esteem. As a result, you are more confident in social situations and your overall appearance.

3. Protecting Your Teeth

Porcelain veneers can also help protect your teeth from further damage or staining. Porcelain veneers act as a barrier between your teeth and the substances that can cause staining or damage.

4. They Are Less Invasive

Porcelain veneers are a less-invasive procedure compared to other procedures such as crowns and bridges. This means there is little to no removal of your natural tooth structure.

5. They Are Long-lasting

As mentioned above, porcelain veneers are made of durable and long-lasting materials.

How Are Porcelain Veneers Placed?

  • When you visit your dentist for the first time, they will thoroughly examine your mouth and teeth to see if you are a good candidate for porcelain veneers through X-rays, impressions and clinical examinations of your teeth.

  • After your dentist has determined that you are a good candidate for porcelain veneers, your dentist will give you an overview of your treatment process, from what to expect and how much you will have to pay.

  • Your dentist will prepare your teeth for the porcelain veneers by grinding down the tooth surface to make space for the material. After the tooth preparation, an impression of the prepared teeth will be taken and sent to the laboratory. You and your dentist will choose a shade for your veneers that will look natural and beautiful on your teeth. Then, temporary veneers will be placed to protect your teeth while waiting for your permanent porcelain veneers.

  • Once the permanent veneers are ready, your dentist will remove your temporary veneers and clean your teeth. The permanent veneers will be checked to see if they fit snugly and properly to your teeth. Once you and your dentist are content with how your veneers feel and look, they will be bonded to your teeth with permanent bonding cement and cured to provide a stable and snug fit. After veneers are permanently cemented, your dentist will do the final check and make the necessary adjustments.

  • After, your dentist will give you instructions on what to look out for after placement, how to manage any sensitivity, and how to care for your new and beautiful porcelain veneers.

Can Porcelain Veneers Be Whitened?

You cannot whiten your porcelain veneers with teeth whitening products. Unlike your natural teeth, porcelain veneers are not porous, so they will not absorb the bleaching agents in these products. If you want to whiten your veneers, you need to talk to your dentist about other options, such as getting new and whiter veneers.

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?

High-quality porcelain veneers can last up to 15 years or more if properly cared for. However, they are not permanent and will eventually need to be replaced.

What Factors Affect the Lifespan of Porcelain Veneers?

Several factors can affect the lifespan of porcelain veneers, such as:

Your Habits
Certain habits, including grinding your teeth, clenching your jaw, and biting your nails, can stress your veneers unnecessarily, causing them to chip or break. Avoid these if you want your veneers to last.

Your Diet
Eating hard foods like candy and nuts can also damage your veneers. Also, certain types of food and drinks, including tea, coffee, wine and berries, can stain your veneers. As a result, you may need to have them replaced or repaired sooner than if you did not consume these items. If it’s unavoidable, ensure to rinse and brush your teeth immediately after.

Your Oral Hygiene
Proper oral hygiene is essential for the longevity of your veneers. Brush your teeth two times daily for at least two minutes each time, and floss at least once per day. It’s also essential to see your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. This helps remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums, which can cause staining and damage to your veneers.

Your Lifestyle
Certain lifestyle choices, like smoking, can also affect the lifespan of your veneers. Tobacco use can cause staining and other problems that can shorten the life of your veneers. If you plan on getting veneers, consider quitting smoking cigarettes so that you can protect your investment.

While the nicotine in tobacco products doesn’t stain your veneers, it can turn the bonding agent used to attach your veneers yellow.

Trauma or Damage
If you suffer from an injury to your mouth that results in the dentin or the tooth’s inner tissue sustaining damage, the tooth can become discoloured. Damaged dentin can turn yellow, making the veneer appear discoloured as well.

Are There Alternative Treatments To Veneers?

If you are not a good candidate for dental veneers or do not want to get veneers, other options are available. These include:

1. Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a good alternative to veneers as it involves covering the entire tooth. They can be made from porcelain, ceramic, or metal. Crowns are less prone to breaking or chipping than veneers but are more invasive and require the removal of more tooth structures.

Their advantages include:

  • Covering a misshapen or discoloured tooth
  • Covering a cracked or chipped tooth
  • They can be used to cover a dental implant

2. Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a procedure in which composite resin is utilised to improve the appearance of your teeth. Like veneers, it can help improve chipped, cracked, or discoloured teeth. However, it is not as durable as porcelain veneers and will need to be replaced sooner.

Its benefits are:

  • It is less invasive than veneers
  • Removal of tooth structure is not necessary
  • It can be completed in one visit

3. Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a famous option for those who want to improve the appearance of their yellow teeth. Several methods are available, including over-the-counter products, professional treatments, and home remedies.

You might want to consider professional dental cleaning done by a dentist if you have sensitive teeth or want to achieve the best results. Home remedies can take longer to work and might not be as effective.

This procedure’s benefits include:

  • It is less invasive than veneers.
  • It is less expensive than veneers.
  • It can be completed in one visit.
  • The products used contain agents that can help reduce the bacteria in your mouth that contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.

4. Invisalign

Invisalign can be an alternative to traditional braces, as well as veneers. It uses clear aligners that are nearly invisible to correct dental problems. It can be used to help improve various dental issues, including crowding, spacing, and bite problems.

The benefits of Invisalign include:

  • The aligners are nearly invisible.
  • They can be removed when you have to eat and clean your teeth.
  • They are more comfortable than traditional braces.

Final Thoughts

Porcelain veneers may be stain-resistant, durable and long-lasting, but they are not immune to yellowing, chipping, and other damage. Proper care and maintenance are crucial to prolonging the life of your veneers.

While veneers are a great option for many people, they are not suitable for everyone. Call Karrinyup Dental Centre today at (08) 9341 6233 to discuss your options before making a decision.

Dr. Justin Soon


Dr. Justin Soon

Dr. Justin completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Western Australia. Dr Justin completed his surgical implant training under the mentorship of Dr. Glen Liddelow, Dr. Graham Carmichael, and Dr. Brent Allan at the Branemark Centre.

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